Shoot-Through How-To

Selective Focus is a Powerful Technique

With many uses

This post illustrates a less common usage

I call it The Shoot-Through

The results are soft ethereal images like this

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Floral Abstract

Paid $16 for this orchid.

Day 3 – Have to get my money’s worth. 😉



This is an example of what I call a shoot-through. The basic technique is illustrated in the next two images.


The left image shows the “shoot through” part. You might think that with something near or against the lens, nothing could be seen beyond that point. Not so if your lens is wide open (or nearly so – it’s only as you stop down that the “through” object becomes opaque).

The right image shows the view from behind the camera – the subject is the flower about 18″ away. This type of shot is like rolling the dice – you can’t predict the exact result, so shoot lots of exposures. The results vary with –

  • The nature of the “through” element
  • The distance of the through element(s)
  • The distance to the subject and the f/stop (which with the lens’ focal length dictate the DOF)
  • The slightest change in conditions due to light, wind & camera position

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