AN EYE ON FOCUS & COMPOSITION
by Katrina Kennedy
Have you noticed what sets professional-looking photos apart from snapshots? There are two big differences — focus and composition. Nothing fancy is needed for you to improve your focus or composition.
Taking photos with great focus
For great focus, consider changing your camera's focal points rather than letting the camera select them.
Many cameras have up to nine points to choose from. By moving your focal point to the spot you want in focus, you'll avoid having ears and walls behind your subject in focus while you've blurred faces. You will need to move your camera to a semi- manual or manual setting to adjust the focal points.
Aim your focus on your subject's eyes for the most dramatic results.
You can ensure your focus is sharp by firmly holding your camera and keeping your shutter speed fast enough to stop motion. I try to shoot around 1/125 of a second when photographing my son, otherwise I'm guaranteed to capture motion blur.
Check your camera's manual for exactly how to change the focal points for your camera model. I consider it a fundamental of good photography.
Taking photos with great composition
For great composition, play with different angles.
Try shooting things from above to make them look smaller. Shoot your subject from below to create a feeling of dominance in the frame. Switch it up and try something unexpected.
Take a look around your viewfinder before you push the shutter button, check for extra clutter and objects growing out of heads!
I love leaving a little negative space in my photos to draw attention to the subject. I want my viewer to know exactly what story I'm telling.
With an eye on your focus and composition, you will save yourself editing time and create more eye pleasing images. Have fun with your camera and capturing your memories!
Class for beginners, point-and-shoot camera users, as well those with digital SLR cameras starting Wednesday, May 26th.
Join me on May 26th in my online class Your Life: Captured Through the Lens. We'll take photographs that reveal the stories you want to tell. In six lessons we will explore focus and composition, demystify the buttons and knobs on your camera, and practice seeing differently. You’ll receive step-by-step instructions for virtual assignments and supportive, safe feedback in our private online gallery. Weekly videos, live chat "office hours," and ongoing forum conversations give you an opportunity to really step up your skills.
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