Tip of the Day – Contrast for focus

Tip of the Day – Contrast for focus

Do you struggle to capture sharp action shots? Do you find your camera struggles to lock focus, and when it does, it gets “left behind” when the dog is running fast? Well, the issue just might be your lighting…⠀

When shooting action, the lighting is SO important.⠀

Camera autofocus systems work to track focus by locking onto an area of contrast. Full sun creates the hardest (most high contrast) light because the light source (the sun) is small and far away. It’s also the brightest possible light you can work with, as there’s nothing between your subject and the sun. This means full sun is the best possible type of light to really help your camera track focus if it tends to struggle.⠀

If you’re having focusing issues, I always recommend trying in full sun first – once you have success there and have ironed out any focusing bugs, you can start working with different lighting that is softer and has less contrast.⠀

Oh – and the most important thing when shooting in full sun? Time of day. Make sure the sun is low in the sky – close to the horizon – as overhead sun is not flattering and doesn’t evenly illuminate the side of your subject that you are focusing on.⠀

Canon EOS 1D X Mark II, Canon EF 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L IS II @ 200mm, ISO 200, 1/1600 sec, ƒ/2.8

This daily tip is brought to you by Episode 4 of RealShoots – Elli & Freya in the Forest and is tip 7 from a 10 part series. To receive a new tip each day from this series direct to your email inbox, sign up below.

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