I’m about to show you just how camera “not-smart” I really am, so be kind.
I recently saw a picture on someone’s blog and thought wow that’s cool, wonder how they made that happen. So I got out my trusty “Nikon D60 for Dummies” book and started looking. Yes, I really do have a “For Dummies” book with that title. It has taught me a few things and I find it easier to read and understand than the actual camera manual.
Anyway, here’s the problem. Have you ever been taking a picture of a subject and there is something between you and the subject, like a tree limb or a lamp post, and the camera keeps trying to focus on the closer object and not your subject? It’s a bit frustrating isn’t it? Well that’s the camera’s default setting – focus on closest object. I know there is more than one way around this problem but I’ve discovered what I believe to be the best one.
This is the part that is embarrassing, because most of you probably already know this. But this blog is about learning and then sharing. The brackets in your viewfinder light-up showing you which area of the scene will be the most in focus (and yes, I already knew that part). The default setting for these focusing brackets is called “closest subject” and that’s exactly what it does, focus on whatever is closest. Make sense so far? Okay, well there are two other settings for your focus brackets (well at least on my camera anyway). One of the other settings is “Dynamic Area” which is designed for subjects that may be moving unpredictably (more on that in a future post). The other is called “Single Point”. On this setting you pick which bracket will be used for focusing.
This picture was taken using the “Closest Subject” setting.
Notice how the duck in front is clearly in focus while the last duck in the row is blurry. Much like the pictures from the last couple shout-outs, the main subject is in focus, with the background is blurry. Now look at the next photo using the “Single Point” focus mode.
Notice the dramatic difference – now the first duck is blurry and the last duck is in focus. Pretty cool, huh?
So, that’s my tidbit of knowledge for this shout-out. And the subject for the next two weeks is line ’em up. Let’s see your before and after pictures of things you line up and try different focus settings to photograph.
I gotta go get my ducks back in a row but I’m looking forward to seeing how things line up for you!