First camera crash course: simple solutions for mastering your new DSLR

First camera crash course: simple solutions for mastering your new DSLR

First Camera Crash Course Lesson 5: How to focus and stay sharp

When using a wide aperture (such as f/3.5), and therefore capturing a shallow depth of field, your depth of focus is also reduced. This means only a small plane in your frame will be sharp; anything in front of and behind your point of focus will blurred.

With this in mind, you need to be extra vigilant with focusing when using a wide aperture as, if you’re off target, you’ll end up with out-of-focus subjects.

A good example is when shooting motorsports; be careful to focus on the front end of the vehicle (or the rider) as that’s what you want in focus to draw people in.

If your focusing isn’t accurate, you can end up with a shot where the back of the vehicle is sharp, but the front of the car or head of the rider is out of focus.

First Camera Crash Course Lesson 5: How to focus and stay sharp

Soft focus

  • Using a long 300mm telephoto lens has resulted in camera shake
  • Using One Shot AF means the focusing on the motorbike racer isn’t accurate either!

 

First Camera Crash Course Lesson 5: stay focused on your subject

Focused on subject

  • Upping the ISO has increased the shutter speed to ensure a sharp result
  • Use AI Servo AF to help you track and focus on fast-moving targets
  • Using the AF points in the top corners can help your compositions, by placing subjects in your frame according to the ‘rule of thirds’

First Camera Crash Course Lesson 1: Aperture explained
First Camera Crash Course Lesson 2: using exposure compensation
First Camera Crash Course Lesson 3: How shutter speeds work
First Camera Crash Course Lesson 4: Fast vs Slow shutter speeds
First Camera Crash Course Lesson 5: How to focus and stay sharp
First Camera Crash Course Lesson 6: Choosing your AF points
First Camera Crash Course Lesson 7: How to get your subjects sharp
First Camera Crash Course Lesson 8: Avoid the common composition mistakes
First Camera Crash Course Lesson 9: Using the Rule of Thirds
First Camera Crash Course Lesson 10: Anatomy of your viewfinder

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