Using Focus in Photography

One of the most integral aspects of your photography is focus, and how you utilize focus to convey or alter  perspective.  A simple change in the focus of your photo can dramatically alter the mood in the composition that you are attempting to create, and it can also direct the viewer's eyes to a specific point within the frame,  enhancing an otherwise forgettable image.

The standard methods for controlling focus are the manual and autofocus features on your camera, and adjusting the depth of field.

There are a number of ways to combine the two methods to get the look you are after, but for the purposes of this piece, we will stick to the basics.

Portraits. Focus on the eyes. Generally speaking, this is where you want your camera to be focused when taking standard portraits. Nothing gets the viewer's attention better than eyes that are sharply focused. Now, there are many situations where this is not the case, but like I said before, we're sticking to the basics!

Landscapes. Keeping everything in focus. When shooting landscapes, the general idea is to keep everything as clear and crisp as possible. A numerically higher aperture will definitely work f/11 is a comfortable place to be.

Macro photography. Love this stuff!! When taking macro shots, your depth of field is going to be extremely narrow...sometimes just a couple of millimeters! The aperture used will be numerically very low...anywhere from f/1.8 to f/1.2, depending on what you are looking to convey in your photo and the type of lens used.

Get Creative!! Use your imagination when you compose your photos! If things aren't working for you, switch it up a bit!!  Little tweaks here and there can make the difference between a fantastic photo and a throw away. Remember, simplicity is key. Keep anything distracting out of focus....or out of the frame entirely! If adjusting your focus doesn't keep distracting elements away from the viewer's attention, remove it completely by recomposing.
Keep the attention where you want it by using selective focus, this keeps your subject clear, and gives the viewer a better understanding of the story you are telling. Because in the end, isn't telling a story what it's all about?

Take a look at my photography blog to get an idea of what I mean with regards to portraits.

 Here some other links to some fantastic photographers with an eye for portraits and landscapes!

 Feel free to comment on my blog, or post links to pictures that you have created!!