zaterdag 1 januari 2011

zone focussing

Zone focussing is a type of manual focus, to be able to do this you will need to use a manual focus lens, or turn of your camera’s autofocus.
What you basically do is that you rely on your depth of field, therefore it is very useful if your lens has depth of field markings on it. When you know the area which will be in focus you start walking. This makes you the autofocus, and you don’t focus on one thing but on everything which will be in your plane of focus in front of you where you happen to walk across.

This may sound weird and confusing but it is very easy to get used to. Let me give you an example, let’s say you want to do street photography and you use a 28mm. You are new to manual focus and therefore you want a large depth of field and you use f/8.
Your depth of field markings on your lens say that from infinity until 4.5 meter will be in focus. Well 4.5 meter is a bit far away, so you focus a bit closer. Let’s say you focus on 2 meters. Your depth of field will be between 1.6 and 4 meters away from you. With this in mind you start walking through the city, and you do not change your focus. If you see something interesting you walk to it, until the subject you want to photograph is between 1.6 and 4 meters away from you.

When is this useful:
As in the example already said it is a good technique for streetphotography. Manual focussing requires that you look through the viewfinder. This will get you noticed by your subject. If you only have to compose your shot you will be a lot faster and you won’t get noticed as much as when you try to focus precisely on your subject.

For example this shot:

I actually was planning to take a photograph of the scene itself. I was mounting my camera on my tripod when this elderly pair walked into the scene. I had my aperture at f/11 while I was hyperfocussing. I only had to wait until they were 2 meters away from me to take the photo. (that’s why the horizon is off, I hadn’t had the time to set my tripod properly, but I started to like the angle while processing so I didn’t correct it)

You can do the same for sport photography. Especially when you are familiar with the game. When I shoot a basketball game, well obviously the most spectacular moments are during rebounds, lay-ups and dunks. This is all near the basket. The basket is the begin of your depth of field, because anything closer than the basket probably isn’t interesting, while the approaching players are. They will be in focus as well.
To be able to use this technique effectively during sports photography you will need a fairly wide lens. Say from 24 to 70mm because you want to have a larger depth of field. If you start using a 300mm f/2.8 your depth of field will be 0.12 meters wide if you focus on a basket which is 10 meters away. 

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