I am really getting frusterated!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Reyna, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. Reyna

    Reyna TPF Noob!

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    This picture is by far, NOT me trying to get a professional or even a great picture, I was just snapping. Anyway, had the ap low b/c I didn't want a ton of the background, and focused using the center, and the darn picture is focused in the very center on the glass. WTH! How do I fix this so it doesen't happen again??!! Ok, let me make the picture bigger so you'll can see it....
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  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If your subject is not in the centre of the image, you need to take care to notice what the camera is focusing on. With many cameras, you can change the active focus point from the centre to a different spot around the frame. Alternatively, you could focus on your subject, lock the focus, then recompose the shot. That's that I do most of the time.

    A third option would be to manually focus the lens.
     
  3. Reyna

    Reyna TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, but if I moved the active focus to my sister, her boyfriend would have be out of focus right? Using my new zoom lens is harder than I thought.
     
  4. NielsGade

    NielsGade TPF Noob!

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    Nope, focus doesn't work like that. Focus is like a plane you hold in front of the camera.
     
  5. Reyna

    Reyna TPF Noob!

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    I am just trying to get this right, sorry for all the questions. So, if I had focused on my sister, with the focus point on the right side, her boyfriend would also be in focus?
     
  6. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Also depends on your apeture. It hard to tell, but guessing the tip of his nose is 6-12" closer to the camera than hers. If you're wanting to have both faces on focus, you would also want to stop down the lens so the focal plane is deep enough to accomplish this.
     
  7. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Being in center focus (only the middle dot is the dot that will focus)

    Step 1 - put dot over main subject you want in focus (generally the eyes).
    Step 2 - push the button down half way to lock the focus
    Step 3 - re-frame your shot, keeping the button half way pushed
    Step 4 - push the button all the way down to snap the picture.

    By half way pushing down, your camera will remember where you want the focus and leave it there.

    You might also have a Exposure and/or focus lock button on your camera, but I prefer the method above for focus
     
  8. Reyna

    Reyna TPF Noob!

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    Thank you sooo much! This is exactly what I needed to know. I am still learning this DSLR and had no clue how much of a learning experience it would be.
     
  9. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    You can probably separate the AF and AE lock buttons in a custom function menu of some kind. That way, you can use the centre focus point to lock focus on the eyes, and then say, spot meter on the skin (though that's not a good idea given that they're Caucasian) or something else; whatever you want in Zone 5 (look up Ansel Adams' zone system if you don't know what I'm talking about ;) ).

    In any case I find it's a good idea to separate the AF lock from AE lock when I'm focusing and recomposing, because it gives me better control over metering, even if it's on evaluative.
     
  10. LarryD

    LarryD TPF Noob!

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    As was said, you can use center focus all the time if you use it to focus on the desired subject, lock it, and re-compose..

    However, perhaps this is a time when you should be using all the focus points available on your camera... The camera is then less likely to focus behind the subject as has been done here.
     
  11. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    All of the above is also covered in your camera users manual to one degree or another, in the section that describes focus functions.

    My Nikon manuals describe this process is some detail and even have graphics that demonstrate the focus on subject with 1/2 press on shutter release, recompose, trip shutter sequence.

    Have fun snaping pictures. :thumbup:
     
  12. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Someone mentioned it, but I'll try to elaborate. When a lens focuses on something, anything that is the same distance away will also be in focus. So if you focus on your sister, her boyfriend would also be in focus because he's the same distance away from the camera.

    There is also the matter of the 'Depth of Field'...DOF.
    When you focus on something, there is a 'depth' to the area where other things will also be in focus. If the DOF is shallow, only a small range will be in focus, but if the DOF is deep, then things farther in front of and behind the subject can be in focus as well.
    For example, with a deep DOF, you could have the entire shot in focus, right from the stuff on the table, back to the window behind. But with a shallow DOF, you might only get your subjects eyes in focus, with their nose and ears out of focus (that would be extremely shallow).

    You control the DOF with the lens aperture. Larger apertures (lower F number) give you a more shallow DOF....and conversely, smaller apertures (larger F numbers) give you more DOF. There are other factors, like the focal length of the lens and the distance to your subject.
     

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