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Focusing on the shot #photography

focusing

I took this photo last week. Notice how the goose is in focus, but the foreground and background are out of focus. I used a 50 – 300mm lens for this shot, but if you have a bridge camera, you just need to zoom in.

The focus mode on most cameras is AF-A or AF-C. I used the AF-C for this shot because the goose was moving and in AF-C the camera keep re-focusing. Use AF-C for sports events too. I have AF (auto focus) area mode on my Nikon too. I set that to single point, but 3D tracking would have got a good result too. The camera has a built in light meter and I set the metering to spot metering. My camera has 11 focus points, on a bridge camera you probably only have one in the centre. For this shot I was only using one focus point and I can select that with the rocker switch on the rear of the camera. I got that focus point on my subject and pressed the shutter release half way down to focus. When  it’s focused I take the shot. Normally my camera beeps to tell me it’s focused and locked on to a subject, but in AF-C it’s continuously refocusing and so there is no lock on and so no beep.

focusing on WATER BIRDS

I’m using a wide aperture for these shots of about f/4.5.The maximum aperture on the 300mm lens is f/3.5, but that gets narrower as you zoom in. You can see the geese are really in focus and you can see the individual feathers. If you click that first picture a couple of times to bring up the large version, you can see the glint in the  goose’s eye. Separating the reflection in the eye from the rest of the head, being black, is difficult.

focusing on WILDLIFE

I edited this shot in PhotoScape and gave it a frame. I just caught the two geese close to that railing and away from the others. Again, the focusing was done by getting the focus point on one of the geese in the foreground. That gives a dramatic effect and it looks a little 3D.  When you take photos of people, you can use a wide aperture and zoom in the same, to capture the detail. You might get requests for less detail though and for those shots you can use a soft focus filter. My camera will also convert a photo to soft focus in camera.

You might find that your photos lack contrast, you can add contrast in editing for a better image. My Nikon can adjust contrast after I’ve taken the shot, but I generally prefer to do it in editing. Use Windows Live gallery for editing or for something more creative PhotoScape; they’re both free downloads.

RAIN (3)

It was raining on Sunday, so I took a few indoor photos. This is my new Sony boom box. Photographing black objects is hard because black doesn’t reflect much light. I used a wide aperture again. You can see the black reflects as white or grey in many places. You can see the pattern on the speakers, which makes for a better image. This is a very sharp image with a wide aperture and again the background is out of focus. There are some lenses for DSLR that are fixed rather than zoom with an even wider maximum aperture; this is useful for shots like this and for portraits. If you bring this image up larger, you can actually see the dust on the top of the stereo. There was no need for AF-C focusing on this subject; it wasn’t moving and so a sharper picture using AF-S.

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