Perfectly Out of Focus
By Adrian Zupp
Most of the time, photography involves getting your settings and available light just right so that you get a clean, sharp image. But there are times when focus isn’t everything. In fact, if done correctly and intentionally, being out of focus can take some shots to a whole new level.
To begin with, you have to consider the effect you are going for and if you want to highlight a focal point (or points). There have been some truly stunning photographs in which the entire scene is out of focus.
“You can get some really interesting shots by experimenting with the focus,” said Peter. “It’s particularly effective when you focus on one thing and blow everything else out of focus. And sometimes you might make the focal point something that wouldn’t be the focal point if everything was sharp and clear.”
An example of the altering the focal point might be a photograph of a bride and groom with everything out of focus except for a very symbolic object — like a pair of roses on a table.
To do this, choose a wide aperture for a narrow depth of field and focus on something in front of or beyond what would normally be considered the main subject of the shot.
To take the whole image out of focus, you need to focus well beyond or in front of the main subject. A wide aperture will help and you should set your camera to manual focusing so that it doesn’t search for something to focus on.
“People should always remember that photography is an art form,” added Peter. “Sure, there are rules that help you to get better shots but some of the most interesting things you’re ever likely to capture will come at a time when you broke the rules or were experimenting.”
So give it a try and see how you can make a photograph more poignant by playing around with the focus. Sometimes blurry is better.