Practical Focusing Techniques to Take Clear Photos

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Photography is a very rich hobby. As your ability grows, you can sell your photos to books and magazines. Maybe you want to take part in national photo competitions. To succeed, your beautiful photos must be clear! It is much more difficult to take a clear picture in a strict sense than most photographers imagine, so in order to shoot successfully, we must develop good shooting habits, such as understanding various focusing techniques.

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Cameras are set to the default configuration of continuous focus by pressing the shutter when they leave the factory. If the camera is set in a single autofocus, all you need to do is activate the autofocus sensor, observe the viewfinder (assuming you have only one choice), focus the important part of the scene clearly, half-press the shutter to focus, and the lens will focus automatically at this point. To take this picture, just press the shutter. Most of the time, though, you want to change the composition a little. Continue to press the shutter half-way, you can re-compose in the way you like, and then complete the shooting by pressing the shutter completely. This focusing method is especially suitable for hand-held photography. This method is inconvenient or useless on the tripod, because first focus, composition, and then lock the platform of the tripod, which slows down the speed of shooting. The bigger problem is that you need to keep pressing the shutter button. Most cameras, such as a deer's eye, may not have a clear image if you focus on what you think is clear, then reconstruct it, and then press the shutter line. The reason is that when reconstructing, the autofocus sensor may be moved to shift the focus from the face to a point in the background. When you activate the shutter line, autofocus is activated again, quickly focusing on the background, while the deer is out of focus. To avoid such possible problems, check whether your wired or wireless shutter line causes the camera to refocus. If so, the problem is relatively easy to solve. Turn off the autofocus button before exposure. Although the problem is easy to solve, it is also troublesome to turn on and off when focusing automatically. Your camera may have a better solution than we discussed.

Practical Focusing Techniques to Take Clear Photos

Red foxes often chase rats and ground squirrels around our barns. This red fox is so used to us that when we call it, it will come. On the Bank of the river, throw a small piece of meat and the red fox will rush forward quickly. That's a much better time to take pictures.

Continuous Autofocus

This mode is very suitable for tracking moving objects, because no matter how close or farther it moves, the lens is continuously auto-focusing. Usually continuous autofocus is on the camera body, which may be a switch or a selection of button series. Continuous autofocus can also be activated by the shutter button. For example, we took a 300 mm long-focus shot of a black-and-white vulture hovering down the body of a lion in Kenya. With the continuous auto-focus function, when the vulture approaches, it is set as the auto-focus center, and then translates with its flight trajectory, keeping the auto-focus on it all the time. When it enters the viewfinder, pressing the shutter will get a lot of pictures. Because the camera can automatically adjust the focusing distance when the distance of the subject changes, the probability of taking a clear picture is greatly increased. Just be sure to use shutter speeds like 1/1000 seconds. Following the translation of the subject requires constant training to improve.

If the autofocus sensor "sees" the cloud behind the object, it will re-lock the new target, and the vulture will lose focus. Large lenses such as 600mm and f/4 aperture are used on tripod. This kind of heeling performance is very good. This huge, heavy, super-long focus lens is impossible for most people to hold effectively, so they need to be mounted on a tripod. Suppose you photograph dune cranes in the wilderness reserve. A heavy tripod is used to support all the weights of the huge lens and the universal joint platform, so that the camera and lens on the platform can be balanced successfully. Therefore, without locking the platform, the camera can move in any direction. When the sand dune crane is near, align it to activate autofocus. With its trajectory and good composition, it can press the shutter at any time.

Practical Focusing Techniques to Take Clear Photos

I love shooting birds in flight. As long as you do more exercises, it's not difficult at all, and continuous autofocus will help you get a clear focus. There is also a common mistake that many people make. Suppose at dawn, swans are flying in the right direction of the reserve. But first they have to go through an area where humans are not allowed to enter, so they have to fly about 100 yards before they enter the camera range. Once swans approach, many people start tracking their trajectories with autofocus, which is a good idea. When the bird is approaching, follow the bird's trajectory, see the appropriate composition, and take pictures by pressing the shutter at the highest shutter speed possible.

So what's wrong? Human instinct, from the beginning, maintains a balanced posture to catch up with flying birds. Unfortunately, as the swans get closer, the shooting opportunities get better, but you lose your balance, so it's hard to keep the speed of translation and shaking, and it's hard to keep autofocus on the swans anymore. Well, since you know where you're going to shoot, you'd better balance your body at the point you want to shoot, and then turn your legs and upper body in the direction of the swan. So, at first you're a little out of balance, but as you follow the bird's movements, when you actually start shooting, it's just reaching balance.

