Day 2 – Camera Auto Focus


Camera Auto Focus – what is it? Auto focus is basically how your camera knows what the subject of your photograph is. We just point and shoot while the camera does all the work. The auto focus sensors pick up on an object within the frame of the camera, fixate on it and then snap the picture. The result is a focused, sharp picture with our subject clearly seen. If there is movement during the moment the camera button is pushed, either by the subject of the picture or the photographer, the auto focus may not be able to pick up the stationary object long enough to snap a clear picture and this is how we end up with blurry pictures sometimes. It can also cause double images tricking you into thinking that maybe something else is in the picture that really isn’t.

You will want to learn how your camera works with auto focus and you will want to decide if maybe manual focus is better for you. Auto focus works better for “burst” pictures or taking several pictures in succession. Manual focus works better when you have more time to dedicate to snapping your shot. To learn when to use auto focus versus manual focus, cut and paste this link in your browser: If using auto focus, you also want to make sure you know how to engage your camera’s auto focus properly. For example, my camera is a Nikon D3000 DSLR. To release the shutter I press my shutter release button down half way to get my camera to focus. I continue pressing down all the way to take the picture once my camera has focused and is ready. Be familiar with how your camera works!

As we talk about auto focus, you may not realize that there are two types of auto focus, active and passive. Most basic cameras utilize an active auto focus while DSLR cameras utilize a passive auto focus. I won’t go into much detail here on these two types but this article is a great resource explaining active and passive, cut and paste the link into your browser:

You can also learn more about auto focus points and how they are useful here:

Want a good tutorial on how to better understand your camera’s auto focus? Follow this link: