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Using the focus points photography

I’m not convinced that having lots of focus points helps you get the whole image in focus. I sometimes use just one focus point when I’m doing landscape photography to try to get a distant object in sharper focus. When I’m taking a shot of a group of people then the focus points are really useful. On my camera, they are tiny red dots and if I have all 11 visible then that is a good shot but more often than not, I have the ones to the right and left of the shot and that is good enough. If the focus points are even across the shot then it shows the camera isn’t tilted in one direction of the other. It also helps me to keep the camera level.

Small groups

Small groups are fairly easy and it is a good idea to fire off a few shots at a time in case anyone blinks! People who are used to being in front of the camera are usually easier and know to hold the pose for a few seconds while you get your shots.

Large groups

Large groups are more difficult and they won’t hold the pose for long so you need to take your shots. It’s important to have the camera ready. For this shot, I was on aperture priority with centre-weighted metering and I took the shot wide open. I used a flash but I think the colours aren’t quite what I would have liked but with a mixture of natural light, fluorescent light and the flash, I think this was about as good as I could have got it.

focus points

Good light

The light really determines how good the shot will be. The light was fairly good for this shot but a little harsh. It was a hot day and the sun was high in the sky. The light is rarely perfect though and so it is a good shot on a sunny afternoon. The wall in the background reflected some light and gave me some backlight on the subjects. I used a single focus point for this shot and again centre weighted metering. I got a much shallower depth of field and so the shot looks sharper. You can use all the focus points for a shot like this but by using one you can choose the metering a little better.

That’s all for this week. If you would like to follow my blog just enter your email address at the top of the sidebar or follow me on Twitter for links to my latest posts. There are also links on my Facebook page.

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