Bonsai photography - controlling focus - point of focus or focal point.
The point of focus or focal point of the image, is where within the image is the clearest and sharpest in focus. Depending on the aperture and depth of field a small part, half the image, or the whole image may be in pretty clear focus.
You can focus the camera in one of two main modes, automatic and manual.
Both methods of focusing have their benefits. Depening upon the camera, the automatic mode may have more than one, a point and hold focus mode and a servo mode, which changes focus as you move the camera or the subject moves. Hopefully you won't have any moving bonsai, unless being moved around by wind of breezes.
The best way, on the camera, to check the image is in focus is to zoom in and check the image at 100% to see if
- There is a clear image that appears to be in focus
- There is good composition.
Tips for focusing
Select where you want to focus and ensure that you click on the shutter button you are point at this.
You can have the focal point of the image to the side of the shot or top or bottom and still be in focus using at least two methods including;
Reasons for automatic focusing
- Easy to use, generally push the main button down halfway to get the focus working.
- You can concentrate on other things like focal point, composition, lighting, aperture, depth of field and shutter speed.
- Digital SLRs can give you the option to dial in a focus point in the viewfinder, so it will always focus on the center or side or top corner of the screen for example.
Reasons for manual focusing
- If you want to focus on a focal point that is partially obscured you can do so, because the camera may wish to focus on something closer or more prominent in the shot.
- If your camera on a tripod is having difficulty focusing in low light conditions, you can manually adjust the focus in advance of the shot and be ready to take the photo.
The focal point on this image is in the main part of the trunk marked by the red indicators. You normally can see similar indicators through your camera viewfinder.
There is generally an indicator on cameras to indicate where the point of focus is as you focus in automated mode, as marked in red in the image above.
The focal point on this image is in the front part of the branch marked by the red indicators. You normally can see similar indicators through your camera viewfinder.