Get Sharper Photos, Part 2

In my previous post, I told you about a "hidden" feature of your camera's shutter button: the halfway down press and all the way down press. Paying attention to this feature can help you speed up your camera and get a sharp photo.

There's another trick hidden in your shutter button. Have you ever taken a photo in which the background turns out nice and sharp but the subject turns out blurry? You can use the halfway press of the shutter button to prevent this problem.

Focus on background produces a blurry bottle

First, point your camera at the subject you want it to focus on. This positions the subject in the center of the picture. Now press the shutter button halfway down to ask the camera to get ready to shoot. Doing so makes the camera focus on your subject. You can confirm this by looking at the LCD monitor for a green square over your subject.

Once the camera beeps to tell you it is ready, keep your finger on the shutter button while shifting your camera left or right to place the subject on the side of the picture instead of in the middle. Then press the shutter button the rest of the way to take the photo.

Focus lock on bottle creates a sharp subject and blurry background

Congratulations! You've just used a technique called
focus lock. Pressing the shutter button halfway down sets the focus; keeping your finger on the button while you recompose your photo locks the focus at the correct distance. Now your subject is sharp and the background is blurry.