Focus Exercise


Read the parts of your camera manual on focusing and close-up (macro or flower setting) and become familiar with how your ‘auto’ focus and ‘focus points’ operate (if fitted)

  • With ½ pressure on shutter release watch the camera autofocus. Does it beep when focused? Can you switch the beep off?
  • Find out how to adjust where your camera focuses ( eg; multi-spot/single centre spot?) Does it focus on the nearest part of the subject?
  • Find out if your camera has manual focus capability. This is useful in certain circumstances where background items can ‘fool’ the camera to focus incorrectly.
  • Compact camera users: Try out the macro (flower symbol) control for close up photographs. Cancel macro after use.
  • DSLR Users: Find out how close you can focus. Does it vary with different lenses?
  • How does your camera tell you you’re too close? (light/beep?)
  • Compact users: Use the ‘tele’ setting to get better out-of-focus backgrounds ie; creating a shallow depth of field.
  • DSLR Users: Set a wide aperture (low f/Number)and/or use a long lens to create depth of field and blur backgrounds
  • Try moving the focus point in your camera if fitted, this is usually a small rectangle visible in the viewfinder that can be moved around the viewfinder and will create a ‘focus point’ at the part of the subject where the rectangle is situated.

Exercise *

  • Take two hand-held photos, with and without macro (flower symbol) control as close up as possible for an in-focus image. What is the difference in the distances and in the depth of field?
  • Repeat the previous step with the camera on a tripod (or on a firm surface) so you can assess the effect of camera shake.
  • If your camera supports it, adjust the focus point and repeat one of the choices above (DSLR users can do this. Compact users may not be able to.)
  • Compare the various images (view on PC). How do sharpness and depth of field vary? How can you use this knowledge?

*Write down your choices so you know which images correspond to each setting. Where (view on PC) is shown this part may have to be completed later.