Photo Peas Classroom ~ Nailing Your Focus

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Posted 3/2/2010 by _Shanna_ in General Photography
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_Shanna_
I pea a lot...

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Posted: 3/2/2010 8:57:22 AM
I was only going to make this a quick LITTLE tutorial. Unfortunately, it grew into a bit of a mini book...LOL I hope this is useful to someone and doesn't bore the pants off of everyone. If you have a short attention span, then just read the first Chapter, it should help a lot.

Please keep in mind that as much as I would like to think so, I don't know everything and this is all based on what is in my hot little head. So, if you find that I am incorrect about something, please let me know! Also, if there is something that I've missed, please feel free to share it. I will answer any questions to the best of my ability.

Are you ready? Here we go!.......

Click here to download a PDF version of this tutorial:
How to Nail Your Focus

Click here to view it online:
How to Nail Your Focus


Shanna

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Posted: 3/2/2010 9:21:42 AM
Thanks Shanna!
I read the whole thing - yep, every single word and it was great. You rock!

One question, is there anything specific, focus wise, one should do if using a flash?



karene
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Posted: 3/2/2010 9:31:23 AM
Thanks Shanna - off to check it out!


~ Karen


JeannetteK
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Posted: 3/2/2010 9:42:03 AM
Awesome! It's good to have it all in one document. Great to refer back to.


Jeannette


Brenda in TX
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Posted: 3/2/2010 9:46:09 AM
Thanks for the tutorial - I too read every single word!!


~~Brenda in TX~~

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UtahMomX4
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Posted: 3/2/2010 9:53:32 AM
This is fantastic info, Shanna! Thank you so much for doing such a great job!


~Jami

Life in Moments Photography Blog

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Debra R
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Posted: 3/2/2010 9:53:45 AM
great info Shanna... it's always nice to go back and refresh your memory every once in a while and this is a great quick reference


www.debrollerphotoanddesign.com (i design stuff!!)

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jekka88
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Posted: 3/2/2010 10:13:38 AM
I haven't read it yet, but wanted to Thank you ahead of time!!! This was the next thing on my list to really learn and understand and you just saved me a heap of time searching for a place to really get some good info!

Can't wait to read it!!


Jessica


TREZmom
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Posted: 3/2/2010 10:19:05 AM
Thank you so much for this information. I am working hard to nail my focus and really appreciate your time putting this together.


AmieDew
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Posted: 3/2/2010 10:26:52 AM
Thank you! Great information! I read the whole thing and I need to work on all of it.

I really appreciate that you created it in a downloadable format for later reference too.

-Amie



LoriLeigh
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Posted: 3/2/2010 10:28:21 AM
Great info!!! Thanks


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swisskris
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Posted: 3/2/2010 10:28:21 AM
Great info Shanna - thanks for putting it together and sharing it with us all


My Photography Blog
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Posted: 3/2/2010 10:31:07 AM
Oh my gosh! This is amazing and just what I need. Thank you sooooooo much


Lynette

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Posted: 3/2/2010 10:36:24 AM
Great job Shanna!! Thank you!!!!


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Posted: 3/2/2010 10:44:20 AM
looks like great info! can't wait to read it!!! thanks!


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Posted: 3/2/2010 10:45:18 AM
That's awesome! Thank you!!


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Posted: 3/2/2010 10:46:11 AM
Thanks so much! very helpful.

pj_sprocket
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Posted: 3/2/2010 11:07:24 AM
Great tutorial! Thank you so much for posting!


Cheryl

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momaziggy
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Posted: 3/2/2010 11:08:26 AM
Off to check it out! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this! You rock!


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Posted: 3/2/2010 11:46:44 AM
That was a great read, Shanna! Thanks so much for putting it together. Awesome job!


Blessings, Rebecca





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jwilson13
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Posted: 3/2/2010 12:07:15 PM
thanks so much, shanna! loved the examples.


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fotojunkie
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Posted: 3/2/2010 12:15:31 PM
Very helpful, thank you!


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tiffanylyn2
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Posted: 3/2/2010 12:47:10 PM
Thank you so much!



luvtknpics
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Posted: 3/2/2010 12:54:35 PM
Thank you so much for putting this together.
I have a question..hopefully not a crazy one!
How do you know right then if your focus is dropping
to other things instead of the eye? If I focus on the eye then recompose or say I don't recompose until I have actually uploaded to my computer how would I know if it jumped to something else? I know it focuses when i see the solid green light or hear the beep (Nikon D80).
In reading your tutorial if I have locked focus on the eye and snap shouldn't they be infocus? If it is not wanting to lock is that when I have to consider maybe there is something else it is trying to lock on?

Thanks for the help!


Melissa

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mthr21
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Posted: 3/2/2010 1:01:31 PM
This is something I can see myself referring to over and over again.

Thank you!

Jamie

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Posted: 3/2/2010 1:02:50 PM
This is great Shanna! Thank you for putting it together.

Sue

x2mom
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Posted: 3/2/2010 1:10:02 PM
Thank you!!

TrUcksR4CowGirlS
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Posted: 3/2/2010 1:15:51 PM
Well, you are awesome for making a pdf. Off to print and add it to my notebook!!! Thanks girl!




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jessytsmith
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Posted: 3/2/2010 1:36:32 PM
Very informative. I am going to read the rest later tonight. Thanks for sharing.

jodar
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Posted: 3/2/2010 1:50:48 PM
Well done Shanna, that read really well.


Jodie
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Posted: 3/2/2010 2:08:51 PM
This is something I haven't had much luck with, especially when taking portrait type photos. I can't wait to sit down and really read this article. Thanks so much for sharing.


~ Jill

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Posted: 3/2/2010 2:15:02 PM
Thank you Shanna!


