Larry  Grayam

Larry Grayam

Vero Beach, Florida, United States

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“Zone focusing”

We can focus our lens in several different ways, using autofocus or manually focusing the lens. That focal point can be on a static subject or we may desire to follow focus on a moving subject. Or we can create a zone of focus and wait for the subject to enter that area before taking a photograph.

On a trip to Boca Grande Island in Florida I discovered this Osprey; he would always enter the nest from seaward. So I positioned myself to access the seaward part of the nest and created a zone of sharp focus by adjusting the F stop and increasing the depth of field. So everything from about 2’ in front of the nest to everything out to 4’ beyond the nest would be sharply focused. From there it was a matter of waiting until the bird entered my “zone of focus”.

A subject moving at 90 degrees to our cameras axis isn’t a particularly difficult object to focus on where a subject moving directly into the camera can present focusing difficulties. By the time you get a sharp focus the subject has moved closed. Once again creating a zone of focus can solve this dilemma. In this example all I had to do was focus several feet in front of the moving subjects and wait for them to enter the “zone of focus.”

Let’s experiment and create a zone of focus waiting for the subject to enter before tripping the shutter. This gives us a practical use for our knowledge of depth of field as well.

So go forth shoot many photographs and display them proudly, have fun. Larry Grayam

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