Have you even taken a great photo and thought Yes! It looks great. I got it! They looked right at me and smiled and I got it… but when you down load the image and look at it on the big screen it’s not quite right. They are holding out a flower to you and smiling, but the face is blurred and the flower or hand is in focus. Now although this is probably still a great shot, you wanted the person in focus, not the subject in the foreground.
This is where your camera’s focus points are essential!
When on auto focus, your camera will choose the object closest too it to focus on (most of the time). It doesn’t always know what you want it to focus on. You have to tell it!
Now all cameras are different, so finding that manual (you know the one you put away in the cupboard with the box and packaging) and reading up on the focus points in your camera is a great idea.
Here are some examples of camera focus points: This is what you might see on your screen or in your camera viewfinder. Little dots that light up when you are taking a photo.
More modern cameras may have a more complicated view like this one which has both focus points and zones.
The zones are great if you want to generalise an area of focus and can be quicker and easier to use.
This image would have been spoilt by autofocus as the camera would have picked up the hand in the foreground and not his beautiful face.
So what is the best place to focus on when photographing someone… THE EYE! Pick the eye that is closest too you, choose your zone that covers this area or select a focus point and move the camera to catch your subject in that spot… it takes some practice, but the results are worth it!
Go out and practice this weekend! With digital photography what have you got to lose and you know what they say ‘practice makes perfect’.