In this article, we will explore some street photography focusing techniques that can help you to work and respond quicker, and capture sharp images in any situation.
So you don’t end up like me with a great image but soft focusing .
In the image bellow you can notice the smoke , it made the camera completely crazy it would randomly focus on the incense sticks , or the smoke , leaving the man out of focus. First I have switched to spot auto-focusing , but even than the camera would give unpredicted results.
This is a perfect example of a situation when you might need some extra tools that will help you to master your camera system.
Street photography is a challenging but rewarding genre of photography that requires quick reflexes, creative vision, and the ability to capture images in the most dynamic and unpredictable environment.
One of the key skills that street photographers need to master is focusing, as even the best composition can be ruined by a blurry or out-of-focus image.
One of the most popular techniques for street photography focusing is zone focusing. This involves manually setting your camera to a specific aperture and focus distance that will allow you to capture images quickly and accurately without having to rely on autofocus.
To use this technique, start by setting your camera to aperture priority mode and selecting a narrow aperture, such as f/8 or f/11. Then, manually adjust the focus ring on your lens to set the distance at which you want to focus.
For example, if you are shooting at a busy intersection, you might set the focus distance to 10 feet (3 meters), which will allow you to capture sharp images of subjects within that distance range. With this technique, you can quickly and easily capture relatively sharp images without having to wait for your camera to focus.
Bu using zone focusing on 28mm lens with F8 , I managed to capture this image sharp from the front to the back subject by just pointing and shooting. Without the need to focus.
Another street photography focusing technique is pre-focusing. This involves focusing on a specific point in the scene before the subject enters the frame.
To use this technique, identify a specific spot where you expect your subject to be, and focus on that spot before the subject enters the frame. This way, when the subject does enter the frame, your camera will already be focused and ready to capture the image.
This technique is particularly useful when using the fishing street photography technique and you have moving subjects entering the frame . Because they move fast and get in and out of the frame quickly cameras often don’t capture them properly.
Using pre-focusing allows you to capture sharp images of these fast-moving subjects without having to rely on autofocus.
In the image bellow I didn’t use that technique and my camera simply chose to focus on the wall.
If I’d prefocused , the chances that the man on the bicycle will be in focus are much higher.
Sometimes when shooting on the street it can be really annoying that the camera hunts for focus again and again between every shot. You want to focus once and just shoot, without re-focusing.
Back-button focusing is a technique that separates the focus and shutter release functions of your camera, allowing you to focus on your subject before taking the shot.
This technique involves assigning the autofocus function to a separate button on the back of your camera, rather than using the shutter button for both ( focus and take the shot. )
This technique can be useful not only for street photography, you can pre-focus once by pressing on the back button , and than when you press on the shutter the camera will not refocus again.
With back-button focusing, you can focus on your subject by pressing the autofocus button with your thumb, and then take the shot by pressing the shutter button with your index finger.
To really master street photography focusing techniques you will need some practice, patience, and experimentation.
By mastering these techniques, you can improve your ability to capture sharp photos without wasting time and playing too much with the camera settings.
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