Getting your image in focus is a bit of a given. But I see lots of shots that are out-of-focus. Millions of images are created every second and shared all round the world; you want to take the best photos. Here's how.
The basic focus settings
It does just that. Focuses for you. Most cameras and some smart phones have focusing points that you can set.
You have more creative control when you use the following settings.
Single shot mode
Point at the part of the subject you want in focus and half press the shutter to focus. Recompose the shot while keeping your original focus point by continuing to hold down the shutter. When you have composed the shot press the shutter fully. This it is a good all rounder.
Canon One Shot
Continuous focus modes
When you photograph objects that are constantly moving.
Set to shutter priority, 500s or more.
Check your aperture (the camera will set this according to light conditions, shutter speed and ISO setting.
By increasing the ISO you will allow a smaller aperture (higher f-number) and therefore a wider depth-of-field which will render more of your shot in focus.
It's always worth experimenting with different settings.
Canon AI Servo
The camera does all the work, slightly different from Auto. According to the situation it will choose which of the 2 modes to use. Perfect? I never use this, I prefer to have more control over the outcome.
Canon AI Focus
Finally, and not to be missed.
You do need good eyesight or glasses to use this successfully. It is really useful for close-ups particularly where a narrow-depth-of-field is necessary. You can choose exactly where you want to focus. I usually combine this with several different apertures and choose the most satisfying image when I can see it at 100% on a computer screen. Using a very narrow depth of field can render your shot too 'soft'. A tripod is pretty much essential for this.
OK, I've done all that by my shot is still blurred.
Here are some possible reasons:
Your shutter speed is not fast enough
Increase the shutter speed or ISO, or
Use a tripod
Use mirror lock-up and a tripod (if your camera has this function)
With SLR's a mirror flips up when you press the shutter. Light hits the sensor and the image is made. This action can cause camera shake even if you are using a tripod and the shutter speed is slow.
When I shoot close-ups I like to use a low ISO setting to get the best quality images, which means fixing the camera to a tripod and using mirror-lock-up (which is not available on all cameras.)
A way round this is to set your camera to timer, focus manually, press the shutter, the mirror goes up a few seconds later the image is captured by which time the camera should be perfectly still.
It isn't rocket science but it is vital.
Poorly focused photos are just not saleable or good to look at and you want to be the best!
Found photographing in rain or shine for magazines and the like.
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