Photographic Technique: Selective Focus

Photographic Technique: Selective Focus

Following the seminar on selective focus, here are some photographs that I’ve research where selective focus is present.

1. Daniel Jackson Shoots Calvin Klein Sportswear AW13 Campaign map-31609-w390

In this photograph the model is positioned to the far left, leaving more wall in the centre and far right (which is a perfect example composition). The model and her outfit are completely in focus, yet if you look slightly to the left of the model, the wall is entirely out of focus. The same prospect occurs behind the model, and slightly to the right of her. However, the far right hand side appears much less blurred than the wall nearer the model. This arrangement of focus allows the viewer to be drawn to the model and her outfit, rather than the wall. The stylist has made use of making sure the model stands out by arranging a contrasting outfit to the wall. 

2. Dan Martensen Shoots Oversized Fashion for Telegraph Magazine untitled

In this photograph the entire model is in full view, and completely in focus, so the selective focus for these types of photographs are extremely important, as there is more for the viewer to focus on. The shapes that outfit forms are very bold and striking, which allows the model to stand out behind the yellow toned backdrop, but if you look to the far right, you can see that there is no focus. This is done to make sure that the model is the focus point, and not the pop of red colour on show.

3. Lucian Matis fall winter 2013 campaign shot by Greg Swales.



Once again, the entire model is on display here, so it’s important that the photographer makes sure she is the full focal point. In this photograph the wall to the left of the model is also in focus, which in the 1st photograph I showed, it’ wasn’t.  What is interesting about this photo is that pretty much all the picture is in focus, yet just to the right and left of the model, there is some blur. This effect makes the model seem much more striking and forward, and the viewer is able to be drawn into the clothing advertised rather than the backdrop. The model appears almost as if she’s been cut out and stuck in, simply due to the out of focus wall just to the right and left of the model.

4. James Franco by Mert and Marcus for Gucci Eyewear


In this photograph, the model is in focus, and the camera angle is facing upwards. They have kept the foreground in focus, keeping the red and blue bright and contrasting against one another. The background is entirely out of focus, and is making the model seem much more striking and vibrant.

5. Freja Beha Erichsen for Reserved Fall Winter 2013.14


This portrait is a great example of how to focus on something when dealing with an up close shot. The clothing, neck and bottom half of the image is not in focus, yet the face and hair are. This draws us into the face, but keeps a soft overall effect as there is nothing too harsh or bold.

6. Freja Beha Erichsen for Reserved Fall Winter 2013.14


What is great about this image is the fact that model is entirely in focus, despite there being things in front of her. This cleaver selective focus has blurred the grass in the foreground and allowed us to see the model in clear vision. The out of focus foreground shapes the image nicely giving the image a border like effect, almost as if we’re behind the grass down below looking up at the model.

7. Freja Beha Erichsen for Reserved Fall Winter 2013.14


This image has used selective focus in a very creative way, almost half the image is out of focus, but the model is in focus behind the out of focus foreground. The grass is also completely in focus which is keeping us focused on the entire right hand side (as well as the model) This type of use with selective focus really gives off a striking effect, and is quite eye catching at a first glance (this is what drew me to the photograph initially).

8. Freja Beha Erichsen for Reserved Fall Winter 2013.14


Selective focus is great present in this image, as you can see the gate is out of focus, yet behind the gate, through the spaces you can actually see there is more focus to the image. The entire model is on view here, so this use of selective focus helps allow us to be drawn onto the model and what is being advertised rather than the surroundings. This makes me feel that I am standing behind the gate, and the model is shutting the gate on me. It adds mystery and character to the image, just through making the gate out of focus, cleaver!

9. Robert Pattinson As The Face of Dior Homme


Here, the photographer has positioned the model at the front of the image, and taken the image straight on. Because the suit is the same colour as most of the background, it’s imperative that there is some type of out of focus background, so the model is in full focus. Here they have used lights to break up the black, and then made the background behind the model out of focus, to make sure that we are focus on the foreground.

10. Sinsay Fall Winter 2013.14 by Karol Grygoruk


What is great about this image is how the selective focus worked out so well with the uncontrolled movement of the photograph. Some of the birds nearer the foreground are out of focus, and they go more in focus as they fly upwards. The models and background are completely in focus. It’s a very busy photograph, so this creative use of selective focus is necessary to make sure the viewer is being aimed in the right direction (the models).