Learn the Technique of Focus and Recompose

Here in the Photo Tips Brazil our focus is the novice photographer, so we are always looking for articles that cover the simple and basic techniques, where I, Simxer, can offer tips or complementary items that translate, based on my experience as a professional photographer and teacher of beginners, because I have total belief that a sound basis can prepare you for any area of the photo you want to embrace , professionally or as a hobby.

The article I translated today follows this basic line may appear expendable, but actually it is an excellent tool to achieve significant results, we count on the tips of the American photographer Nasim Mansurov.

Focus and recompose technique

In this article, I will speak about the technique of focusing and recomposing, which can be very useful when we’re shooting in various environments — whether photographing in low light situations, or composing your photos with the reason in the corner of the frame. I personally use this technique on photographs of events and it saved me several times when lighting conditions were extremely bad and my camera couldn’t focus properly.

1) which means Re-composition

Before I talk about this technique, let me explain first what does the word “reset” on the picture. When you take a picture, you fall your photo carefully and put your reason somewhere the framework before firing. In other words, you compose the picture. Recompose your photo frame simply means first (for example, to acquire focus), and then move your camera to reposition your reason in else in the frame.

For example, let’s say you started putting the reason in the center of the framing and focusing in the eyes of reason. Instead of taking a boring photo with your reason in the Middle, you could put the reason a little to the side and end up with a much better composition. In other words, you’ll be getting your photo.

2) Why the need to recompose?

Normally, most people don’t snap out of your photos when they’re using digital cameras. Many DSLR cameras, even the most basic models, come with several focal points, which are scattered through the viewfinder, as can be seen in the image below:

When you’re composing a shot, the easiest thing to do is usually move the focal point to the desired area of the display (where the reason is placed), acquire focus and then take a picture. But then there is a typical problem – the focal point is often too small to cover the area of interest or may not be where you want. Take another look in the display above – you are forced to put your reason where the 11 predefined focal points are. But what if you wanted more flexibility and if you wanted to move your reason freely by framing? Of course, DLSRs professionals have much more focal points to work in situations like this, but they never cover the whole framework, because the Phase Detection System – where part of the light is diverted to a sensor, which identifies the distance between the object photographed and the camera-works best closest to the center of the frame, where the camera receives the largest amount of light from the lens. Sometimes, having too many focal points can make it slower when you are cleaning up your photos, because you will have to move many focal points. In addition, the central focal point is always the most accurate on all DSLRs.
This means that when the light conditions are bad, your only choice to get acceptably sharp images can be use the central focal point. If you have made pictures in low light, you will understand that, as I’m sure you will remember how the lens goes back and forth “hunting” the focus when you’re using extreme focal points. Here is a picture that was taken in an extremely dark environment:

The reason is very clear. I had to manually pré-focar in my reason with the central focal point with the help of the AF assistance light from my camera (no other focal point could an accurate focus), I used a flash behind the reason with a blue Jello to get the above effect.

So, for these types of situations, be able to focus on first and then recompose your photos can make a big difference. If the technique is done correctly, you don’t have to worry about a lot of post-processing and clipping, only to get a better composition – you can do this by using your camera and this technique.

3) methods of focus and Recomposing

There are several ways to focus and recompose your photos. Let’s look at each method and take a look at its advantages and disadvantages. Please note that I am assuming that your camera and lens are configured with auto focus. The instructions below will not work in manual focus mode.

3.1) Single Focus Servo method

The first mode, and also the easiest, is to set up your camera to the Single Servant or “AF-S”. When your camera is configured in AF-S mode, she will focus on a time when you press the shutter button halfway. While leaving the focal point in the Center, point your camera to your reason, lock the focus by pressing halfway down the shutter button and wait for the camera to confirm (via a sound or with the green dot/indicator in the display), then recompose and take the picture. If your camera refuses to take a picture, it means that she is set to release the focus mode. So, just go to the menu of the camera and set it to “release in AF-S mode and you should be able to shoot, no matter where you point it.

This method works very well on most cameras, but it requires that you configure your camera for AF-S mode. If you shoot with a Nikon DSLR entry, then the default mode AF-A must also work well, as long as your reason is not moving. If you want to be able to lock the focus in auto focus mode, see the next method.

3.2) method of auto-focus lock

Almost all DSLRs, including the entrance, come with a button on the back of the camera that is dedicated to lock exposure and autofocus camera. In Nikon’s DSLRs, this button is called “AE-L/AF-L” and is provided on all camera models. This button programmed to catch as much exposure as the focus, which would work very well for focus and recomposing. Without worrying about which auto focus mode is your camera, you just focus on your why pressing the shutter button halfway, then, after the focus is confirmed, you press and hold the button AE-L/AF-L on the back of the camera while continuing to press the shutter halfway. Then you snap out of your photo and shoot (continue to hold the two buttons). Doing this, two things will occur – your exposure will be locked and will not change (which can be very useful when you’re photographing people with poor lighting) and your focus will remain on the reason.