Practical Focusing Techniques to Take Clear Photos

Autofocus often focuses on the foreground of an object, such as the grass in front of the marsh rabbit. With manual focusing, focus carefully on the rabbit's eyes.

Many cameras have a series of autofocus sensors that help you focus on irregular moving objects, called dynamic focusing. It does have advantages, but I prefer to focus a little bit (usually in the center) and then follow the motion of the object to keep focus. Suppose the Canadian swan is photographed at the edge of the pool resting quietly, and the camera is set to a single autofocus. Suddenly, the Swan began to glide on the water, ready to fly away. This is a rare opportunity to photograph Canadian swans flying in all directions on the water. But if you use single autofocus, the bird can easily lose focus because you don't have time to refocus or switch to continuous autofocus.

Practical Focusing Techniques to Take Clear Photos

In Samburu National Park, I used the back-to-back focusing button to shoot an East African right-horned antelope standing under a tree. Because my camera has been set to continue auto-focusing, keeping the back-to-focus button's focusing control allows me to auto-focus in time, so that I can photograph this fast-tracking troop running. Antelope.

Back Focus Button

Like the Canadian Swan problem just mentioned, it would be easier to solve it with the less known back-to-back focusing button. Many cameras have a button behind the fuselage to start auto-focusing while closing the shutter's focusing function. Pressing the shutter button now just activates the camera's light metering function and starts shooting. This function is usually turned on in a custom function, depending on the type of camera, of course. Many Canon cameras, custom function #4 is used to control it. Nikon D70, on the other hand, has a custom function #15. Carefully study your custom function settings to find what you need.

It sounds inconvenient to use the back button to control auto-focusing, but it can solve many problems of auto-focusing. I almost always set my Canon camera like this, and often set it to continuous autofocus. This allows us to quickly enter single autofocus or continuous autofocus. Next, we will talk about its working procedures. Suppose you're shooting a waterfall. Align the most important part of the waterfall, activate autofocus, and then use the back focus button to control lens focus. Once the focus is accurate and the button is released, the focus distance is locked even if the camera is set to continuous autofocus. Now you can reconstruct, press the shutter line, or start shooting regularly, all of which do not require the camera to refocus.

Practical Focusing Techniques to Take Clear Photos

The back-to-back focusing button performs perfectly when shooting Elk Falls. In the viewfinder, only the automatic focus in the middle is activated. Aim it at the upper right corner of the waterfall, so that the sensor will "see" some white water flow and black rocks. Press the focus button on the back of the camera to determine the focus, release the button, recompose the picture, and then shoot.

In the case of Canadian swans just shot, you can set the autofocus on the head of the swan, then focus with the back focus button, loosen the button, reconstruct, and finally shoot. If the Swan starts to take off, it only needs to follow the swan's flight trajectory and keep the back focus button to control the shooting. Since the camera has been set to continuous autofocus, there is a chance to get sharp and clear images. Essentially, when you start Auto-focusing with the back-focus button, you can quickly switch between single auto-focusing and continuous auto-focusing. Another place to use the back-to-back focusing button is a low contrast scene or some place in the grass as the foreground. If in low contrast scenarios, the most obvious part of the focus is probably the tree trunk in the fog, press the Motive Back Focus button to focus automatically, and check whether the lens focus in the viewfinder is appropriate. Release the button, reconstruct, and shoot. When you shoot a lion staring at its prey in the grass, focus on the lion's face exposed outside the grass, press the back focus button to find the focus, release the button, and compose, you can take another sharp picture. Once you get used to it, you'll find that focusing is very good. This is one of the best technology we have used in the past 10 years.

One minor drawback of this system is that the shutter key must be pressed at the same time when the back-focus button is pressed. Although it's easy to operate with more practice, I admit that it's easier to keep the shutter controlled by setting the camera in continuous autofocus mode. One finger can control autofocus and finish shooting. We choose this function when we shoot only moving objects.

Practical Focusing Techniques to Take Clear Photos

If the activated sensor is focused on the top of the tree, the autofocus will perform well, and it will "see" the contrast between the top of the pine tree and the sky at dawn.


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