Master fo­cus­ing FO­CUS ON MOV­ING SUB­JECTS

En­sure you get sharp shots ev­ery time by us­ing the right fo­cus­ing modes and tech­niques for dif­fer­ent sub­jects and sit­u­a­tions

NPhoto - - Feature -


Im­ages of mov­ing sub­jects look more dy­namic if the back­ground is blurred and the sub­ject is sharp. You need to use a shut­ter speed slow enough to give you some blur, and fol­low the sub­ject so that it stays in the same po­si­tion in the viewfinder to keep it sharp. This tech­nique takes prac­tice, and re­quires ex­per­i­men­ta­tion with shut­ter speeds.


If you want to fo­cus on an off-cen­tre sub­ject that isn’t mov­ing around in the frame too much, you might want to man­u­ally se­lect the aut­o­fo­cus point that’s clos­est to the edge you want to fo­cus on. To do this, se­lect sin­gle shot AF mode, then use your Nikon’s con­trols to se­lect the most suit­able AF point. This tech­nique is par­tic­u­larly use­ful for sub­jects such as por­traits, where the sub­ject’s eye is in the same place in the frame for a se­quence of shots. Another ex­am­ple is when you want to cap­ture off-cen­tre im­ages of rac­ing cars as they pass the same spot on a track, one after the other.


Once you’ve se­lected a fo­cus point over the sub­ject, you need to set the most ap­pro­pri­ate aut­o­fo­cus mode. For static sub­jects, you will usu­ally get the most re­li­able re­sults by set­ting your Nikon to sin­gle shot aut­o­fo­cus mode. In this mode the cam­era fo­cuses when you press the shut­ter re­lease, and won’t re­fo­cus un­til you lift your fin­ger off the button and press it again. This will give you the most ac­cu­rate fo­cus­ing, as long as the dis­tance be­tween the sub­ject and cam­era doesn’t change.


There are times, such as when you’re shoot­ing with a very shal­low depth of field or in low-light con­di­tions, when us­ing aut­o­fo­cus isn’t the best op­tion. In these sit­u­a­tions us­ing man­ual fo­cus will of­ten give you more ac­cu­rate and re­li­able re­sults. If you find that you are strug­gling to ac­cu­rately fo­cus us­ing the viewfinder, it can be eas­ier to switch to Live View mode, and zoom in on the Live View im­age in or­der to gain a much clearer view of the sharp­ness.

When the sub­ject is mov­ing you need to set up the aut­o­fo­cus mode on your cam­era to keep it sharp. On Nikon DSLRs, this mode is called con­tin­u­ous AF. Even when us­ing the cor­rect mode, how­ever, it’s still im­por­tant that you keep the ac­tive AF point po­si­tioned over the sub­ject for as long as pos­si­ble. You can do this by mov­ing the cam­era to track the sub­ject’s move­ment, rather than wait­ing for the sub­ject to reach a par­tic­u­lar area in the frame. Track­ing the sub­ject through the viewfinder in this way, and shoot­ing at the peak of the ac­tion, will en­able your Nikon to fo­cus much more suc­cess­fully.

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