Focusing with your DSLR

An in-depth look at successful focusing

Focusing - Just because a modern digital SLR camera and lens set up has a reliable and automated system, it doesn't by any means guarantee pin sharp shots every time. It is a trap fallen into by many new "SLR photographers" who can't understand why some shots are blurred, normally caused by camera shake or poor focus techniques.

Young Woman Taking a Photo with a Canon DSLR

No matter how far technology progresses, there will always be a huge element of skill, practice and knowledge required in all aspects of photography. Regardless of whether your camera has 9 focus points or 45, there is still work for you to do.

You need to work out the speed of your subject (static or moving) and how you will track it.

  • How many images will you be taking at once?
  • Will you need focus tracking or will you benefit from locking in the focus?

Each subject is different and each photographer eventually finds their own way of doing things. Here we will discuss the options open to you. Remember to practice until you get it right because some subjects such as wedding photography don't allow you a second chance!

Focus "points"

Effective focus techniques is just one skill required to be a competent photographer. The following pages are some of the different areas involved:

  • Focus Points - Which ones and how many to use?
  • Focus Modes - One shot or servo?
  • Autofocus or Manual?
  • Pre-focusing
  • Panning
  • Depth of field
  • Lenses - Quality and types
  • The subject - Size and speed

All of these subjects have a bearing on whether your shot is in focus or not. Therefore, we shall cover them one at a time. Please go to the next page below to learn more about focusing techniques with the focus points.

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