Selective Focus in Fashion Photography

Selective focus is a photographic technique that utilizes depth of field to create layers in an image, based on focus. A subject would be in sharp focus while the background would be blurry. This directs the viewer's attention to the subject because it pops out from the rest of the image. Lots of photography genres utilize selective focus. One of the genres that takes full advantage of it is fashion photography. 

Selective Focus and Fashion Photography

Fashion photography is all about bringing attention to clothing. Selective focus is a great way to direct attention to the clothing by making it pop out from everything else in the photograph. This also helps create a glamorized impression of the clothing with the viewer because it is unmistakably the most prominent object in the image. So, how does one employ selective focus for their fashion images? Here's how.

Finding a Location

The first step in using selective focus for your photography is to decide where you will shoot. Pick a location to shoot and dress it up to suit your needs. Sometimes all you need is just a city street while other times require you to build your own unique world in a studio. The size of your location will determine how deep your background and focus will be as well as what lens you will use.

Selecting a Lens

After the location has been chosen, it's time to select a lens. The size of your lens will determine the size of the frame and as well as the images depth of field. The location of the focal point is dependent on the size of the lens and the location of the camera.

Staging the Frame

Once the location and lens have been selected, it's time to stage everything in the frame. The staging of the frame will determine what your image will be and the distance of the objects in relation to the camera will determine what is in and what is out of focus. This is where the application of selective focus begins. Here is when you decide what will be sharp and what will be a blur.

The Aperture and Lighting

After the image has been staged, it's time to find the right aperture and light it. The size of the aperture has direct influence over the depth of field. The line between sharpness and blurs can be moved just by going up or down one stop. So, find the aperture setting that is best for your image, and then light around it to make sure that you will have the proper exposure.

Once these steps have been properly followed, you can start shooting your fashion photos that utilize selective focus.