FO­CUS ON FO­CUS­ING

Strug­gling with in­ac­cu­rate or in­con­sis­tent fo­cus­ing? Then strug­gle no more with our es­sen­tial guide to nail­ing pin-sharp shots of land­scapes, por­traits, wildlife, and more…

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Five pros share their tips for pin-sharp shots

If a pic­ture isn’t fo­cused prop­erly then it’s usu­ally des­tined for the trash, ir­re­spec­tive of how well ex­posed it is, or how great the sub­ject might be (with the ex­cep­tion of a gen­uine shot of the Loch Ness mon­ster, per­haps!). In other words, fo­cus isn’t sim­ply im­por­tant, it’s fun­da­men­tal to the suc­cess of each and ev­ery im­age you take. But ‘be­ing in fo­cus’ means dif­fer­ent things for dif­fer­ent gen­res; what may be ap­pli­ca­ble for shoot­ing sport might not be so rel­e­vant for cap­tur­ing a pin-sharp macro im­age.

On the face of it, fo­cus is a sim­ple con­cept to un­der­stand: the sub­ject is ei­ther in fo­cus or it isn’t. But ac­tu­ally there’s a lot more to it than that. The amount of your sub­ject that’s in fo­cus is dic­tated by a num­ber of vari­ables, such as aper­ture and lens choice, both of which have a pro­found ef­fect on the im­age. Some­times you’ll want to cap­ture ev­ery part of a scene in sharp fo­cus, while at other times it might be bet­ter to re­strict the fo­cus, so that only the main sub­ject is sharp and the back­ground is blurred.

In this fea­ture we’ll ex­am­ine the role of fo­cus for five dif­fer­ent gen­res (land­scapes, por­traits, wildlife, macro, and sport) and pro­vide prac­ti­cal, stepby-step ad­vice on how best to fo­cus your sub­jects. What’s more, five of the coun­try’s lead­ing Nikon pros will re­veal their tricks of the trade for nail­ing pin­sharp im­ages ev­ery time…

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