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Photo Tip Thursday: Setting the Focus Point

 Hi there again.  It’s me, the boyfriend, here to deliver you another photo tip.  Today we’ll be discussing the best way to focus your camera for your outfit photos.  This one is of particular importance to me because there’s several things that Grace really loves. Of those, a few being: pool days, a good back/head scratch {I’ll quote Hagrid from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for this one, “The trick with any beast is that yeh have to know how to calm ’em.” Scratch her head and she falls right asleep.}, and perfectly focused outfit photos.

Each of these rectangles is an autofocus (AF) point that the camera can use to determine proper focus.  Arrangement and number of these autofocus points may vary from manufacturer and model.

Getting the focus right all the time is a bit tricky though sometimes.  Most cameras have several focus points visible when looking through the viewfinder {they look like little rectangles usually}.  In traditional autofocus, when you depress the shutter release halfway to focus, you might notice one, or in some cases, several of these rectangles momentarily flash red.  These are the areas where the camera detects contrast and tries to focus.  A lot of times, the camera gets it right and focuses on you and your outfit.  Sometimes though {especially in tricky lighting situations} the camera can’t properly distinguish what to focus on, and might accidentally end up focusing on something in the background or foreground, leaving your subject out of focus.

When left to select choose the proper subject to focus on entirely on its own, the camera will often times select several AF points in order to achieve the best general focus {they usually flash red}.  This can be bad as sometimes the camera will be distracted by objects in the background and focus on them instead.

There is an easy way to combat this issue however.  You can select which focus point you want the camera to use for every photo, ensuring that your subject will be clearly focused in all of your photos.  The method for doing this varies by camera model and make, just look it up in the manual or online.  It’s a pretty simple process.  Pick the focus point that is closest to or on the part of the subject that you want to focus on and take the picture.  If you’re taking pictures of a face, focus on the eyes as these are the most striking features in a portrait style photograph.  If the subject is wearing sunglasses, try focusing on the bridge of their nose to ensure their entire face is in focus.

When choosing which single AF point to use, select the one that is closest to the part of the subject that you want to focus on.  Notice the point that I have selected in this photo is closest to the eye, ensuring that Grace’s whole face will be entirely in focus.  Also, the camera will now focus exactly where you want it to and not on anything in the background.

Read through your manual next time you get a chance and figure out how to manually select the focus point for your next shoot.

Thanks for reading!

  1. Franziska says:

    so if you want to send your boyfriend up to PA to take my pictures, that would be ggggggggggggggrrrrrrrrreat.

    But seriously, how great it is for you to have him be so knowledgable on this topic. It's definitely taken your blog to the next level!

  2. Nathyness says:

    I'm sharing this post with my boyfriend, who just LOVES to take my outfit photos. Lol.
    Thanks for the tip!

    -Nathy @ Earnestyle

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