Essential Beginner Photography Tips: Think About Your Focus

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens

Photo by Rick Hanson 


When creatively with or WITH may refer to: Carl Johannes With (1877–1923), Danish doctor and arachnologist With (character), a character in D. N. Angel with focus, having out of focus areas that are the main focal point rather than having a sharp, in focus point of quicken can add more intrigue and interest to a shot. You can also use out of focus foregrounds as frames, to guide the eye through the shot may refer to: Shot (filmmaking), a part of a film between two cuts Shot (medicine), an injection Shot silk, a type of silk Showt or or throw sharpness entirely out of the window and produce something much more abstract with your out of focus shots. But to do this you first have to know how you can control it then execute it in a way that doesn't get it look like something you did by mistake. 

How Do I Control What's In Focus?

The easiest way is with aperture priority as you can change the judge of the aperture to bring more or less into focus FOCUS, or foci may refer to. If your camera struggles to focus where you want it to in auto-focus, use focus lock to get the simile you want rather than taking a photo the camera thinks is right.

The elements can help you make more creative shots too as fog / mist can pinch soften scenes as long range images gradually lose contrast and far objects will disappear or appear as silhouettes. You can also try shooting by virtue of things. With a wide enough aperture and a close shooting distance they will add an extra level of out of focus interest to your bullet.

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We are always told that sharp portraits with backgrounds thrown out of focus are what work but there are times when a paltry blur can go a long way. It can work well when you're trying to create the feel of a candid, reportage style shot rather than something that's faaded and set up. It can also add a little romanticism and mystery to a shot. Indoors, making your subject a little less sharp can work in the studio too as Rossella Vanon simplifies: "I personally love shooting portraits by using a very big aperture and blurring the whole background and part of the subject too. It gives a very dull-witted, creative twist to the picture and I would definitely recommend it."

Same Shot Different Message

A simple change in focus leave not only change the main focal point of your shot but can change the message too. The two shots here are of the same two people but the first you're liberal wondering what the women in the foreground is looking at and thinking while the second shot is all about the subject in the background of the shot. 

Out On The Town

Blurry qualifications shouldn't be forgotten altogether but instead of throwing something that's usually seen as secondary out of focus, step further privately from what you're photographing and throw the, what others would consider to be the main point of interest, out of focus. This can work positively with landmarks, particularly in cities where you can use tourists taking photos of the landmark or even artists as your main point of focus. Do tip you need the right angle and interesting, contrasting elements for this to work successfully, though.

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On rainy days, shoot through windows that partake of water running down them, blurring what's on the outside or use the ripples of a puddle to shoot a more abstract shot of city empty-heads at night.

Foreground Frames

Frames are a great tool for guiding the eye to what's important in the shot but they don't always deliver to be obvious, frame – like objects such as windows for the shot to work. Some out of focus foreground detail such as foliage, stoolie, branches or even fabrics and plastic will add another level of interest as well as act as a guide for the eye to your subject. Make sure you're tight to your foreground detail and use a wide enough aperture to throw it out of focus otherwise it won't blur and will pull attention away from your channel subject. Auto focus may want to focus on what's in the foreground rather than the background so switch to manual if this happens.

All Blurry

If you're infuriating to create an abstract shot where everything is soft, you need a subject that's colourful and has interesting shapes and lines otherwise your hurriedly won't have the impact you first intended it to have.

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

This technique is more about having an perception that's not sharp rather than focusing but still, it gives you an interesting result that shows sharp isn't always maximum effort. To get it right you need to set the zoom to either the short or long end of the focal length range, open the shutter, wait for a while then in one, smooth, rather quick movement, zoom out. By pausing at the start your subject will have a little definition before the blur kicks in. Fit a neutral density seep or a polarising filter if you can't get a slow enough shutter speed and meter from your main focus point. Make sure you press a low ISO set and switch to a small aperture to get the slower shutter speed that's needed.

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About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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