Heels or Ring, Cat, Heels? More going on here than it initially seems

This is a relatively clever picture. I found this shot while clicking through 500 pixels looking at amazing pictures other folk are taking and posting.


As it has sexy high heels in it I stopped and gave it a longer look—as would most men. But then I noticed the heels were blurred, which I thought odd for a picture on 500 pixels. After a slightly longer look I decided that the rings were the primary subject as they were in focus; this is not a picture of heels at all.

But then I saw the cat, which I had not spied initially. Obviously the sexy heels get the first attention, and they then somehow draw your attention to the rings, and only then did I spot the cat.

There is something very odd about the cat. It’s in focus and it shouldn’t be.

How can the rings be in focus, the heels out of focus, and the cat in focus? What kind of magical lens or camera is this?

Very clever.

For anyone who has studied photography you would be aware of the PST rule—primary, secondary, tertiary. A primary subject, a secondary interest, and a tertiary (third) element.

When you first see this picture as it flicks up you think—well I did anyway—that the primary is the heels. Then you quickly change your mind and figure the rings are the primary and the heels are the secondary. Finally you see the cat between the heels. So it becomes rings primary, cat secondary, and heels tertiary.

But this still leaves the problem of the cat and the rings being in focus. How can it be?

This could have been achieved in two ways. Maybe he took the shot at a very small aperture like f22 (or smaller) for huge depth-of-field and then blurred the heels out in post processing—unlikely considering the low light available and keeping the cat still for a two second exposure. Or he took two pictures: one with the cat in focus and another with the rings in focus (and possibly no cat in the picture at all). Then using layers overlaid the in-focus rings.

Either way a brilliant bit of work and well lit.

This picture is from 500px. It was taken by Alexey Kalashnikov. Click on the image above to go to 500 pixels and see the full uncropped full resolution picture.