Sharpen up your focusing technique by selecting the right settings

DCM255 focus modes listing image
(Image credit: © Daniel Milchev/Getty Images)

Getting your shot precisely in focus on the desired area is one of the fundamentals of good photography. The autofocus systems on modern DSLR cameras and mirrorless cameras are excellent, but they still need help to control where and how they choose to focus. 

Without this, it’s easy to focus in the wrong place. Accurate focusing is one of the best reasons to get away from shooting in full Auto mode. Leave it to your camera to automatically make this decision and the chances are it won’t get it right. It’ll base its decision on what’s nearest and what has the most amount of contrast. 

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Andrew James

Andrew makes his living as a photographer, videographer and journalist. For 26 years he was a specialist magazine editor, the last 13 of which were on Practical Photography magazine. A long-time expert in photographic techniques across many disciplines, he's a self-confessed photo generalist, and a font of creative knowledge to capturing just about any subject, although he has a strong leaning to wildlife and travel photography. Andrew's wide-ranging photography experience means he authors the long-running Photo Answers section for Digital Camera Magazine. His work as a journalist, guide and educator dovetails neatly into his commitment to Foto-Buzz - an online subscription community he founded, where Andrew writes articles, films tutorials and records blogs on all manner of photo-related subjects and techniques for enthusiast photographers.