We present a new technique called Semantic Depth of Field (SDOF) as an alternative approach to focus-and-context displays of information. We utilize a well-known method from photography and cinematography (depth-of-field effect) for information visualization, which is to blur different parts of the depicted scene in dependence of their relevance. Independent of their spatial locations, objects of interest are depicted sharply in SDOF, whereas the context of the visualization is blurred. In this paper, we present a flexible model of SDOF which can be easily adopted to various types of applications. We discuss pros and cons of the new technique, give examples of application, and describe a fast prototype implementation of SDOF.