Finding Focus

Taking an excellent photo involves knowing how to achieve crisp, clear focus. There’s nothing worse than going on a shoot with amazing photo opportunities, only to return and realize that most of your shots turned out blurry. There are three areas you should consider in order to find the perfect focus in every image: the camera settings, where to focus in the frame, and how to properly position your body.

Camera Settings:

  1. Are you shooting a stationary subject or is your subject moving? This is important, especially if you are using automatic focus. If you’re using a Nikon camera, for example, you’ll want to choose either continuous focus, AF-C, for a moving subject, or the AF-S setting for a subject that remains still. A third choice is offered, AF-A, which automatically chooses between the best of the two previous options.
  2. If you are more comfortable with manual focus, then you are generally able to change to this mode by flipping a switch on the camera lens. Otherwise, it may be found in the settings.

Where to Focus:

  1. For portraits, the focus should be placed on the person’s eyes. The eye that is closer to the camera is usually the one in perfect focus. This also applies to wildlife photography.
  2. For group photos, the focus is usually placed on the eyes of the person that is closest to the camera.
  3. Deciding where to focus for landscape photos can be tricky. Usually, focus is placed a third of the way up from the bottom of the frame. However, if there is an important element in the shot, then the focus should be placed there instead.

Positioning Your Body:

  1. After focusing on a specific subject by holding the shutter button down halfway, you are able to move your body around in order to compose the image.
  2. If the focus is being placed on an important element in a landscape shot, compose the rest of the images around it. Move your body around and position yourself as needed to ensure the element is being displayed against the background you desire.
  3. Don’t focus too close to the camera lens, as the image could turn out blurry. Step back so that you are slightly farther away from the subject, and your photo may turn out better.
  4. After you achieve the correct focus, make sure you don’t move even slightly, as the focus could easily be ruined. When you’re sure, take the photo and be proud of your work!

Have you found a technique that works for you? Share it with us below!

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