I finally have a (relatively easy) question to answer! Getting your subject in perfect focus definitely takes practice, but it's also possible to do if you put in the time and effort! Since my other ‘how to’ posts are a little longer, I’m going to give you a few tips and pointers, and try to keep this blog post on the shorter side.
- Make sure there is plenty of light. If you don’t have enough light, your camera will not focus, or focus well.
- Separate your subject from the background. The more you visually highlight your subject in the picture, the easier it will be to focus on just them. This especially applies if you are using autofocus, as it will pick out your subject a lot easier.
- If the eyes are in focus, your picture is in focus. If the eyes are not in focus, you will notice. So when you’re using autofocus, be sure at least one of the focus points is on the eyes. If you are manually focusing or using dot focus, use the eyes as your reference point.
- Increase your aperture. Pictures do indeed look more artsy when the aperture is lower (on professional DSLRs), but it is much better to have a clean, in-focus picture than an artsy looking picture. Art can come later, but you can’t recover a picture that is out of focus.
- Check your LCD screen. While you don’t want to constantly be looking at the back of your camera, it is extremely helpful to make sure you have THE shot before moving on! If you are still struggling with focus, you need to double check that your subject is in focus in family portraits, etc.
- Practice, practice, practice. Practice in low light situations, and in situations where the light is very harsh. Practice when your subject is separated from your background, and when they are right up against something or someone else. Practice with one person, and with large groups of people.
While it is certainly a challenge to make sure your subject is always in focus, it is not impossible! An in-focus picture makes all the difference in the world, and it is so key when taking portraits of any kind. You can do it! And feel free to check out my other ‘how to’ blogs here: