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Referring to the original post: Nice photograph. Narrow DOF.
I'll give it 2.1-D. ;-)
But seriously, narrow DOF (e.g. thin focus) is one of the ways to simulate, to a limited extent, the way we see with our eyes - as opposed to photographic "seeing," which is a quite different thing in so many ways.
When we view a scene with our own visual system, several things can happen that are in line with the thin-DOF effect. First, our eyes - apart from the brain's visual processing system - actually have rather thin DOF. When you focus on any thing, other things that are closer/further are not equally in focus in the way that they are when we shoot with small apertures.* In addition, from our internal frame of reference, the entire scene that we literally "see" with our eyes is most certainly not equally "sharp" or present. Right now, as I type this, the work I'm typing is very clearly visible, though the surrounding words above, below, left, and right are most certainly less visible than the word in my central focus.
These things allow (force, actually) us to separate the primary focus of our gaze from all those other things in our field of view, as the other things cannot be imaged in a way that is equal to the thing that is the current center of our visual attention unless we move our eyes away from the current thing and towards something else.
But this is not "3D." The first is certainly related to the front/dimensionality of the scene we see with our eyes, but it is, at best, only a small slice of what let's us visually image a scene in a way that gives us access to the dimensions - binaural vision (which our DSLRs don't have) is a bigger part of it, as is our ability to move our point of view as we look at things and "see around" them.
These other techniques (the DOF aspect in this OP's post, and the many other similar elements that might include vignetting, lighting, color - recall that we are less sensitive to color in the periphery of our vision - and so forth) are members of a kit-bag of techniques that can be used to enhance our attention to the intended (we hope!) central focus of the image, both by strengthening its presence in our minds and my diminishing the presence of non-central subjects - brighter against dark background, dark against light background, high contrast in front of low contrast, saturated against muted, static against moving, in focus against OOF, focal length, location in the frame, other aspects of composition, use of converging/diverging lines, etc. (Aside from the available aperture range and focal length, it most certainly is not about what lens you use and double-certainly not about what brand.)
I do know what you are seeing when you use this term "3D effect," but it isn't 3D at all and it most certainly isn't a single, objective thing. Trying to chalk it up to some thing named "3D effect" is not helpful nor accurate.
* The deep-DOF/small aperture approach, however, let's the camera provide us with another rough simulation of how we see with our visual/brain system - e.g. we can "look around" a scene and even though the DOF of our eyes is narrow, our brain constructs an image of the scene that combines what we see when we focus close with what we see when we focus far to create the illusion that everything we see is in focus. So small aperture/large DOF simulates a different aspect of how our own visual perception system operates.
Yes. I'm back. I've been shooting for something like 25 days during October. :-)
Edited on Oct 31, 2012 at 08:33 PM · View previous versions