How To Use Focal Lock on Your Digital Camera

Everyone with a digital camera has experienced a focal problem before in a photo. Two people are posing for a shot and after taking it, they discover that they're faces are out of focus while the background looks sharp. You could claim that your camera's auto focus is garbage because it does not have facial recognition technology. Or, you can use the focal lock and give yourself more control over the automatic functions that don't work right all the time.

How Auto Focus Works

Auto focus works by trying to figure out what is most prominent in the frame by how it contrasts with the rest of the image. While it can be effective and help in situations where you need to shoot fast, it isn't always right. It is especially ineffective in low light situations where the contrast between objects is difficult to see.

When framing a subject, we tend to follow the rule of thirds which states that our subjects look better when they're positioned off center. While this is great for composition, it's bad for the auto focus because it has difficulty distinguishing the background or foreground from our subject. Having our subject out of focus ruins what would be great photographs, and you can't accept that. You may have to zoom in on the object you want in focus and then zoom out to your frame. But, this is ineffective because the autofocus can change and then you need to start over again. However, you can avoid that frustration by using the focal lock.

Using the Focal Lock

The focal lock is extremely easy to use. In order to engage it, you need to pose your subject in the center of the frame. When they're looking sharp, press half down on the shutter. The focal lock is now engaged and you can reposition your frame with the subject staying sharp. Keep in mind that you need to keep your finger on the shutter or the focal lock will be released. Once you have the frame you want, you can press down all the way on the shutter to take a photo.

Getting into the habit of using the focal lock will increase the quality of the photos you take. It's easy to learn and easy to practice. If you know about focal lock, then there is no legitimate excuse for having out of focus shots. All it requires is pressing the shutter button halfway down. Make your work look sharp by using the focal lock.

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