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Posted: 3/2/2010 3:03:53 PM
Thank you


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Posted: 3/2/2010 3:09:42 PM
Wow... thank you for taking the time to put this together.. I haven't had a chance to read through it all but am printing as I type.


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Posted: 3/2/2010 3:12:27 PM
This is absolutely excellent! Thanks Shanna!


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Posted: 3/2/2010 3:33:41 PM
Thanks so much. Very informative, thanks for all of your hard work. I am really trying to improve my photo skills and this will truly help.


Lori

DeAnna A
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Posted: 3/2/2010 3:51:07 PM
Thank you for doing this Shanna! Downloading to read later tonight.



_Shanna_
I pea a lot...

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Posted: 3/2/2010 3:59:34 PM
Thanks everyone! I'm glad it will be helpful to some of you.


How do you know right then if your focus is dropping
to other things instead of the eye? If I focus on the eye then recompose or say I don't recompose until I have actually uploaded to my computer how would I know if it jumped to something else?

I'm not sure about Nikon but on my Canon camera there is a magnifying button that you can press whilst reviewing the picture in camera which will allow you to get a better idea if your focus is hitting where you want it to. Just zoom in and check it out. If it's falling on the wrong place, then you'll have to determain what is causing it to move from where you want it.


if I have locked focus on the eye and snap shouldn't they be infocus?
It would be nice if it were always that simple! Unfortunately, your focus may skip to something with a greater contrast that is near the focal point you chose. Most of the time you'll be fine, but it does happen.


If it is not wanting to lock is that when I have to consider maybe there is something else it is trying to lock on?

If it won't lock, it's usually due to the other factors that I mentioned in the tutorial. Not because it's trying to lock on something else.

HTH!


Shanna

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pattyl
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Posted: 3/2/2010 4:43:12 PM
This was a helpful read, Shanna, thank you so much. I have a question for you, though-

Whenever I see your photos posted, it is the clarity of the photo that always pops out at me first, though there are other things I love about your photography! When you photographing more than one person, do you use the basic rule of 4 subjects/F4, 5 subjects F/5, etc. to get a crisp shot?

Thank you-

P.S. Actually another question- if you're doing, for example, a shot of one of your girls where the background is inconsequential, would you set your aperature at whatever the sweet spot of your lens is to start? If you had a 1.4 lens, would you go as high as 4 or so to start? Thanks for your help.

paintedmoon
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Posted: 3/2/2010 5:00:23 PM
Great lesson, Shanna!

I will mention for the Nikon folks that the focus mode equivalents are:

One Shot (Canon) = Single (Nikon)

AI Servo (Canon) = Continuous (Nikon)

HTH!

Anne

momof3b1g
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Posted: 3/2/2010 5:04:15 PM
I am also going to read it later as dd has BB practice. But I am wondering to about the question that if it locked focus wouldn;t that be clear?



redsie05
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Posted: 3/2/2010 5:06:16 PM
Thanks Shanna!! Printed it out and will read it tonight!!


Celine

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Sugarmommy
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Posted: 3/2/2010 5:09:35 PM
Thanks for that info Shanna.


Amar
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_Shanna_
I pea a lot...

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Posted: 3/2/2010 5:28:49 PM

When you photographing more than one person, do you use the basic rule of 4 subjects/F4, 5 subjects F/5, etc. to get a crisp shot?
I personally don't follow this rule. I am more conservative with my aperture setting. If shooting in natural light, I usually use 3.5 for one subject, 5.0 for two subjects, 8.0 for three subjects, 11.0 for four or more. If shooting with strobes inside, I usually use 5.0 for one subject, 8.0 for two subjects, 11.0 for three or more. The reason why I use a higher f-stop number inside with the strobes is due to the fact that I don't have as much room to move back as I do outside.



if you're doing, for example, a shot of one of your girls where the background is inconsequential, would you set your aperature at whatever the sweet spot of your lens is to start? If you had a 1.4 lens, would you go as high as 4 or so to start?
If I'm shooting one subject in natural light, I usually start at my sweet spot. For my Tamron 28-75mm 2.8 lens, it is f/3.5.



I will mention for the Nikon folks that the focus mode equivalents are:

One Shot (Canon) = Single (Nikon)

AI Servo (Canon) = Continuous (Nikon)

Thanks Anne! I was going to add a blurb about how this was all based on my canon brain, so check your manuals to find the appropriate language for your camera...LOL



But I am wondering to about the question that if it locked focus wouldn;t that be clear?
As stated in my previous post...not always! Cameras have a tendancy to lock focus on the most contrast nearest to your selected focal point. I explain it in more detail in the tutorial. If you have further questions after you read it, let me know.



Shanna

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DJPPhotos
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Posted: 3/2/2010 6:36:45 PM
Shanna, thank you so much for this!!

I feel like I struggle with focus the most when getting a good image SOOC and have been anxiously awaiting this class. And a big thank you for the PDF file, I've downloaded and printed for future reference!




mom2fourpeas
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Posted: 3/2/2010 6:53:37 PM
Thank YOU for the time you put into this, off to read!


~Kami
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mommy2katia&karyme
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Posted: 3/2/2010 7:13:08 PM
Thank You Shanna! Can't wait to read your pea of the week interview next week!

Stacey Anna
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 3/2/2010 7:21:24 PM
So sweet of you Shanna!
Stacey



cuptonmillerlpn
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Posted: 3/2/2010 7:44:17 PM
Thanks Shanna, you must have been reaading my mind. I have been wanting to ask the same questions you answered. I printed it out to refer to later. This is something I too have been strugling with, and I can't wait to try this out. Kudoos to you/!


Carolyn Upton Miller

KimAshton
BucketHead

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Posted: 3/2/2010 7:51:07 PM
You rock. Thank you so much.
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