Manual Focus – How to Master Getting Sharp Images

If you own a fancy DSLR and you take pride in using its advanced auto-focusing system, then there are some who would even question as to why they should make use of manual focus. In truth, there are some very good reasons why you should adjust the focus on your camera through manual means. For example, there are various subjects, as well as environmental conditions, that can fool your camera. Your device is smart, but it cannot replace the human mind in terms of thought processing. Therefore, there are scenarios wherein it is considerably harder to acquire a good shot when you’re in auto-focusing mode.

Manual Focus – How to Master Getting Sharp Images

Mastering the Manual Focus on Your Camera

So what are the situations wherein you can practice on using manual focus on your camera? For starters, you can try photographing foliage or grass. Focusing manually while using a wide aperture will allow you to reduce the background to a very pleasing and quite colorful blur. This effect is often called “Bokeh,” which is the Japanese term for blur. What happens in your picture is that your main area of focus will be very sharp while the rest of the image, especially the background, will be blurred out. This creates a beautiful mix of sharp and out-of-focus elements in a single photograph.

But what about fast moving objects or subjects that are in motion? If you want to practice manual focus with moving subjects, then it is best to manually focus on a particular spot first. Then, when your desired subject moves in that point, fire the shutter.

When it comes to landscape photography, manually adjusting the focus is an absolute boon. When you leave it up to your camera to focus on the horizon, it might focus on areas that you do not want. Therefore, you would waste a lot of your depth of field. Hence, it is better to just turn the auto-focusing feature and manually adjust the focus yourself.

There are some cameras, especially mirrorless models, which have a feature known as focus peaking, which is also an absolute necessity when you want to do manual focus. What it does is the camera will automatically tell you what parts of the picture are in complete focus without having to do a lot of guesswork. Therefore, you can just adjust the focus ring on the lens of the camera until there are a lot of highlighted areas within the frame. When you’re satisfied, just fire the shutter button.


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