Where to focus your camera

Quite often it is best to focus on your intended subject (and if its a person, on their eyes), then hold the focus and recompose the image to make the composition stronger - like having your subject to one side or the other rather than dead center.

Most modern dSLR's have multiple focus points available to get good focus on subjects in the middle as well as to the edges of photos. For most accurate focus it's often best to manually choose a focus point rather than let the camera choose one - an example would be focusing on the subject's eyes.

If you're working with a shallow Depth of Field (see Depth Of Field to learn more about this subject) and use the center point of a multiple point focusing system (common in most dSLRs) then the focus might actually be behind the subject because the 'focal plane' will swing on an arc. Its best to choose a focus point in your camera closest to where you'll want the subject positioned.

Please check out your camera manual to find out how to do that with your specific camera.

Here is an example - if you're shooting a full-length portrait, the best camera height is about waist level and the best focus is on the subject's eyes. (Yes, we've cut off the subject's legs in this illustration, but in a photo you'd show the legs as well.)

However as you swing the camera down to recompose it the focal plane swings in an arc and winds up about the subject's ears rather than the subject's eyes.

If you can chose a focus point nearest where the eyes are, the focus will shift the least and the picture will look its best.

Learn to pose people

(Editor's note - I came across this eBook and thought I'd share it for all you aspiring portrait photographers - Neil)

Discover How You Can Quickly And Easily Produce The Professional Standard Portraits You've Always Wanted By Mastering The Secrets Of Camera-Friendly Poses

Posing Secrets - The Photographer's Essential Guide Vol.1 is a newly released practical resource for creative posing that will quickly show you clear and comprehensive practical steps to produce and communicate a pose for any situation.

This book is for you if you photograph people and is invaluable whether you use digital or film photography. No matter what angle you wish to photograph your model from you can apply these techniques to head shots, ¾ shots and full length shots. Whether you want models still or apparently in motion, seated or standing, this resource will suggest every pose any photographer would need.

Click here to learn more.

A paid photo lessons site

Your Guide to Digital Photography Review

Seller: Learn Digital Photography Now Website

Summary: The “Your Guide to Digital Photography” by Dan Feildman is a downloadable guide for digital photography beginners and those looking for better results from their digital photography.

Product Details: There are a number of components to this learning product including –

-    “Your Guide to Digital Photography” - a 75-page guide that includes a variety of tips and advice for the beginner to advanced photographer. Some of the topics are:

- Taking your first pictures
- Different kinds of digital cameras
- Professional technology at affordable prices
- Finding the right low end digital camera for those on a budget
- Exposing digital photography myths.
- Understanding the features of your digital camera
- Tips for taking better digital pictures
- Pet photo tips
- Night photo tips
- Horizons and sunglasses
- How to share your digital pictures
- Printing your pictures
- Choosing a printer for you digital images
- Editing your photos.
- Understanding white balance so your photos look good in all lighting.
- Interpolation and digital zoom to improve detailing in pictures
- Finding free photo editors for your Windows computer
- Using your flash effectively
- Understanding and making the most of your memory cards
- Important equipment to take when traveling.
- Battery options and your best bets.
- Making money from your digital photography hobby.

-    “Photography Quick Tips” – 37 pages showing you how to make the most of your pictures. It includes practical tips for:

-    Night photography
-    Action photography
-    Landscapes
-    Sunsets and sunrises
-    Beach photography
-    Desert photography
-    Sports photography
-    People and pets
-    Street photography
-    Fog & Mist
-    Waterfalls & Running Water
-    Rain & Snow
-    Fireworks

-    Picasa Tutorials – There are 8 video tutorials (you can view them online or download them to your computer) to show you how to use the free Picasa software to organize, edit, create and share your photos. The videos include:

- Downloading and installing the program
- Editing photos with Picasa
- Creating collages
- Blogging with Picasa
- Backing up your photos
- Printing your photos
- Posting pictures to your web album

-    “Your Top Digital Photography Questions Answered” – This 26 page guide answers 20 common questions about digital photography including:

- What is the biggest mistake made by beginning digital photographers?
- How to decide on the right digital camera.
- How to decide is a picture is worth taking.
- How to get the white balance right.
- How to take clear shots for indoor sports.
- Advantages/disadvantages of raw vs. Jpeg format photographs.
- What are the best settings for low light/nighttime conditions?
- What is hyperfocal distance?
- How to take a photo of a glass sign or a framed picture in glass
- How to get high contrast natural light black and white pictures.
- Time lag from the time you take a picture until it is on the memory card.
- How to avoid redeye in dim light.
- Small object close up pictures.
- How to photograph gemstones and jewelry.
- How to take a picture with both strong sun and shade.
- Capturing personality in photos of people.
- How can I understand depth of field?
- Settings and techniques for photographing birds and wildlife.
- How to take pictures into the sun and avoid lens flare.
- How to take good pictures in the snow or on the beach.

-    “Buying a Digital Camera” Video – This video shows you how to use the Internet to conduct research from unbiased sources.

-    “An Experiment in Photography. What Exactly Happens When You Change the Settings on Your Digital Camera?” – This 12 page guide shows photos of the same object (a house, in this case) with different camera settings resulting in very different photos.

-    “Secrets of Night Photography” – A quick 6-page guide with concise advice about nighttime photography. It includes information on:

- Trails of Light (Cars)
- Trails of Light (Stars)
- Weather  and Exposure
- Horizons and Sunglasses
- Tripods
- Low Cost Filtering

Format:

The main guide is a PDF ebook. There are extra guides (PDF) and videos (free Flash & Shockwave required). If you’re not sure how to use these files, don’t worry, all the download information is carefully explained and any software you may need is free and safe to download.

Thoughts on the Product:

This package covers a lot of ground on the topic of digital photography. All of the advice is very step-by-step and detailed, but doesn’t include unnecessary filler. Even for someone who has never used a digital camera before, the information is clear and concise enough to take that person from buying a camera to taking their first shots and being proud of their work.

The product can be downloaded instantly upon purchase, so you don’t have to wait for a bunch of books and videos to come in the mail. For those who are new to online downloads, full instructions are included.

To find out more about this program Click Here!

Bathroom 100

This is a great exercise to push your ability to find interesting compositions anywhere. Go into the bathroom, lock the door and take 100 photos of the bathroom itself. The first 30 or so are easy. By the time you're done, you'll find yourself looking at a lot of things a bit different.

Now on FLICKR and FaceBook

We've just started up a group on flickr.com - we'd love to see your photography so please join the group http://www.flickr.com/groups/bestphotolessons/. If you're not already a member of flickr, its a free service to join and share your photography.

One note, though, if you do post there - I do recommend watermarking your images because despite Creative Commons rules, some people "appropriate" the images for their own use. There are some people that share their images for free, most do not. By watermarking, you at least protect your "intellectual property."

Also created a Group on FaceBook - so if you're on there, please join up.

New! Improved!

Welcome to the new and improved version of BestPhotoLessons.com - your source for learning the basics of photography...and beyond.

I hope you like the new layout. You'll have to be on the watch for some of the new features coming soon, like the fully expanded advanced course which will be available on DVD, download, streaming - and whatever else I can think of.

Thank you for visiting, I hope you'll come back often. Please let me know if you like, dislike, have ideas for, would like to volunteer for, anything about BestPhotoLessons.com.

Free Online Photography Lessons

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