5 Ways to Use Selective Focus Photography

Selective focus is a photography technique that utilizes depth of field to make part of an image sharp and in focus, while the rest is out of focus and blurry. Images that use selective focus can either have the subject sharp while the background is one giant blur or the background can have various layers of blurriness, depending on a background object's distance from camera. This is a great way to add depth to a two dimensional image. There are a lot of ways to use selective focus in photography. Here are five of them.

1. Portrait Photography

Portrait photography is all about focusing attention on the subject and selective focus is a great way to do this. It can really make your subject pop out of the image. In order for this to be properly achieved, background objects need to be far away from the subject so that everything melts into a giant blur. If there is something behind the subject that is not fully out of focus, then people will find it distracting.

2. Macro Photography

Macro photography is all about shooting close ups of really small objects. The goal is to have a one to one ratio between the size of the object and it's size on the image sensor; this is typically achieved with macro lenses. Macro lenses have a very shallow depth of field so they utilize selective focus to keep the subject looking sharp while everything else is a blur. Again, this helps keep attention focused solely on the subject.

3. Product Photography

Product photography is all about focusing all attention on the product and selective focus is the way to do that. When it is properly used, it makes the product pop out from everything else in the image. It unmistakably focuses a viewer's attention to what you're trying to sell because it is more prominent than everything else.

4. Fashion Photography

Fashion photography is all about creating glamor, and one way to do that is to use selective focus to make subjects more prominent than their backgrounds. When something is sharp and in focus, while everything else is a blur, then that directs a viewer's attention to it, which subconsciously glamorizes it above everything else in the image.

5. Online Profile Pictures

Most people use cheap cameras for their online profile pictures, which creates flat and boring images where they do not look their best. In reality, a photo taken with a D-SLR camera using selective focus would give them a much higher quality photo where they look their best and more prominent than everything else in the image.