Tip #49: WYSIWYG ...Not!

High Tide in Rialto - Olympic National Park
Nikon D100 + Tamron 180mm f3.5 Macro

Two truths... Creativity is subjective and reality is a bore.  
In a prior post I discussed how the interplay of shutter and aperture can influence the expression of depth and motion, while here I illustrate how selective focus can define a mood and perspective. 
Whidbey Island - Washington
Nikon D100 + Nikon 300mm f2.8 AFS

Sharp images stimulate our visual tendencies to seek out and understand minute details. In contrast, blurred or out-of-focus images stimulate the imagination. The viewer will linger on an unfocused image, struggle to fill in the gaps and ponder the intent of the artist.
Rialto - Olympic National Park
Nikon D100 + Tamron 300mm f2.8 AFS
Processing: Topaz B&W Diffusion Soft

Selective focus is one way to unleash your creativity. Here, we are forced to consider form, shape and color at the expense of clarity. This type of image exhibits a subtle sense of place and time, and releases your viewer from the constraints of reality. To produce a selectively-focused image, set your lens to its maximum aperture (f1.4 to f3.5). Focus on only one key detail or point of interest and let the rest of your image fall out of focus. Shoot, re-compose and shoot again. With a little practice, you will be able to predict the way the blurs will influence the final picture.
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