Selective focus is a technique used widely by portrait photographers to make the subject of the photograph the center of attention by throwing elements (typically the background) of the picture out of focus.  The out of focus area will be soft, sometimes showing no detail other than areas of color or contrast. 

To achieve selective focus, photographers select a wide aperture - the wider the aperture, the shallower the in focus part of the image will be - and focus on the point of interest.

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