"Shallow" is an ongoing series exploring how we decide what we pay attention to in a scene. In photography you will often hear the phrase "depth of field". This refers to amount of a photo that is reasonably in focus. Often in landscape photography the photographer will use techniques to ensure that as much of the photo, from close up areas to far away areas, are in focus. Portrait photographers will often do the exact opposite, working to have the subject of the photo sharply focused while working to have everything else blurred out. This helps to place the viewer's attention directly on the subject in the photo. Obviously focus has an important role to play in how we experience a photograph.
So what happens when the rules are broken? How do we perceive an image if the subject is blurred but the background is in focus? What if almost everything in the photo is out of focus, will our eyes travel to the small area that is sharp and cause our brain to assume that is what the image is really about? Blur, bokeh, and out of focus areas have always fascinated me. Our brain tends to isolate specific areas or items in our field of view and we concentrate on those while ignoring all of the out of focus areas. This series is about focusing on the out of focus.