I have decided to take a blog post a week or every other week (sorry, I have been slacking with these post) to answer any questions you may have! Now, I don’t know everything or have all the answers, or honestly do everything the “”correct photography way”” But I want to help you all as much as I can! So feel free to submit your questions to my email!!! I will take 1 a week and answer the best I can. 🙂
This weeks question is : I can never seem to get my pictures quite clear enough. What is the best way to keep the subject in focus? Have you calibrated your lenses?
Okay! First things first, sticking your focus is SO important! You want that clear image! I shoot with a 5d Mark III and its focusing is amazing. There is over 60 different focus points and its so so helpful. I started getting into the habit of moving my dial around to make sure I stick that focus. I shoot pretty wide open with my aperture. I love shooting around the 1.8 f stop. It really gives that creamy background, so making sure you hit your focus is so important. I always focus lock on my clients eyes, the one that is taller and closer to me. I back focus on my camera as well, which I found to be very helpful. Meaning, instead of focusing from the same button I take the picture, I changed my focus button to the back of my camera so my thumb is hitting that button getting it to focus and my pointer finger is hitting the trigger. I switched to this a couple of years ago when I realized I wasn’t being consistent in getting every image in focus. This was extremely helpful! There are times for sure I miss focus, but I am very aware of always making sure I am sticking that focus. Also set your focus mode on AL Focus, this is good for still portraits and if you subject moves at all it will track it to stay in focus. If you have a subject moving towards you (walking towards or away) I set my mode on Al Servo this is a continuous tracking focus, so you focus your camera and as the subject walks to you in tracks so you can get the picture in focus. Once I started using this I was nailing the focus for processionals and recessionals on a wedding day. For ring shots or detail shots I switch over to manual focus to get super close and capture the details. On ring pictures I focus on the prong that is closest to me, I found this super helpful on making sure those ring shots were in focus! Different lens will also give you a sharper feel to your images. I LOVE the 85mm 1.2. This is probably my sharpest lens and its fabulous along with the 35mm 1.4 Sigma Art. Now, I own the 50mm 1.2 lens this is a very soft lens, for some reason it doesn’t always stick a focus, so this lens I had to calibrate to my camera body. I did a test in a camera store one day with someone working there and we got it to be a better focus. The Mark 3 has an incredible feature that helps calibrate your lens to your body. It worked great, but there are times that lens is still soft.
Overall, sticking focus is so important. Make sure your focus isn’t set on like auto select, that means you aren’t actually picking the location to focus. Manual select is was you want. Use your focal points to help you and maybe look to switching your focus button to the back of the camera like I did.
I hope that this is helpful! I think focus is one of the MOST important things when looking at an image. You can fix color and exposure, but you can’t turn an out of focus picture into a focused picture 🙂
Looking forward to more questions!