Once you’ve compensated for white balance and set your exposure triangle, the next step is actually taking the picture. Tins is the best step, the one you’ve been waiting for, but it still requires a little bit of skill. As you’ve learned, taking a picture is more complicated than just a point and click, and focusing on your subject goes beyond twisting the lens back and forth.
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There are a plethora of automatic settings for focus on your Canon DSLR, and knowing when to use which will make the difference between mediocre and truly eye-popping photographs. The one shot focus setting on your Canon DSLR will get the job done nine times out of ten, so it will be discussed first. As mentioned in the introduction, the “ONE SHOT” item on your LCD screen refers to your focus settings. In automatic mode, moving the picture dial on top of the camera to the human face, the flower, or the mountain will maneuver you through the three different settings in one shot mode.
The human is best for portraits or group photos, even selfies, because the camera will automatically detect the faces in each shot and focus on them. The flower setting works for smaller, more minute subjects you’re trying to capture, while the mountain works best for large landscape shots without people. Don’t be afraid to play around with the freedoms these automatic, one shot settings give you. For example, if you choose the mountain setting while shooting people in front of landscape, they ivill be blurry while the background will be sharper. This can be intentional or not, depending on the energy you’re trying to bring to the image.
Also, using the flower setting when taking pictures of people or animals can bring the focus on specific areas, like eyes or hair, if you’re trying to emphasize something specific. This is your photographic adventure, so play around and get comfortable so you can continue exploring the other options available to you. In the other automatic modes – AI Focus and AI Servo, you are at liberty to choose exactly what your camera focuses on. This can be both exciting and frustrating, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed by what your Canon DSLR can do.
It will help to read the camera’s manual along with this chapter, which will be important if you have a specific vision you’re wishing to capture. Depending on the model of your DSLR, you may have to confirm that your camera is in the automatic or “AF” setting. This adjustment can be done by moving the tab button on the top of the camera to “AF”. This setting will bring up a menu screen that offers One Shot, Focus, and Servo as options. One shot has already been discussed, but choosing focus or servo modes will open up another menu screen that allows you to choose which part of the image you want to focus on.
This collection of little diamonds coincides with different places in the photograph. Choose your diamond of focus and push the “SET” button to finalize the option. In AI Focus mode, you will focus this diamond on a place within a stationary setting, which can be the face, eyes, or ears of whomever or whatever you’re photographing. But for AI Servo mode, you will choose a spot on a moving target that you are attempting to photograph. This can be especially tricky because the object is moving, so you’ll want to make sure your ISO and shutter speed are set properly in order to capture an image that is not blurry.
You can manoeuver through the diamonds on your LCD with the arrow keys or by touch screen, depending on your camera’s model. And, depending on your skill level, you can choose one or more than one diamond to focus on. Choosing more than one allows your camera’s automatic setting to move through the best possible option, but choosing only one will limit your camera’s focus to that specific space. Once you perfect your focusing skills in automatic mode, feel free to venture into the manual settings by moving the tab over to “MF” and exploring the options through the menu screen. Manual mode gives you more freedom when it comes to deciding which items to focus on in your individual pictures, and you will eventually be able to take charge of exactly how and where your camera focuses.
You will no longer have a one shot option in manual mode, so it is important to develop your skills with automatic first.