How to Create Selective Focus in Lightroom

One of the most important aspects in composing a great photo lies in directing the viewer’s eye to exactly the place we want to highlight. There are a number of ways to do this while taking the shot: using leading lines, controlling the depth of field, using a tilt shift lens, etc. But what happens if you reach post-processing and want to create a selective focus effect? As wedding photographer Trevor Dayley demonstrates in the video below, it’s actually quite simple:

Selective focus is used to sharpen one area of the photo while the remaining areas are softly and gradually blurred. This allows the photographer to emphasize one area while downplaying the rest. If you think about it, this truly is a slice of artistic control: there is no such thing as “selective focus” in nature outside of what our brains choose to focus on.

Selective Focus Trick

Dayley demonstrates his post-processing elective focus technique on people, but it can also be used for macros, food photography, abstract photography, etc. What are the most creative ways you’ve seen it used?

Like This Article?

Don't Miss The Next One!

Join over 100,000 photographers of all experience levels who receive our free photography tips and articles to stay current:

Leave a Comment

Personalize your comment with an avatar from Gravatar.com!

New! Want more photography tips? We now offer a free newsletter for photographers:

No, my photos are the best, close this forever