Some time ago we saw what the approach was and how to use it. Well, this time we will see some tips so that, if you have just leaped compact cameras, it is easier for you to get entirely focused images.
1.– Use the peripheral focus points of your focus screen. These are placed around the central point of focus (the most accurate) and offer the convenience of not having to change the frame to focus. But as in everything, there is a but; these peripheral points are less precise than the central location, so we can not obtain optimal results. Personally, I only recommend this technique for those who are newcomers to the world of SLRs, for more experienced photographers I recommend the approach method that follows.
2.– Frame, focus and reframe. We will use this technique when the subject we want to focus on the image is not in the center of it. As we said before, the central focus point of the viewer is the one that has the greatest sensitivity to the focus, so it is the point that we will use.
To do this we choose the final frame of our photograph and stick the top part of the viewer firmly to the eyebrow (this seems a bit complicated for those of us who have glasses …). Now, without moving the head or the body, and moving the camera while it is attached to the eyebrow, we place the central point of focus on the subject. We reframed and fired.
In this photograph I used the “Frame-Focus-Reframing” method
In this way what we have achieved has been to maintain the distance of focus with respect to the subject by not having moved. Thus, we will achieve a good focus on the subject, although I already told you that this technique needs a lot of practice to get us out correctly.
3.– Look for contrast zones to be able to focus. Sometimes, when we try to photograph a surface with little contrast, the focus goes crazy. This happens because the AF of our camera needs a contrast zone, where the lighting changes abruptly so that the camera identifies those points as focused points. If we try to focus with any of the points of focus on a surface too smooth our AF will go crazy. Therefore we will try to focus on an area with high contrast (inside our subject, obviously).
For example, if we want to photograph a smooth wall with a lamp and we want to place the lamp off center, we will have to use the framing, focus and reframe method (or the peripheral focus points) so that the focus point is placed on the lamp and So get a correct approach without having to use manual focus.
4.-Use the manual pre-focus. This advice applies to dynamic scenes, in which subjects move quickly and when we focus, the subject has moved and is out of focus. To understand it I will give a practical example.
Let’s think that a dog comes to us and we want to take a picture of him in front while he runs. In AF mode, the camera focuses on the dog, but by the time the picture is taken, it has already moved enough to make it out of focus. In these situations what we should do is focus in AF mode at a fixed point on the ground. We remember this point in which we have focused on taking some element of the ground as a reference. We change to manual focus mode, in this way, as long as we do not move, we will have the reference point focused. When the dog passes by that point we shoot.
In this way we will have the dog perfectly focused. Maybe not on the first attempt, but with a little practice and intuition is easily achieved.
5.– Use LiveView mode with manual focus. If our camera has LiveView mode we can use it to achieve a better focus in manual mode. For this we have to use the zoom button (the same one we use if we want to enlarge a photo in the camera itself) while we have the LiveView. In this way, we can obtain a detail of the area to focus and so we can “spin finer” with manual focus.