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Focus

Out of Focus – Deliberately!

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Out of Focus – Deliberately!

When you first learned to take pictures, you were given a very useful piece of advice. You were told that blurry photos are bad, and sharp photos are good. And even today you probably look at those words and think to yourself, “Yes, that is a mighty good piece of advice”.

It does seem pretty fundamental, but on second thought – pretty much everything you’ve heard about photography thus far implies that there really aren’t any unbreakable rules. You can even bust through the rule of thirds when you have a good reason to. You can underexpose on purpose and you can overexpose on purpose, and you can do all of those things with excellent results. So that “keep your subject in focus” rule might not necessarily be unbreakable, either.
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Ask David: How do you Focus to Infinity?

Ask David: How do you Focus to Infinity?

I read an article on infinity focus. I understand the concept but I don’t quite know how to find it. My lens does not have the symbol for infinity, as it is a kit lens. Is it true that if I can focus on the moon, I would be set to infinity? I have an 18mm – 55mm lens and a 50mm – 200mm lens. I want to practice with my cable release using bulb mode but I’d like to better understand this concept. Thank you in advance.”
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5 Reasons your Camera Won’t Auto-Focus

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5 Reasons your Camera Won’t Auto-Focus

Autofocus is kind of like a microwave oven. Just a few short decades ago, it didn’t exist. And now we have no idea how we could live without it.

Today, the idea of shooting all of our images with manual focus seems a bit crazy. But here’s the thing, and you may find it hard to believe – there are some shooting situations where you need to shut off your autofocus. There are some shooting situations where your autofocus is going to hinder you instead of help you.

The simple reason why is this: your autofocus system just isn’t that smart. It uses certain visual cues to know where to focus, but it does all of that based on contrast and light. It isn’t able to intelligently look at a scene and understand what the subject is supposed to be, so it has to guess. In most cases, it gets it right. But there are certain situations where it’s almost always going to get it wrong. Here are the five most common:

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Moving the Focus Point

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Moving the Focus Point

Getting consistently sharp photos can sometimes be a challenge, and it might be the most important challenge that beginning photographers have to overcome. Although things like contrast, color saturation and white balance can be tweaked in post-processing with a little know how, a blurry photo is a blurry photo. You can make it look a little better, but you can never really make it sharp.

The key to fixing a blurry image, then, is to avoid taking blurry images. Fortunately your DSLR is a very sophisticated machine, and it gives you a lot of tools to help you take sharp photographs. Let’s look at a few methods for choosing your focus point.
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Five Tips For Tack Sharp Focusing

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Five Tips For Tack Sharp Focusing

I know it’s happened to you, because it’s happened to me, too. It happens to everyone. You point your camera at something really cool. You shoot. You check your LCD. Awesome! You just grabbed the most amazing shot ever. You go home and open up the photo on your computer. And it isn’t sharp.

Oh no! What happened? What went wrong? And most importantly, how can you stop it from happening again?
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Single Point Focus

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Single Point Focus

Have you ever taken shots you are excited about only to find that they are blurry when you view them on your computer screen? It is so disappointing to realize that those 1st birthday shots are just not quite in focus. Nothing ruins a potentially great photo like blur. There are lots of things that you can do in post processing to improve your photos, but sadly making a blurry shot focused is not one of them! Focus is probably the single most important thing that you need to get right in camera. It is time to take steps toward taking tack sharp images.
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Continuous Focus Mode

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Continuous Focus Mode

Getting the action shot can be difficult. It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that it is typically harder to take a great photo of a moving subject than a stationary one. It’s the bottom of the 9th and you snap a picture just as your son steals home for the win. You may think your shot is a winner only to find your son is actually a blur, and you didn’t really capture the moment like you hoped. You can switch solely to landscape shots or take up tortoise photography, or you can learn how to photograph a moving target more effectively. There is a simple change you can make to your auto focus settings to do just that.
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Understanding autofocus

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Understanding autofocus

Intermediate Modern camera technology has done a lot for photographers like you and me. Intelligent metering systems have made it possible for us to take pictures on the fly in changing lighting situations, without having to stop to take new readings and make adjustments. Digital technology has vastly reduced the daily expenses of photography, allowing us to take a lot more photos than we used to, thereby increasing the number of truly amazing shots we capture in any one outing. And let’s not forget the often under-appreciated autofocus. Imagine having to manually twist that focusing ring every single time you wanted to take a picture, like they did in the olden-days. But do you truly understand your camera’s various autofocus modes and how they work?
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When Autofocus Fails, And How To Fix It

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When Autofocus Fails, And How To Fix It

You might be interested to know that the first commercially available autofocus camera was actually a point and shoot model! Autofocus was developed in the 70s and 80s and revolutionized the way people used their cameras. Photographers today just take autofocus for granted. That is, of course, until it doesn’t work!

It’s probably happened to all of us – you compose your picture, half depress the shutter button to focus… and the lens whirs backwards and forwards (this is called ‘hunting’) without focusing as we expect it to. For some reason the lens ‘hunts’ for a focus point but can’t find it. Or you take a photograph and find that the background, or foreground, is in focus but the subject isn’t. Very irritating! Here’s how to avoid the problem.
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Understanding Focus

Understanding Focus

What is focus? In photography, it’s practically married to sharpness. An image that is completely sharp is said to be in-focus. An image that’s completely blurry is said to be unfocused. The same metaphor applies to your mind. When you concentrate, your mind is sharp. You are focused. When you’re confused, you lack focus. As you are about to learn, you can use focus to direct your viewer’s attention to the most important parts of a scene. Here’s how.
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Focus and Recompose, or The Two Step Shutter: How it can Improve your Photos

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Focus and Recompose, or The Two Step Shutter: How it can Improve your Photos

Have you ever pressed your camera’s shutter button, only to find that it stops somewhere in the middle? The shutter button might seem uncomplicated, but there’s a lot more going on under the hood than you might think. Most newer digital cameras have a two step shutter button that’s designed to help you with focusing and framing your image. It also helps you get rid of shutter lag. It’s time to unravel the mystery behind your shutter button. Let’s take a more detailed look at what it does.
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Where do you put the focus in the picture?

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Where do you put the focus in the picture?

Photography is the art of deciding what you want to emphasize and what you don’t want to emphasize. When it comes to pointing out what’s interesting, there is no better practice than focusing. Whatever is in focus tends to be emphasized more than what is not in focus. To create emphasis, we need only know where to place the focus. Here are a few pointers.
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When To Disable Autofocus

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When To Disable Autofocus

There’s no doubt that the invention of autofocus has pushed photography forward. Most modern autofocusing systems are extremely sophisticated and accurate. They can focus on the area of interest much faster than you can with the naked eye, and in most cases, they do a better job. Having said that, they are nowhere near perfect for all situations. Here are a few reasons why you might want to use manual focus instead.
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How To Use Focal Lock To Create More Precise Digital Images

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How To Use Focal Lock To Create More Precise Digital Images

If you’ve been reading some my articles on composition, you know that it isn’t always such a good idea to place your subject directly in the center of the frame. Unfortunately, whenever you place your subject a little to the right or to the left, you open up a whole new problem when you press the shutter button to focus. Instead of focusing on your subject, your camera ends up focusing on some unimportant piece of the background.
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Focusing On Your Subject

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Focusing On Your Subject

Sometimes, when our photos turn out blurry, it’s because of a focus problem. Your camera has set the focus point on the wrong part of the image. An example is in the image on the right. The camera’s focus point is outside leaving our subject (the boy) blurry and out of focus.
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