ku # 1401-03 ~ fuddy duddy

Yesterday on the TOP site, the intrepid Mike Johnston had, iMo, a sorta old coot / fuddy-duddy / crotchety old man moment when he went off (ever so politely) on the bokeh "craze" whereof he wrote:

"I'm thoroughly, permanently sick of seeing endless photographs in which "lots of bokeh" is equated with "good bokeh," such that parts of the main subject which conventionally should be in focus are not ... a very basic part of being a photographer is nailing the correct plane of focus and getting the depth-of-field right."

PS: It should be noted that Johnston tempered that statement with the caveat that stated, "Everybody owns their own photography and they can do anything they want with it..."

That coveat proffered, I still can't not fathom the meaning of the "correct" plane of focus or the "right" DOF. I didn't know and am not aware of the fact that there exists a "correct" plane of focus or the "right" DOF other than the plane of focus and the DOF as determined by a picture maker.

Johnston went on to write that "...the picture comes first, doesn't it?" (iMo, yes it does) therefore the picture maker should "Do what's right for the picture." "right"? If a picture maker has accomplished, for her/his objectives alone, what he/she set out to express for his/her self, then, iMo, independent of whether I like the picture or not, the picture maker has done the "right" thing(s).

All of that written, here's my CAVEAT: as much as I know and can surmise from Mike Johnston's writing on his site, he seems to be an avid "amateur" scholar (I mean that in good way), re: the medium of photography and its apparatus, and a gentleman. Consequently, I do not think that he was being didactic or dismissive in his comments regarding the bokeh "craze". However, his use of words such "correct" and "right" and "right thing", dispite his later caveat, tend to imply, intended or not, that a picture who makes pictures that he does not like is doing something that is wrong. Nevertheless, I forgive Mike his uncharatistic old coot / fuddy-duddy / crotchety old man moment