How to Use Focus Lock

Have you ever taken an image, say of people at an event and then later when you look at the image on your computer the people that were the subjects are slightly out of focus but someone in the background came out sharp?

This has happened to many new photographers but many of them do not know why. If it has happened to you don’t feel bad, because in this article I will explain how to correct for this issue. You can see an example in the image below. The couple are the subject but the old woman in the background is the one that is tack sharp.

What is happening is your camera has auto focus, yes but it does not always get the right subject with it’s focus lock. The best way to resolve this is point your camera at one of them subjects and press your shutter down halfway and hold it. This will cause the camera to focus lock on that person. Now, while holding the shutter button halfway down, re-frame your shot to include all your subjects. Once you have it frame the way you want the shot, press the shutter the rest of the way down to make the image. In this sample image, notice how the woman in the background has tack sharp focus?


Using this technique, you will see that you have successfully made your subjects focus tack sharp. This same technique can be use for other types of photography as well. If shooting Macro and you have a bee on a flower and you want to frame using the ‘Rule of Thirds’, you would use this same method. Shooting a landscape with a farmhouse in the distance, use this same method.

Most all professional photographers are familiar with this method to keep auto focus in the camera from ruining their shots. This is something ALL photographers should master early on so that you are properly prepared for shooting people at events especially.

Now get out there and make some great images!