Selective Focus & Depth of Field

Selective Focus

Selective focus is a technique in which specific objects in a photograph are made to stand out by keeping them sharp and in focus whilst the rest of the shot will have blurred edges and be out of focus. (, 2013)

There are various ways you can achieve selective focus. A wide aperture size or f stop can help achieve this. Also, by choosing an angel that the foreground appears far from the background and closer to the camera will make the background become very out of focus. (, 2013)

Selective Focus  Mark 'The Cobrasnake' Hunter

Mark “The Cobrasnake” Hunter (2012). Wildfox Swim 2012 Anja

The photo above demonstrates a great example of selective focus where the model is completely in focus and the background is out of focus. This shows that the model is the main part of the image and what the photographer wants us to look at, where as the rest of the background is portaryed to be unimportant. This photo also has a short depth of field.

Selective Focus  Mark 'The Cobrasnake' Hunter

Mark “The Cobrasnake” Hunter (2013). No. Magazine – JesseJo

Again another example of selective focus but this time instead of the model being the main feature of the photo as you would normally expect, the lorry in the background is what draws the attention of the shot by being in focus. This gives the image a sinister feel as you are drawn to the lorry but can’t quite see who’s in it, and although the model looks as if she’s having a good time, it gives the impression that she won’t be for long.

Nick Knight

Nick Knight (1982). Skinhead

Here Nick Knight uses a short depth of field to bring all the focus on the skinhead. This is quite a simple photo so by using a short depth of field gives the photo a little more depth.

Patrick Demarchelier (2010) Donna Karen New York

By using selective focus here it draws all attention the the model and what she is wearing. It also gives a great effect to the building lights in the background to make  them apear almost as if they are twinkling.

Patrick Demarchelier (2010) Louis Vuitton

Using selective focus is really good for advertising campaigns as it really draws attention to the item, for example a bag, that is being sold.

 Ben Morris. (2013) Vogue

This photo is a slightly different example of selective focus. the foreground is out of focus but again this shows how the attention is directly on the model.


Franco Lacosta (2013)

Again another image demonstrating the foreground being out of focus.

Jerry Metellus

Jerry Metellus

Selective focus has bee used her to focus on the models eyes. it creates a really dramatic effect and would be perfect for something similar to an ad campaign for make up.

Lydia Hearst for MissMe

Mike Rosenthal (2013) MissMe

This image is demonstrates how it is not always the background that needs to be out of focus to demonstrate a selective focus. By choosing the focus on the girl and not on the object closest to the camera, gives the entire photo a new depth that it otherwise may not have.


Ben Morris (2013) Vogue. Available at: (Accessed 15 November 2013)

Franco Lacosta (2013) Available at: (Accessed 15 November 2013)

Jerry Metellus Available at: (Accessed 16 November 2013)

Mark “The Cobrasnake” Hunter (2013). No. Magazine – JesseJo. Available at: (Accessed  11 October 2013)

Mark “The Cobrasnake” Hunter (2012). Wildfox Swim 2012 Anja. Available at: (Accessed 11 October 2013)

Mike Rosenthal (2013). MissMe.  Available at: (Accessed 16 November 2013)

Nick Knight (1982). Skinhead Available at: (Accessed 15 November 2013)

Patrick Demarchelier (2010) Donna Karen New York. Available at: (Accessed 15 November 2013)

Patrick Demarchelier (2010) Louis Vuitton. Available at: (Accessed 15 November 2013)

Steve’s Digicams (2013) Understanding Selective Focus. Avaliable at:, 2013 (Accessed 11 October 2013)