And now time for a serious philosophical and compositional discussion
. I have received some feedback, more than once, regarding my use of well defined edges away from the focal point. Most of it is to the effect that I should soften edges so that the eye is not drawn away from the focal point. I actually agree with that idea. However, I seldom use it. When I was in Austin, Mark expressed the opinion that we should not fuzz everything up in the background and etc because the eye will focus on it when we look there in real life (I am paraphrasing and probably did not get that exactly right). If you paint a picture with only the focal point well defined (in focus) and everything else soft focused or out of focus like a photograph, then the eye is drawn back to the focal point. This seems like a good thing, and I like it, but only if there really is nothing else in the picture to see. There are so many examples I don't want to flood the thread with pictures but I will offer two examples.
Here the artist, Jean Tibbles, has only focused on the triangle of the eyes-nose and mouth. Everything else is not as defined. Its there, just not sharp. Its an exceptional portrait. http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/bp2016/exhibition/exhibitors-entries/2
If you check his personal site you will see he also does portraits with everything in focus. http://www.jeanpaultibbles.com/
Then there are things like this from Vermeer. Every edge has the same degree of focus. So I ask two things, 1: What is your opinion of this? and 2: Why do I keep hearing about this? Is it a modern affectation due to the prevalence of photography?