If you’re taking up photography using a point-and-shoot camera, the first skill you need to master is getting the camera to focus on the image you want. The only way to make sure that an autofocus point-and-shoot focuses correctly — especially if the main subject isn’t centered in the frame — is to lock the focus before you take a picture.

  1. Look through the viewfinder — or at the viewing screen on a digital point-and-shoot — and place its focus point (the marks in the middle) on the main subject.

    Doing this centers the subject in the frame.

  2. Press the shutter button halfway down to lock the focus.

  3. Holding the shutter button halfway down, compose the shot the way you want.

  4. Press the shutter button all the way to take the picture.