In my quest to improve my technique, I borrowed some art books from the library and purchased a cinematography text, The Visual Story. The art books have a lot of "old masters" paintings, portraits, landscapes, or still lifes. The DOF discussion in the film book does not advocate shallow DOF, suggesting to me that film makers strive to get more of a scene in focus, not less. The old masters certainly did not employ shallow DOF; they, I imagine, would have been thought of as supremely untalented if part of their painting was blurred. So, where does still photography fit in this? Is a shallow DOF for, say, faces, flowers, animals, and insects, always better? Do we always want that blurred background in non-landscape photos? Can one overdo a blurred background?
PS where can I find the "tag cloud?" I wanted to add DOF as a tag for this post, but it's not in the list.