Briefly noted: For a special project I needed macro photos of flowers showing selective focus. I photographed this Fourth of July rose in high contrast late afternoon sunlight, with low depth-of-field and the focus on the core of the flower.
I intentionally underexposed by one EV (exposure value) so that I could get the almost ominous effect in the background, slightly out-of-focus petals. To draw attention to the center of the flower, I lightened this part of the photo with several lighter conversions brought in from camera RAW and layered in Photoshop. In post processing, I also selectively sharpened the center of the image (without sharpening the out-of-focus flower petals, which would have led to unfortunmate results).
[Nikon D300, Zeiss Macro 100mm f/2 ZF Makro-Planar T* Manual Focus Lens (150mm in 35mm terms), 1/640 of a second at f/4 and ISO 200, hand held.]