- Sep 18th. 2012
- Posted in Tips & Tricks
- @ThomasShue . Lilsamedia . lilsamedia.com . Selective Focus . Thomas Shue . Thomas Shue Photography . tom shue
- By Thomas Shue
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Hi and welcome to my blog. Today I want to share some thoughts on selective focusing. Selective focusing is a technique you can use to control what is in focus, within a photograph. It gives you the the ability to direct the viewer’s eye to a specific spot or area in the photograph. This can be very powerful because there can be many distracting elements in a scene. As a photographer it is your job to lead the viewers’ eyes to what you want them to see. In doing so, it becomes much easier to share your vision.
In the photograph above, you will notice there is a large group of flowers, in which your eye is lead specifically to a specific flower. If you are to close your eyes and open them quickly, your brain can’t help but to lead them to that specific flower. You can use this technique in other areas of photography, besides still life. For example, if you have a model standing in the center of Time Square during New Years, there is going to be a lot of distracting elements, which would cause the viewer’s eye to wonder through the entire image. This can easily be controlled through the use of selective focus.
I look at selective focusing as one of the most powerful tools in my photographic tool box. As the photographer, I am always looking to tell a story. As I evolve, I am always trying to influence what “IT IS” you are thinking when you look at an image. A photograph is supposed to stand on it’s own, without any input from the photographer as to the meaning. I leave it to the viewer to interpret the image, and if I my job job well, I just might be able to tell you a story.
In the first example below, look at the image and tell me what it is you are seeing. Where does your eye go to first? Then, when you have a few seconds to absorb what it is you are seeing, does it say anything to you? At the very bottom of the page I will give you a few hints as to what I see when I look at these examples.
The next example is an image that might support the Times Square analysis above. See how I lead your eye to a specific place, and when you are there, I tell you a short story? Also the story, if left to the viewer without any verbal or textual based influence can sometimes result in a very profound and unrealized meaning. For the sake of this post I will, again, give a hint into what I see when looking at image. If you take time to post below your initial thoughts to what you see, it would be very interesting to me.
Thank you for taking time to visit my blog. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Have a wonderful day. Thomas Shue.
“The iPad Woman”. When you look at that image, you are immediately lead to what it on the screen. Then I am struck with the urge to say what a ridiculous state many people are in, that they use an iPad as a source to record memory’s of a trip or vacation. How rude is it to see a group of people using an iPad to capture images of beautiful locations, important events if they block you from doing the same? It’s not like they don’t take up a lot of room and block people’s view of exciting events. It’s my opinion that if you use a device that is larger than your head and you block others plain view of a scene, you are in the wrong. Here is an example of what I mean. Also, the image story can also be seen as look into emerging technology and how devices like the iPad are going to replace the modern DSLR camera (which is very sad to me (first film now my entire camera, noooo.). The image reads in many ways, I always try to leave it to what the viewer sees. Notice how my views on the image can kinda ruin the picture. Before you read this, I am almost certain that you saw it in a more positive light. The image on it’s own is way more powerful with much deeper meaning. Again, this is why I try to never speak to my images.
The last image, I will leave the story to you. As to the hint, the image tells a much nicer story, a story of sharing, family and friendship all with a common interest, “the wonderful place they are in”. Same place, same tech but smaller, a story of sharing in a crowded space all through selective focus.