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April 10, 2012: Circles of Confusion

I’m slowly beginning to understand the concept of depth of field. Last night, in class, the teacher again went over this, this time using photos as an example. I remained attentive for the full two hours of class. This was not so of my classmates, who one-by-one got up and drifted out of the room. By the evening’s end, just three of us remained. My critique was the last – by then even the teacher and my two classmates had lost focus.

Depth of field is based on mathematical principles. I don’t want my being able to take a good photograph to be exclusively based on happenstance, so I remained attentive/I got it-- I got it/I remained attentive.

Midway through the class the teacher talked about circles of confusion. Simply defied, this is photo blur. I got so tripped up in the phraseology that I did not fully grasp all the technical details. I will later spend more time doing research and determining exactly why photo blur occurs.

But what a great phrase – circles of confusion. It could also denote a decided



lack of mental clarity – the mind going round and round, off in differing tangents. This seems to me to be too literal a definition, because it implies linearity.

After class, I began, first subconsciously and then consciously, attempting to write a poem with the title “Circle of Confusion.” It could be central to my series of poems, which is entitled “Depth of Field.” I then decided that this poem could focus on my concerns about Signy.

I’m remaining attentive to her. The one change is that she’s now pooping in her wheat straw bedding. This is unusual because she’s usually fastidious about such things. I suspect that there are three things going on her. 1. She’s getting tired of moving around, and therefore now pooping where she pleases. 2. She’s begun to lose bowel control. 3. She’s instinctively attempting to make her stall area smell like herself, so that the foal feels comfortable in its new environment. These circles of thought, of course, all intersect and have a common midpoint.

Circles of Confusion
I peer in the viewfinder,
snap a photo, and eyeball the image.
On this, a warm day, the moment is frozen in time.
The mare’s belly is round, unmoving,
inviting metaphorical comparisons
to round objects filled to the bursting point with air,
over-inflated beach balls and balloons included.
All that is, is. Head, mid-section and flanks
have remained in focus.
I refocus my gaze, abandoning the subject in the photo.
The mare wanders off, and the bulge shifts
from side-to-side, once again, a perfectly lopsided circle.