The photo editing software I use works in layers. The artist does something to the picture, then lays something else over a part of it, then lays something else over another part of it, then does something else to all of it, and so on and so forth.
So file that away, then think about the picture three dimensionally. This photograph began with close subjects very sharp, slightly further off subjects not so sharp, and a background appropriately blurred; all characteristics of a short focal plane.
But only one color. And everything blended together, short focal plane or no.
So the challenge becomes getting the sharply focused subjects to stand out by grabbing hold of the slightly further off objects and desaturating to an appropriate degree, and then grabbing hold of the background and desaturating a little more. Working a few layers at a time. This work finished with more layers than many of the wildly abstract works I’ve completed, yet the effects are quite subtle. When I did turn towards artistic filtering, again the priority was to hold onto the integrity of the raindrops so filtered effects needed to be delicate. Careful application of the artist’s touch, using a computer just as intricately as a brush.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.