Monday, October 04, 2010

Playing with Focus

Teddy & Renee

One oft-used technique in portrait photography is to focus on the subject(s), but make the background out-of-focus. By ‘blurring’ the background, we make sure that the viewers will fix their eyes on the subject(s).

However, in shooting the picture shown above, I purposely did the reverse – focus and the soft toy and make the pretty model out-of-focus. But you probably need to enlarge the picture to see the difference. Ideally, I would like the model to be more blurry, but there were limitations to my gears.

Photography is about creativity. All rules can be broken…


  1. Nowadays the digital camera can focus better than what we used to toy with. :D

  2. There are indeed so many ways to take a photo. The wonderful part with digital cameras is that we get to see the instant image, no need to wait until the photos are processed.

  3. You don't shoot with a 50mm? That would give you a nice bokeh.

  4. it's a good experiment but i guess the wrong subject.. i actually focus on the girl more than the bear lor~~ kakakaka!! :D

  5. yeah, really need to enlarge to see the blurring effect.. but still i think you can do more blurring for a better bokeh feel, just some thoughts.. :)

  6. yeah, this one i can do, my camera comes with this function.. :)

  7. For me, I look at the bear more simply because I like cute teddy bears! Hihi

  8. the model is not blur enuff....
    i prefer those with stronger contrast =)

  9. tekkaus
    But sometimes we want out-of-focus pictures, LOL...

    Autumn Belle
    You're right.

    Mei Teng
    The room wasn't big enough for 50mm.

  10. SK
    Apparently the girl is attractive to straight guys...

    Alright, you like soft toys.

    I know, I know, the girl isn't blurred enough...

  11. I think no matter how blurry you make it, if it's a sexy girl at the back, she'll still be the attention. LOL!

  12. well, from the lesson i learned. It is to play with the lense and the exposure f & Shutter speed. when f is big your shutter speed have to be slow and the other way round.

    i.e f5 +1/640

    something like that lar.. you try and see :)

  13. You can make the babe as blur as you like, but I can see her sharp and clear. Everytime. =p

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  15. I love playing with focus, I think it's one of my favorite trick. I did the same kind of reverse focus portrait here:

    (Sorry, wrong link in the first comment above I deleted)

  16. I saw a big poster in a shopping center last weekend with sharp focus on a tiny rice and soft on the model holding the rice, using the technic you're mentioning here.....

  17. witch
    You may be right, LOL...

    Thanks, but blurriness is related to aperture and focal length, not shutter speed.


    I saw your photo. You did better than me.

    That is advertisement. For sure it wants us to look at the rice, not the model.

  18. Just a thought. Are there no lady photographers amongst you? I mean why no male models wan.. LOL!

    Was this taken in a hotel room?

    Offering two good options - lady for the (straight) guys; teddy for the other and the ladies. Oops.. Peace..

  19. Sure there is a teddy bear? Oops!

  20. happysurfer
    There are a few lady photographers, but the organizers never get male models.

    Yes, this was taken inside a hotel room.

    Of course, there is a teddy bear!

  21. opps sorry, wrong translation.. yes... is aperture hahah

  22. Why did you blur the model? You'll make your readers strain their eyes! Hahaha!!