Friday, 28 February 2014

How (and Why) to Use Back Button Auto-Focus – Video

How (and Why) to Use Back Button Auto-Focus – Video

Link to PictureCorrect Photography Tips

How (and Why) to Use Back Button Auto-Focus – Video

Posted: 27 Feb 2014 05:14 PM PST

Most photographers auto-focus the traditional way: press the shutter down halfway, then compose your shot and pray your subject doesn’t move around. Or press down halfway and quickly take the photo in the same second. This video is demonstrating a different method–one that claims to make auto-focus much easier to manage:

The Three Auto-Focus Settings

Your camera should have three AF modes. (Note that the photographer in this video is working with a Nikon camera; Canons and Sonys use slightly different terminology, but the gists of each are the same.) The three modes are as follows:

  • AF Single Shot. Good for stationary shots, in this mode you press the shutter halfway down and it locks a certain depth of field in focus.
  • AF Continuous. The AF will follow a moving subject after you’ve targeted your subject with the AF icon in your viewfinder.
  • AF Auto. Ideally, this mode switches automatically from single to continuous, but it isn’t always accurate.
An example of why AF Single Shot sometimes doesn't work.

An example of why AF Single Shot doesn’t always work: if your subject moves, you’re screwed.

How Back-Button Auto-Focus Works

Steve Perry of Backcountry Gallery recommends using back-button AF. Again, the term “back-button AF” only applies to certain Nikons, like the Nikon D800, which offers a literal button on the back of the camera that says “AF-On”. (Any camera can designate a back-button to AF, though; the Nikon D5100 has AE/AF Lock; Canons use their asterisk button.)

You have to activate the system first, though, by setting your camera on AF Continuous, then going into the “custom settings” menu, finding “AF Activation” and selecting “AF-On only”.

Now you’ll focus differently: when you want to focus a shot, hold the AF-On button rather than the shutter (which now only takes a photo), and release the button to lock your subject in focus. You can then freely compose your shot and your subject will stay in focus. If it’s moving, you can simply hold the AF-On button down and follow it, the same way AF Continuous works.


Some Nikon cameras have the AF-on button, making this process much easier.

Advantages of Back Button Focus

Perry lists off three reasons why this AF method is better than the conventional one.

  1. You have more accurate control. Your camera won’t re-focus between shots, the way the shutter necessitates; instead it will keep the same depth of field locked in so you can take multiple shots without worrying about finicky focus.
  2. It’s good for action shots. If your subject is moving, you can follow it by holding the button down to enable AF Continuous mode. Because you’re not switching back and forth between Single Shot and Continuous, you can spend less time dealing with mechanics and more time shooting.
  3. It also works for landscape shots. Because the shutter AF isn’t always accurate, focusing on either the foreground or center, but not necessarily the one you want, and then refocusing every time you release the shutter. This method allows you to lock in what’s in focus, then focus your own attention on composition.


Perry ends the video by warning that most people will find this system counter-intuitive, maybe even mess up a few good shots. He recommends sticking with it for a few weeks to realize its advantages, and testing it out on less important shots to get the hang of it. Anyone who’s converted can tell you: they’ll never go back.

Go to full article: How (and Why) to Use Back Button Auto-Focus – Video

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Interesting Photo of the Day: The Great (Frozen) Lakes

Posted: 27 Feb 2014 03:03 PM PST

With the ominous-sounding “polar vortex” of cold weather that has been winding its way across much of the US, things are freezing up that normally don’t, creating phenomenon like walkable lakes and ice caves. In fact, a recent satellite photo from NASA of the Great Lakes region shows three of the five lakes almost completely frozen over — the first time this has happened in 20 years:

frozen great lakes

The Great Lakes frozen over. (Via Imgur. Click to see larger size.)

The last time the lakes reached around 90 percent ice coverage was in 1994.

Go to full article: Interesting Photo of the Day: The Great (Frozen) Lakes

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

How to Make a DIY Reflector Board (Video)

Posted: 27 Feb 2014 02:51 PM PST

For the do-it-yourselfers out there, Tyson Waggener has created a video tutorial to outline the process of making your own 4-in-1 light reflector–for under $20–using items that can easily be found in most hardware stores. The procedure is simple and can be completed in a less than hour:

Materials Needed

  • 2 pieces of white foamcore
  • a can of gold metallic spray paint
  • a can of silver metallic spray paint
  • a can of flat black spray paint
  • a roll of black duct tape

As Waggener explains in an update to the video, it is possible to purchase this style of reflector at about the same price as it would cost to purchase the items you’d need to follow the tutorial; however, at the time he made the video, that wasn’t the case.


Waggener kept the tutorial up for those who simply enjoy crafting things, who want to make a custom reflector, or who may happen to have the necessary materials lying around the house.

Go to full article: How to Make a DIY Reflector Board (Video)

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Behind the Scenes of a Model Shoot, Starring… Barbie?

Posted: 27 Feb 2014 01:21 PM PST

In some ways, she’s the ideal fashion model: she doesn’t blink, she takes direction, she doesn’t have an ego. How could she? She’s plastic. (It’s fantastic!) The men behind the latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition went all-out with this recent parody photo shoot. Watch the brisk two-minute satire here:

The shoot was helmed by iconic sports photographer Walter Iooss, best known for emotional portraits of Kobe Bryant, Bill Clinton, Lebron James, Morgan Freeman, and now Barbie. “She gets it,” Iooss says in the video of the popular girly doll, without a trace of irony. “And the great models get it.”

There really isn’t more to be said about this one. The video’s short; we recommend you check it out.


Is Barbie the ideal model?

“I’ve been waiting for this day with Barbie. I’ve seen all the good ones go through the locations, but she’s hot. Barbie’s hot.”- Walter Iooss

Go to full article: Behind the Scenes of a Model Shoot, Starring… Barbie?

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

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