When you are taking a picture, ask yourself, what is the first thing you want people viewing the photograph to focus on? Most of the time when we are photographing people, the focal point will be the eyes, but sometimes it can be nice to change what the main subject of the photo is. A really easy way to do this is to use a shallow depth of field, and change what you focus on. This simple change of focal point can really add a lot of interest to the story of your photograph, and elevate it above the rank of another snapshot - and for very little effort!
To do this, you need to switch your focus mode from AUTO Focus - which is where the camera determines the focus point, which will be whatever happens to be closest to the camera - over to Manual Selection Focus Point, where YOU control the focus point. You do this on your camera, not your lens. (This is just one of the things we cover how to do in Auto to Awesome!)
Here's how to do it with a Canon Rebel, but the process is similar to all other makes and models.
1) Move away from full AUTO, and switch to either the AV, TV, M or P modes on your camera.
2) Then press the AF selection button on your camera, and you will see that the AF point selection screen will appear on the screen.
3) Change to Manual AF point selection. Instead of all the focus points being shown as selected, only one will be highlighted.
4) You can now toggle to any of the nine focus points you have available, using the dial or the cross keys to move between the different points.
Now that you have changed your camera to allow you to set your own focus point, all you need to do now is find a object to focus on, and press the AF Selection Button. As you look through the viewfinder you will see all the focus points you have available, and simply move to the focus point that is closest to the subject you want to be sharp. Also make sure you use a small aperture number so that you can get a blurred background. Look at that - easy peasy!
Here's some examples of this in action!
If you are interested in growing your photography skills then why not come along and join me on a FREE seven day course just for beginners? You'll get a lesson sent directly to your email every day for seven days, all designed to help you shoot better images! Simply click on the image below to get started :)