Both of the above works are examples of Henri Cartier-Bresson. He is recognized as one of the most significant street photographers in history.

Aperture assignment: Emphasis on selective focus

The amount of light reaching the film or imaging sensor can be increased or decreased by moving one of two controls:

Shutter speed controls the amount of time that the shutter stays open

Aperture controls the size of the opening of the lens; the lens f – stop

Widest apertures ( f2, f4) give the least depth of field

Smallest apertures ( f22, f16) give the most depth of field.

Whilst as a photographer you should always be selective with your point of focus and the intent. The beauty of using manual settings on your camera is obviously the increased control you as a photographer have. By manipulating the aperture, as explained in yourtextbook on pages (16-19) and briefly above, you are controlling your focus points. By only having certain parts of your photograph in focus you can direct the viewer’s eye in a manner that can be very effective

 Photography is a universal visual language, recording images of a moment in time. Photographs do not, and cannot, tell the whole truth. It is their nature to be selective, to show only a part of reality. The effectiveness of a photograph is often dependent on a range of factors including the clarity and definition of subjects.


The above photographs are by the French photographer Guy Bourdin. Bourdin always managed to retain a macabre edge to his work even if he was working in commercially capacity. The artistry of his work, even within a fashion context, is beyond doubt. During his military service in Dakar (1948–1949), he received his first photography training as a cadet in the French Air Force.


  • Select a subject which gives you scope for experimentation with depth of field and different effects of focus.
  • Using different aperture settings, take a series of photos (5-10) , which highlight your selective view of the subjects.
  • Journal work: select and describe several examples of photos from different sources (magazines, newspapers etc.) that show different effects of focus and depth of field.

 Criteria to be assessed : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5