DSLR focus explained

The way in which DSLRs focus is changeable!

What? Get out! No: It’s true and if you’re series about your photography you’ve got to know the how’s and why’s of focusing.

If you’re shooting on auto or the pre-set modes (portrait, landscape, sports, macro, etc.) the camera sets the focusing method that the manufacturer thinks will work best depending on the mode. However in the creative modes of program, aperture and shutter priority and manual, you can change the way the camera focuses. For example, when you have all of your focusing points turned on, your camera will tend to focus on the closest subject that falls under one of the focusing points (which can be anywhere from three to 51 points depending on the camera model). But what if you want to focus on your child who is playing the tuba and is standing in the fourth row of a marching band? One way is to go to a single point of focus and put that point on your child. Now (depending on what aperture is set, you are going to get your child in focus no matter what. Now depending on the aperture being set the focus might just be on your child or it could include the entire band. Confused yet? If so, you’re not alone.

Here’s a link to Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider video blog with Matt Kloskowski (for Feb. 2) where Scott and Matt talk about how focusing works with both the Nikon and Canon series of DSLRs. This is just a brief introduction but it will help you get started getting better images. In our classes for beginners we actually show you how to do this with your camera and then you try it yourself. In our classes, we keep the number of students down to a handful so we can take as much time as you need. As always, our promise to you is after taking one of our classes you’ll be capable of taking radically better images.

BTW the guest on this week’s Photoshop Insider video is Chase Jarvis one of “THE” online celebrity photographers. Great guy and interesting comments. Chase did a big shoot for a music group last week which he fed live on the Internet. The video live cast had 1500 viewers watching the setup and shoot. Very cool.

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