Focus Recomposing Vs. AF Point Selection

Photography - 101 Sharp Images And Focusing Techniques
5 minutes
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In this video, we're gonna dive into AF point selection versus focus recomposing when it comes to actually gaining focus in our images. And I'm going to give you some tips, at least what I like to do when it comes to focusing. Now in an ideal world, well, you'd have an AF focus point that's basically over any subject in any place in the frame. And it's super accurate, and it works perfectly every single time. But let's be honest, we don't live in a world. And oftentimes, we have 2040, or 60 af points, and none of them are in the area where we want basically our subject to be in focus, because we're not often using just that only that center area, oftentimes, we're using very kind of, well more extreme compositions and having the subjects off towards the edges.

In addition, many of these outside of points are not cross type AF points and without getting into the technical details. Basically, a cross type AF point is going to be more accurate. It's going to be quicker to focus simply because there are two crossing sensors. So in cameras that give me additional options like it gives me a whole plethora of AF focus point options like my Canon Find the mark Reeves has 61 are my DVD 200 which has 40 something, I always turn them off okay, so I turn it off too. So I have my standard f point and my cross type AF points only display as one thing that I would recommend for you all as well. Now let's talk about the center focus point and also focus recomposing.

Now when most people think about focus, recomposing, they think really only of their center focus point. And there's good reason for that that center AF point is the strongest point really on any camera. And this means that if you are shooting in low light situations, if you are shooting in scenes that lack contrast, your center point is always going to be the best. And people don't realize that low light or scenes that lack contrast doesn't just have to be in places that are dark. You might be shooting in the shade or just out in the day. And you still might have areas of low contrast.

For example, if we're shooting well a bride and a groom and you have a groom or even just a guy in a suit. If he's in a black suit, then there's so much black there that it's going to lack contrast, your camera is looking for that contrast, and if it can't find it, well then it's going to have issues Focusing contrast is tough to find when you have all solid colors contrast is also difficult to find in low light. Anytime you're in these situations I highly recommend center point is going to be your best friend for these types of hard to focus situations. But there is a downside when focus recomposing, particularly when you're only using the center AF point. And that's that, when we focus with just a sensitive point, generally we have to make pretty broad movements to get our composition correct. And that's why in the shot that we're about to take, well, I'm going to use my outside cross type AF points because this is after all, a pretty bright scene, they're going to do well and they are cross type AF points.

Then since I don't have enough of them, I'll do minor, basically minor adjustments to recompose once I get the closest AF points selected and in focus and they'll do a small adjustment to get my shot. Alright, so this is what we're going to do. We're going to get into the scene and we're going to get ready so that when the sun comes out, guys, we're all ready to go. Cool. Everybody good? Okay, I'm gonna go ahead and stand up.

Oh, that was like a karate kid moment. That was awesome. Okay, so event I'm gonna have you back Bring your hand up so you're kind of looking at the phone. So yeah, kind of cradle it like around. There you go. That's pretty nice.

Okay, and then turn the phone a little bit more towards me so I can see it a little bit. There we go. Okay, now the area that I want to focus is really on events face right here, the the phone itself is on a very similar focal plane, so it's going to be sharp so long as we kind of nail the focus. I want to show you guys something if I were to use the center as point okay, so I'm going to use the center point on the camera. Watch how broad This movement is. I'm going to focus on our eye and then I'm going to move my frame into composition.

Okay, that's the composition that was a huge movement to make. The problem when you're doing center or focus recomposing, you the center AF point is that these movements can be really broad. If you're shooting at a shallow depth of field which we are right now, then you end up having a little bit of focus issue either gets going to be back focused or front focus a little bit because it's hard to keep perfectly still in that movement. So what I want to do is switch my AF point to just the F point that's going to be right, basically where her year. I have one that's kind of really close to a year and I Now watch this when I use this as the adjustment is so minor watch, I'm going to focus and recompose. I barely moved at all, you guys probably couldn't even see how much I moved.

This is so much of a better technique because it's going to end up giving you much better focused images. Okay, so let's go ahead and get everything nailed. It looks like the sun has poked out again. Let's go ahead and bring up our main light and I want it to be pretty harsh. We're going to bring it in very close. We want to go for a very strong light, it's going to have a more of an editorial feel to it, versus kind of a soft lifestyle kind of look.

And that's pretty solid right there. That smile a little bit towards that. There you go and bring the chin a little bit towards me so I can see it. There you go right there. Perfect. And bring the hand just a little bit closer to your face.

There you go right there. Beautiful. Perfect. That's exactly what I want. We're just going to do a few more shots of the Sun kind of comes in and out to get the perfect shot. And that's it.

But hopefully you guys can see the difference now between using the standard AF point selection versus focus recomposing using only the center AF point. Again, my recommendation is use your outside cross type AF points, especially in bright situations like this. Then focus recompose if you need to, okay, use it first to focus on where your subject is, and then move your frame in place. If you're in those kind of low light situations or darker situations, then yes, obviously you have to use that center AF point. And then you're gonna have to focus recompose and just be a little more careful, take more shots to make sure that they're in focus. That's it for this video.

We'll see you all in the next one.

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