Monday, August 24, 2015

Basics: focus

When making pictures, it's important to have a plan. Before you go out and shoot, think about: what is your subject and how do you want to portray that subject in your picture. Focus, both you camera and yourself need to focus in order to shoot great images. 

When planning your shoot:
- is your subject moving or still? In other words: do you need Fixed or Follow focus. We shoot Canon so we have the option to have

  • Fixed focus  - one shot, or 
  • Follow focus - al servo
Fixed focus is used for a non-moving subject or a subject that moves very very slowly (in a limited space). One could say that fixed focus is used for portraits and landscapes.

When your subject is moving, you should opt for Follow focus. It's an absolute must when shooting sports, wildlife and other non-stationary subjects.

The Al Focus setting is a setting that we actually never used. AI focus works like single shot but if the subject starts to move while you're shooting, the focus system will track the subject. It's a good option when shooting still subjects that may move unexpectedly.

Next step is to set your focal point. Most of the times you shoot with you focal point right in the middle of your frame. But in other cases it's better to move your focal point.
In the picture above you see that the focus point is right in the middle. For example this works fine for most of your landscape pictures. But if you are shooting a portrait in portrait mode, the eyes of your model are in the top part of the picture. So you have to set your focal point also in top in order to be able to focus exactly on the eyes of the model. 

So, if you go out for a shoot know beforehand what it is you'd like to achieve. This weekend, we were up in the fjäll to shoot the Fjällmaraton in Bydalen, Sverige. I was shooting wiht a 24-70mm and most of the time I shot at around 24 mm. I wanted to get in close, low and in portrait mode. So I set my camera on Al servo and chose a high focal point to focus on the eyes... or uuuh, sunglasses in this case. 

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