We shoot many of the same subjects time after time. So it can be important to keep an eye out for instances where the background creates a unique settings or contrast to the subject. Sometimes a black backdrop is available, from the right angle. In others a distant backdrop unfocussed with a shallow depth of field will do the trick.
In this instance, the ferns in the photo were growing through the hole at the center of an old lichen-covered millstone, providing a rather unworldly, and very detailed, backdrop to the otherwise typical fern fronds. This is such an unusual result that I have been asked if I had placed a vase of ferns on a countertop to create this shot.
C. David Tobie