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Beautifully sharp and detailed images are something we all aspire for in the majority of our shots – I know I do.
However purposely leaving your main subject (or even your whole shot) out of focus can also create stunningly dreamy images also.
There are two main strategies if you’re wanting to explore purposely ‘unfocused’ images:
1. You might choose to focus on a seemingly unimportant element of the scene (do this by choosing a wide aperture which will give a narrow depth of field and focus on something in front of or behind your main subject).
2. The other option is to make your full image out of focus but choosing to focus well beyond or in front of your main subject. Again, a wide aperture will help here and you will probably need to switch your camera to manual focusing mode or it will attempt to find something to focus upon.
This second option will take a little experimentation. Get things too unfocused and you’ll end up with a completely unrecognizable subject – the key is to have enough focus for it to be recognizable but out of focus enough to create a wonderful dreamy mood.
Below are two more examples of unfocused images for a little inspiration.
This post belongs to our series on Breaking Rules of Photography.