Selective Focusing during Dog Photography

If you’re using a single AF point for more focus control, understanding how to use selective focusing during your dog photography sessions is imperative. Without this technique, you have to quickly change your selected AF point every time you want to move the subject within your frame. Instead of constantly rotating AF points, follow these steps for selective focusing:

  1. Press the AF point selection button and choose a single AF point to work with.

  2. Align your chosen AF point (the only one that’s red when you look through the viewfinder) with the exact area you want to be in focus, be it your dog’s eye, nose, or ear.

  3. Press your shutter release halfway to lock focus.

    Don’t worry about your composition yet; just make sure your AF point overlaps the area you want in focus.

  4. While keeping the shutter release pressed halfway, recompose your shot until you have the composition you want.

  5. Continue pressing the shutter release all the way down to take the picture.

    Remember, you’re not releasing from the halfway point and then fully pressing the shutter release; you’re going directly from halfway-pressed to fully-pressed — capiche?

When choosing your AF point, try to choose one that’s relatively close to the point you’re focusing on. For example, if your dog’s eyes appear in the top half of the frame, don’t choose AF points from the bottom half of the frame. If you have to drastically recompose your shot after locking focus, your focus may not be as accurate.

Selective focusing is one of those techniques you’ll use in just about any situation, but it’s especially important when shooting close-ups or details with shallow depth of field.

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