Know Your Camera’s Focus

Ever wonder why your photographs are not turning out as you hoped? It’s possible that your camera’s focus is not where you think it should be. 

I recently discovered with my entry-level DSLR, that it’s important to pay attention where your focusing points are placed on your object. With point and shoot or compact cameras, you don’t have focusing dots inside the viewfinder or on the LCD. (If you do, that’s news to me).

DSLR cameras have these flashing dots inside the viewfinder. You can change how they work, but the major point of this post is to make sure you’re placing your active focusing point on the part of your object you most want in focus.

Where You Focus the Camera Matters
Focus dots on the back of the band
f/7.1, exp 1/4 sec, ISO 100, exp bias +1.7, Pattern Metering

The above photo shows that I was focusing on the inscription inside the band. I have shared before that the inscriptions are important, however, I really wanted the front of the band in focus. I needed to make sure I placed the active focusing dot on the front of the band.

Where You Focus the Camera Matters
Focus dots on the back of the band 
f/7.1, exp 1/4 sec, ISO 100, exp bias +1.7, Pattern Metering

This photo is much better. Now, if I were a professional photographer, the reflected image in the gold pattern in the ring would bug me. However, I’m a family historian who wants to capture memories before they are gone. Someday, I may redo the photograph, but probably not. What I will do is know my focus from this point forward.

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

4 thoughts on “Know Your Camera’s Focus

  1. Colleen… so true! I am a bit of a family history addict. However, if I can step away from the ancestors and memories in order to make new ones (or clean a bathroom). I welcome more opportunities to share my passion to more people. The satisfaction that comes is a great 'high'.

  2. Jana… so true! I enjoyed the experience and would prefer to be teaching in person and interacting with people more. I also LOVE hearing from those I've helped or inspired. As you know, that is a huge reward in itself.

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