To Focus or Not to Focus in Photography

Focus in photography is like focus in life. More we concentrate, better chances getting to the target. What we normally want to obtain in photography is clarity and sharpness as well.Therefore we focus, trying to keep failure aloof – right?

There are many beautiful well focused pictures, mine included 🙂 just look at my previous post on Kakabeka Fals. I also have quite a few in my GiftSmart website.

Soft and out of focus photography

However, at least in photography, we can be creative and do things differently. It is known that sometimes even mistakes can produce artistic things… This is a picture I posted many years ago in a contest called “Oops”. It is a “mistake” looking like photo: blurred, out of focus and crooked. Believe it or not, I got quite a lot of positive feed back on it 🙂

Intentionally blurred out of focus image

Intentional blur and soft focus can also help create a special mood. Look at this miserable cold rainy autumn day image in Ottawa, Canada.Motion blur mood photo of a rainy day in the city

It doesn’t mean that Canada is like this all the time. It has many beautiful sunny days. It’s just that I like to take weather based moody soft focus photographs when I have the opportunity 🙂 Here is one of the Canadian flag on a cold windy day.

Canadian flag motion blur photography

Another time I challenged myself into Lo-Fi photography. An example is this is “Afternoon stroll”, viewed through a reflection on a granite wall, in downtown Ottawa. * The photo is straight from the camera and not digitally altered.

Afternoon stroll lo-fi photography

Another example of moody soft focus straight from the camera, is this beautiful rocking chair with the old fashion pillow I took in Mexico. To make it a little spicy: it was in an old B&B haunted house, so I thought the image was appropriate.

Rocking chair soft focus photo

Motion blur

Motion blur is another type of focus in photography, differently made.

I often like to do panning by moving the camera and following the subject while focusing on it. I called this image “Ladies First

Ladies First - Panning photography and art prints

Or this shot at a Harness Race in Cape Breton, Canada

Panning - Harnes Race, Cape Breton, Canada

Other times I just keep the camera steady (using a tripod) and shoot the moving object at slow speed. An example is this Ghost Rider Black And White photo:

Ghost Rider motion blur photo

Selective Focus in Photography

We know that too much distraction can make things confusing, and we can often miss the target. Therefore, we can focus on the subject while blurring the background or other surrounding things. An example is this Monarch Butterfly On Cherry Tree. This technique can also create a 3 Dimensional effect:

Monarch butterfly on cherry tree

The “Selective Focus” is better represented in photos with subjects hidden behind other things. You can reveal them by blurring the foreground in manual focusing. An example are these wild ducks trying to hide behind blades of grass on a pond.

Ducks on the pond hiding behind blades of grass

Another example is this butterfly behind some plants in a park

Butterfly behind grass

Click on the photos for a larger view.

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