I thought I’d start something new on my site: I’m going to do my best to provide one photography tip per week. These will be basic tips that involve the use of your camera as well as processing tips using Lightroom or Photoshop. I’ll keep these short, sweet, and down to earth.
So, the first tip is something I use all the time. If you are taking a photo of animals (or people), focus on the eyes! If you have a zoom lens, you can zoom into your subject’s eyes, lock down the focus, then zoom back out to compose the shot. Trust me, if the eyes are in focus, everything falls into place. This is especially true if you are using low f/stops (like 2.8)
Here’s a shot of my cat Tabasco, shot with an old Nikon D3000 using a fixed prime lens (a 50mm manual focus lens that goes down to f/1.4). I was hoping Tabasco would sit still long enough for me to get the focus locked on the eye closest to the camera. He cooperated, and the shot turned out looking very nice. Shooting at f/1.4 meant my depth of field was very shallow, so having that one eye in focus really sold the shot.
I’ll use this technique for portraits as well. I like shooting portraits at a low f/stop (so the background is nice and blurred out) so I’ll zoom in on the subject’s eye, zoom back out and take the shot. It works every time!