Playing with manual focus

In the first shot, the angle is not really working for shallow depth of field or selective focus. The entire head is almost on the focal plane so it's pretty much useless focussing mannually.

In the first cat shot it's almost invisible that you used selective focus because most of the background is the same color as the cat's fur. You should try to separate the subject from the background which is a basic principle of selective focussing.

The last three shots show your intention of focusing manually and using shallow depth of field. However the subjects are not captured in an captivating way. They look like snapshots basically.

Also the lighting is really harsh. Try to bounce the flash off of a white card to diffuse it.
After seeing these, and browsing your photostream, I reccomend you read up on the "Rule of Thirds" and image composition in general. You have a tendancy to center your subjects.

Your focusing looks like you nailed what you intended to, except for #4. It looks like you focused on his inner elbow rather than his eyes. Well, unless of course you intended us to focus on his elbow that is.
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Well, the focus looks good enough and all - since that's what you're experimenting with. The lighting (flash) is extremely harsh though.

I don't want to call your photos boring (when people say that it sounds really snobby) but they don't look extremely well thought out.

I think you had a successful experiment and I like #3 the most.
The pictures were only taken to work on getting better at manual focus so their are many things outside of focus or DOF that are wrong with them.

I am just looking for comments related to the focus, sharpness and DOF usage.

IMO the closest to the good shot is #3(black kitten)

I did not notice the focus issue on #4 with the figures. I thought I had nailed that one. I'll have to take a look at the full size.

I think #5 (drill) was a fun use of DOF.
When practicing focusing, why not also practice composition?
I appreciate your experimenting and all. And manually focusing on a DSLRs crappy viewfinder (compared to a film camera with a split-prism) is incredibly hard.

I think #5 (drill) was a fun use of DOF.

Maybe, and the focus is good. But it makes for a very empty composition. Also the background is distracting, the light harsh, and the drill's bottom half is cut off.

You've got the technique down, now just know when to apply it I guess.
I learned one thing, The focus rings on my lenses are a pain in the but to work with(IE they are crap). Their is no way I could track, zoom, focus a moving target with these lenses.

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