Photo Boost | Day Four | Time to focus

Day Four | Time to Focus

Okay, so it’s day four and it’s time to talk about focus.  That little bug bear in your photos.  It seems to be such an obvious thing, but it’s amazing how often focus is the downfall of a masterpiece.  Sure there are times when you want to be arty, but let’s face it, 99% of the time you want your image to be in focus where it counts.

First up you need to make sure you’re choosing the best part of your photo to be in focus.  When you’re capturing people, and their faces, you want the eyes to be sharp.  We can live with some blur, but the eyes have to be sharp for the image to be engaging.  With other subjects, you need to decide what area you want the viewer to give the most attention and make that sharp.  Our eyes are naturally drawn to the sharper areas of an image over the blurry.

Second up, you need to manage to get it in focus.  With almost all cameras, be it your point and shoot or your DSLR, you need to tell the camera where you want it to focus.  Don’t let the camera decide (like with those fancy face detection features) otherwise there’s a good chance it will decide the wall, trees, or even a portrait on the wall behind you is what counts, and you’ll end up with your main subject blurred.  On your phone, tap on the screen to choose the right spot. On your DSLR, set the focus point manually – usually using one of those squares you can see through the lens.

If the camera has missed focus your subject won’t be sharp.
Telling the camera where to focus, keeps you in control!
Missing focus can also be more subtle
Aim for the eye being pin sharp!
You also need enough light so your shutter speed is fast enough to freeze the action.  If it’s not fast enough, you get that motion blur that covers the whole image.  Use your flash or move to a brighter part of the room if you find your image has the shakes!
There wasn’t enough light and the shutter speed was low, so the whole image is blury
When there’s plenty of light, you can even freeze water!

Hot Tips

If you can, work out how to take control of the focus of your camera.  Tell it exactly where you want it to be sharp.  If you’ve lost your manual, a quick google should find it.


Focus is important for all subjects, but particularly for portraits and action shots.  Maybe you want to freeze the kids football action, or really show off the sparkle in their eyes.

The Challenge

Choose yourself a subject and pay attention to what’s in focus, to where the camera is focusing and take a photo or two.  Don’t forget to upload your photo to Instagram and tag #photmojophotoboost #myphotomojo #MPMdayfour