We do not often see images using selective focus, as the point-and-shoot type cameras and cameras on automatic mode generally tend towards creating as much depth of field as possible. However, sometimes it is best to focus on a single element and allow the background to fall out of focus – observable but not informational.
This image was taken in Charleston, SC, where they have an interesting type of tree where the bark tends to peel off in large chunks. In this particular case I was less interested in showing the bark, and more interested in showing the trunk in relation to the blurred background – blurred to allow for an understanding of what was there and balance the trunk.
This infrared image was captured using my Nikon FM2N. This “old manual camera” has a part that certainly costs less than a dollar and is missing on current cameras – a depth of field preview button. This little lever allows the photographer to actually see the depth of field that will result with the selected aperture setting. There is no way to do this with a digital camera, that is, unless one thinks that the information can be gleaned through examination on a two inch screen. If the camera makes many of the creative decisions then how much control does the artist have over their image?