Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

Foundations of Photography: Lenses

Focus troubleshooting: What to do when your auto-focus doesn't


From:

Foundations of Photography: Lenses

with Ben Long

Video: Focus troubleshooting: What to do when your auto-focus doesn't

So, I found this landscape shot that I like. I've got this big wall of fog overtaking the small town here. Now, what I like about this shot is the big wall of fog. The problem is the big wall of fog doesn't have any contrast in it. And the auto focus system in my camera needs contrast to detect focus. The idea is where there's more contrast, there's better focus. This is a type of situation you're likely to encounter a lot. Maybe it's not a crushing wall of fog, but it could be anything that lacks contrast. Maybe you're trying to focus on something that's just a solid color.

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
Please wait...
Foundations of Photography: Lenses
2h 32m Beginner Feb 11, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Many of the creative options available to a photographer hinge on an in-depth understanding of lenses. In Foundations of Photography: Lenses, Ben Long shows how to choose lenses and take full advantage of their creative options. The course covers fundamental concepts that apply to any camera, such as focal length and camera position, and shows how to evaluate and shop for DSLR lenses. The second half of the course focuses on shooting techniques: controlling autofocus, working with different focal lengths, and managing distortion and flare. The course also examines various filters and contains tips on cleaning and maintaining lenses.

Topics include:
  • Understanding field of view and camera position
  • Depth of field and lens choice
  • How to choose a lens
  • Examining lens features
  • Using specialized lenses such as fisheye and tilt/shift lenses
  • Focusing techniques
  • Using filters
  • Camera maintenance
Subjects:
Photography Cameras + Gear Photography Foundations
Author:
Ben Long

Focus troubleshooting: What to do when your auto-focus doesn't

So, I found this landscape shot that I like. I've got this big wall of fog overtaking the small town here. Now, what I like about this shot is the big wall of fog. The problem is the big wall of fog doesn't have any contrast in it. And the auto focus system in my camera needs contrast to detect focus. The idea is where there's more contrast, there's better focus. This is a type of situation you're likely to encounter a lot. Maybe it's not a crushing wall of fog, but it could be anything that lacks contrast. Maybe you're trying to focus on something that's just a solid color.

So, where I am at here is I've chosen to use only my center point auto focus or the center point of my auto focus. That point is falling in the middle of the fog. So, what I need to do to solve this problem-- There are a few different options. I can put the camera back into auto focus select mode or auto focus point select mode where it will choose the focus points that it wants. And hopefully, it will choose one maybe down on the town. If it doesn't, then I can manually choose an auto focus point that's correct or I can switch to manual focus and just try to manually focus the lens.

Those are all ways of getting around the problem of initial focus. But because this is a landscape shot, I am probably going to shoot it several times. I am waiting for the light to get right, I am waiting for cool fog patterns to come in, whatever. I am going to want to take a few shots of this. So, after I get it focused, I am going to go around to the auto manual focus switch on the lens, and switch it over to manual focus. That will lock my focus in. So as long as I don't bump the manualfocus ring, I'll have good focus. Then I can just stand here, watch the scene, and knock-off shots as I like them. So anytime you come into a situation where you would hear that searching thing, you don't hear the auto focus beep, basically, anytime you come into a situation where your camera is not focusing, those are the ways to work around it.

Manually choose a focus point, switch back to auto focus point selection if you were not on it, manually focus, or use the tilt and reframe focus technique that we looked at earlier. All of those will get you out of your low contrast area and hopefully allow your camera to lock focus.

There are currently no FAQs about Foundations of Photography: Lenses.

Share a link to this course
Please wait... Please wait...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Foundations of Photography: Lenses.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Welcome to the redesigned course page.

We’ve moved some things around, and now you can



Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked