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Near & Far, the subject of the current Weekly Photo Challenge set by the folks at The Daily Post at  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/  was not as easy as it might at first seem.

My first question was, how far is far? We live in a place where you can’t see for miles and miles around, unless you’re at the top of the Sears Tower (whoops, sorry! Willis Tower.) So I had to make do with what was available and went out to the Chicago Botanic Garden to see what I could come up with.

If I understood the challenge correctly there should be an object of interest in the foreground and also a reasonably clear shot of the distance in the background.  I believe it involves something called depth of field, a process that I have absolutely no clue how to induce from my camera (I hate reading instruction manuals) so I just kept twiddling all the moveable parts until I captured what I hoped might be a decent representation of near & far.

I also went back through my picture files to see if there had been a time in the past when I’d accidentally caught the effect of near & far. The picture above was taken at a rest area in Chamberlain, South Dakota.  You don’t see too many poisonous snakes in Chicago so the sign naturally caught my attention. It also turned out to be a fairly clear shot of the Missouri River in the background.

The only other image that I could find that could reasonably be considered a depiction of near & far was one that I took some time ago at a balloon launch carried out at our local grade school.  It was amazing how quickly the balloons soared high above the playing field carrying greetings and messages of goodwill from the excited schoolchildren below. Some of the balloons unfortunately got snagged in the trees nearby but others went up, up and away, traveling far into the distance.