The following quick-and-easy trick is something anyone can do with any digital camera that has an autofocus feature.

Here’s a photo of an old beat-up USB pendrive I have:


In the way I shot this photograph, I purposely put the left side in focus and the right side out-of-focus to give the photo some more depth.

Did I take the photo with a ritzy camera? Nope.

Did I use a selective-focus camera feature? Nope (but that would be a good guess).

What I did is that I originally framed the shot like this:


…held the shutter so the autofocus kicked in, waited a second until the camera beeped letting me know the focus was locked, moved slightly to the right, then shot the photo.

As said above, this technique of shooting photos can be done with any digital (or film for that matter) camera that has an autofocus feature. And yes, you can obviously do this with manual focus as well. Before taking the photo, you center the frame on what you literally want to focus on, set the focus, then move the camera so the focused object is off-center.

When taking shots like this, it’s helpful if you enable the on-screen grid (just about every digital camera has the feature even on the cheap models) and purposely move the focused subject to an intersection.

This is what the grid looks like:


…and you would place the focused subject in one of the four grid intersections:


You don’t have to exactly put the subject on a grid intersection because it depends what you’re trying to take a photo of, but the general idea is to use the grid as a guide to frame your off-center subject properly.

While this technique is not exclusively for close-up subjects, shooting close-up with macro turned on is a good way to get yourself familiarized with how it’s done (mainly because you can do it right at your desk to test things out).