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Focusing on your subject #photography

Whatever kind of camera you have or even if you’re taking photos with a phone, you need to focus on your subject. You might see a nice view in front of you but choose something in the view to focus on. Put your focus point on that subject so it is in focus and then set your aperture to bring the whole frame into focus or set a wide aperture to just have your subject in focus. By focusing on your subject, you can see what else you have got besides your subject, to compare it with.

focusing on your subject

1/3 rule

The subject of this picture is the black car and I have cropped the picture to position the car 1/3 of the way across so it doesn’t dominate the picture. That inverted “V” of grass verge points away from the camera and we have other leading lines going away from us. Our eyes compare the sizes of the different vehicles in the picture to give us some idea of how far away that white van is and it gives us a sense of depth.

Focusing on your subject

We have a definite subject and we can compare everything else in the frame to our subject. I didn’t have much time to take this shot so my focus point was central and on the black car but I have moved the focus of the shot by cropping the image. My camera takes pictures that are 6000 x 4000 pixels and so I have lots of scope to crop the images. This image was shot at f/8 at an ISO of 250 which gave me 1/250 of a second. You need a fairly fast shutter speed with moving vehicles. By focusing on your subject, you have the option to shoot at a wider aperture if the subject in in the foreground.

Landscapes

Often with landscapes when you have plenty of time to set up the shot , you will choose a distant subject and focus on that. With a narrow aperture it will bring your whole frame into focus. You have to consider how much light you have and maybe raise the ISO. My camera is quite good at higher ISO setting but you do risk introducing some noise. In theory, most of your frame should be in focus if you focus on a subject in the background but I prefer to focus on something in the middle ground or foreground with a aperture that is narrow like f/8 but not too narrow. I shoot in poor light a lot and rarely get to shoot as narrow as f/16.

That’s all for this week. If you would like to subscribe just enter your email address in one of the spaces provided or follow me on Twitter for links to my latest posts. Those links are also on my Facebook page.

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