The only thing you need to make sure is that the button is actually programmed to lock exposure and focus. In some camera models may not be able to do both. On all Nikon DSLRs, the AE-L/AF-L’s configured to do this. However, if the above method doesn’t work for you, you may have to look in the settings menu.

3.3) method of Rear/AF-ON Button

The last method, which I personally prefer, is to program a button on the back of the camera to acquire focus. When moving the camera focus function for this button, you eliminate the need to press the shutter button halfway to acquire focus – the shutter button is only used for taking pictures. This works great for me, because I don’t have to think constantly push the lock-on button auto focus or be in AF-S mode. In addition, I don’t have to keep pressing the shutter button halfway, that can trigger accidentally. And this works great for focus and recompose your photos.

Once again, all modern DSLRs can do that. If you have a DSLR from Nikon professional, you will have two buttons on the upper right side of the back of the camera – “AE-L/AF-L” and “AF-ON”. The AF-ON button can be configured in the camera menu to move the focus function for him. First, make sure you are in AF only-you must be able to move the focal points in your display. Next, go to the custom settings Menu, sub-menu autofocus, then find the item “activation of the AF.” Change to “just AF-ON”. Once configured, try pressing the shutter button halfway-nothing will happen. But as soon as you press the AF-ON button with your thumb, the camera will start to acquire focus.

Se você tiver uma DSLR da Nikon de entrada, então você não terá um botão AF-ON. Porém, não fique desapontado, porque o mesmo botão “AE-L/AF-L” que eu falei antes pode ser configurado para fazer isto:

A configuração está localizada em um local diferente. Vá para “Menu de Configurações Personalizadas” -> “Controles” -> “Definir botão AE-L/AF-L” ou “Menu de Configuração” -> “Botões” e você verá uma opção que diz “AF-ON”. Apenas escolha essa opção e pressione OK. Assim que terminar, teste pressionando o botão do obturador até a metade primeiro – ele não deve tentar adquirir foco. A seguir, pressione o botão AE-L/AF-L e a câmera deve começar a focar automaticamente.

Se você tiver uma DSLR da Canon, lembre-se que o número de função personalizada particular varia dependendo do modelo em questão. Todas as DSLRs, têm uma função personalizada para mover o botão do obturador para um botão de AF. Certifique-se de verificar no seu manual da câmera a confirmação sobre o número da Função Personalizada para o Botão AF (AF-ON) no seu modelo de câmera. Aqui estão exemplos da seleção de menu C.Fn para modelos mais recentes:

EOS Rebel T3: C.Fn 7 (opção 1 ou 3)

EOS Rebel T3i : C.Fn 9 (opção 1 ou 3)

EOS Rebel T4i: C.Fn 6 (opção 1 ou 3)

EOS 60 d: C.fn IV-1 (option 1, 2, 3 or 4)

EOS 7 d: C.fn IV-1 (custom controls-clock (Shutter) Button, AF-ON)

EOS 6 d: C.fn III-5 (custom controls-Shutter, AF-ON)

EOS 5 d Mark II: C.fn IV-1 (option 2 or 3)

EOS 5 d Mark III: C. Fn menu screen 2 (custom controls-Shutter, AF-ON, AEL buttons)

EOS 1-D x: C. Fn 5 menu screen (custom controls-Shutter, AF-ON, AEL buttons)

As soon as you move the focus to that button back, here’s how to use it:

1 – Use the selector of focal point and place the desired focal point in your reason

2 – Press the rear button/AF-ON with your thumb to acquire focus

3-release the rear/AF-ON button and lock the focus where it is

4 – pull yourself together your photo and shoot

4) potential problems With focus

One thing you should always remember when using this technique is that you can end up with poorly focused images when you recompose aggressively shooting with very large openings and within walking distance. Remember, your plane of focus changes when you snap out of it, so if you have a depth of field very small and is very close to your reason, recompose too much can result in a bad motive focused. If you do not get a sharp image, try to keep the focal point as close as possible to the reason and then pull it together a little bit. Fewer changes mean less changes in the focal plane. If you shoot with teles lenses over long distances, you do not need to worry too much about it. Here is an example of the technique, where I used the central focus to focus in my reasons on the right (using the AF-ON button), and then I pulled myself together the image to include the two girls on the left:

I hope this article was useful and helped you take another step in your photographic journey with a simple technique, but very useful!

Don’t lose focus