Telling the Story with Selective Focus

October 30, 2017

Telling the Story with Selective Focus

All images tell a story. But it isn't always the story we want to tell.

Selective focus is a simple but powerful technique that can help you control the narrative by managing which part of your image stands out and which part doesn't. And with that, the story behind your images becomes clearer.

The selective focus technique uses a shallow depth of field to focus and emphasize a particular part of a scene. The rest of the scene falls out of focus and fades away into the background.

The overall effect visually separates your subject from whatever is around it, allowing it to stand out from those surroundings as it imparts a sense of depth and dimension.

But–and this is very important–when we are talk about using selective focus in story telling, it's about more than just blurring the background. Because, with this technique, the background is an integral part of the story. Even though it's blurred, the background adds to the narrative.

Selective focus let's the subject's story be told in the context of its surroundings.

Telling the Story with Selective Focus

To understand what I'm talking about, check out the two videos below.

The first is from photographer Emanuele “Manny” Pontoriero. In it, he explains how he uses selective focus to capture unforgettable images.

The second video features Mark Wallace. He shows us how he uses selective focus to tell stories from the street of Vietnam.

Further Reading

Using Selective Focus

How to Use Selective Focus for More Creative Images




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