Digital Focus Assistance


Fundamentals of Photography


Lesson Info

Digital Focus Assistance

Alright, with the mirrorless cameras they've introduced a lot of new features which are really good for focusing. Now you can use the LCD on the back of the camera, like live view on the SLRs, or you can use the EVF. If you're out shooting in bright sunlight, that EVF is fantastic. That's what I tend to use and I really like being able to do that so I don't have to bring out my loop to look at the back of the camera. There's a lot of information that you might be getting in here. You can turn a lot of this stuff on and off. One of the beauties of the mirrorless camera is that you can have the same information on the back as in the viewfinder. It's not any different, whereas an SLR there's different types of information you will get in one or the other. The first thing is magnification. I just showed this to you. This is a video of how I would zoom in, find my subject, and just manually focus the lens until it's nice and sharp. Go back and forth to figure out where it is. Zoom in a litt...

le bit closer if I need to. Make sure it's nice and sharp, and then I'm gonna get it back and then I can shoot my photo and I'm gonna be absolutely positive that it's in focus. Fuji has a feature that I love on their camera. I hope we see this on other cameras. It's a focusing scale here on the bottom. On this one, when you turn the lens it's gonna move the focusing, but it's also gonna show you with the blue line how much will be in focus, depth to field wise. Peaking is something that we're seeing on a lot more cameras. Most all of the cameras will have this now, even some of the SLRs will have it in the live view mode. It shimmers areas in highlight that it is in focus. This is a good general system, but if you are focusing with a really shallow depth to field lens, this may not be the best system. It's good but not fantastic because it's showing you a region. Sometimes you need to be more precise than this region is showing you. Dual image is a unique one for Fuji. If you think I'm talking Fuji up, I think they do a good job on a few things. When you do something unique that's helpful, I'm gonna give them some credit points there. They have a second image over here to the right. As you can see, you can move that box around and choose something else outside of the center frame and that's gonna be your magnification point. You get one box where you can see everything, one box where you can magnify. If you don't like that you can customize it and reverse them so the big box is for focusing and the small box is for composition. Fuji also has a digital split image. I'm not a big fan of this but it is kind of interesting. This mimics the way we used to focus on the older cameras. We used to have this split image, usually a micro prism split image finder. Sometimes they would put the split horizontally, sometimes they would do it diagonally, and we would line up vertical lines. When they are vertical we know that we've got things correct. They can do this in black and white, in color, now on the modern cameras. There's a number of neat, new options on those. One of the things that I would imagine, for somebody who is new to photography at this point, is that you might be feeling overwhelmed at the options because there are so many options for focusing. I decided to lay them all out so that we could see them. We have manual focus options and auto focus options. This first slide is just for DSLRs. You can use the view finder. It's simple and it's fast, but if you really wanna be precise you use the LCD on the back of the camera because it's gonna be very, very accurate because you can see exactly what the lens is seeing. With auto focus we have single auto focus and then from there we can generally choose single point, group point, and all point. The single point is gonna be very precise because you get to choose exactly where it needs to be. The middle one is not as precise but it's a little bit easier because you don't have to be as accurate in pointing it. Then we have all points which is really fast and easy, but it's the least precise and least versatile because it's just choosing whatever is closest in all those points. Then we have the option of continuous focusing. We could do continuous with single point but that's just really hard to keep that pin point on your subject so I don't even recommend this option here. Group point is great for action. This is what I think is best for action photography. Second best for action is using all points. Sometimes this will work just fine. It depends on the types of subjects that you are shooting. You can also go into live view on your camera to focus. There are focusing options down here where you can use single. It's generally kind of slow, a little bit faster with the Canon system. The continuous is very slow in live view and I don't recommend using that, really, for most anybody. Then there is also face recognition. There are some people who are all really up on face detection. I love it when there's one face. When there's two faces and they're changing, it's kind of choosing itself. On some cameras, you could press a button and switch faces or have it scroll through the faces. It's gonna work in some cases really well, other cases not so well. With a single face, it can do a really good job. Some of the systems, I'm trying to remember if it's Olympus, that allows you to focus on left eye, right eye. I think there's a couple of different ones out there. If somebody's like this, you typically want their right eye because it's closer to you in focus. If they're like this, you want their left eye because it's closer to you. You could choose left eye or right eye in focus or just focus on the face, depending on how shallow a depth to field that you're working with. Different tools for solving different problems. Let's look at the mirrorless focusing options, which are similar, with a few more in here. Auto focus, we have single auto focus with a single point. Some thing, very precise. The group point, a little bit easier because you have a larger area. Then you have all points which is very, very general in that regard. Getting into, actually we have one more. We do have the face detection down here, which can work very well. As I say, I like it with single faces. Then we get into continuous. Don't recommend the pin point, like the small group, and then if you need to you can use all if it's very, very erratic motion. Then the face detection and I could add in subject tracking here, where you pick an object. I'm trying to think, is it Nikon? Nikon does a pretty good job of doing a subject tracking. You lock it on a subject and move it around and it moves right around with it. It really recognizes the shape and color of that object and can do a very good job at that. You can manually focus with a mirrorless camera and it's gonna be very similar because it can use all of these things. Use the digital assistance, the magnification, the peaking, whatever system you like and works for the type of stuff that you are doing. With the mirrorless camera, you can focus equally well with the viewfinder or the LCD on the back of the camera. In bright light situations, it's gonna be easier to see the viewfinder because you're gonna have your eye up to it. You're not gonna have that sunlight hitting the screen the way you do on the LCD on the back of the camera. That LCD is great just for an alternate point of view. I know some of the cameras have flip out screens that you can get in all sorts of different directions. That can be really handy with those cameras there.

Class Description

As a photographer, you will need to master the technical basics of the camera and form an understanding of the kind of equipment you need. The Fundamentals of Digital Photography will also teach something even more important (and crucial for success) - how to bring your creative vision to fruition.

Taught by seasoned photographer John Greengo, the Fundamentals of Digital Photography places emphasis on quality visuals and experiential learning. In this course, you’ll learn:

  • How to bring together the elements of manual mode to create an evocative image: shutter speed, aperture, and image composition.
  • How to choose the right gear, and develop efficient workflow.
  • How to recognize and take advantage of beautiful natural light.

John will teach you to step back from your images and think critically about your motivations, process, and ultimate goals for your photography project. You’ll learn to analyze your vision and identify areas for growth. John will also explore the difference between the world seen by the human eye and the world seen by the camera sensor. By forming an awareness of the gap between the two, you will be able to use your equipment to its greatest potential.


1Class Introduction 2Photographic Characteristics 3Camera Types 4Viewing System 5Lens System 6Shutter System 7Shutter Speed Basics 8Shutter Speed Effects 9Camera & Lens Stabilization 10Quiz: Shutter Speeds 11Camera Settings Overview 12Drive Mode & Buffer 13Camera Settings - Details 14Sensor Size: Basics 15Sensor Sizes: Compared 16The Sensor - Pixels 17Sensor Size - ISO 18Focal Length 19Angle of View 20Practicing Angle of View 21Quiz: Focal Length 22Fisheye Lens 23Tilt & Shift Lens 24Subject Zone 25Lens Speed 26Aperture 27Depth of Field (DOF) 28Quiz: Apertures 29Lens Quality 30Light Meter Basics 31Histogram 32Quiz: Histogram 33Dynamic Range 34Exposure Modes 35Sunny 16 Rule 36Exposure Bracketing 37Exposure Values 38Quiz: Exposure 39Focusing Basics 40Auto Focus (AF) 41Focus Points 42Focus Tracking 43Focusing Q&A 44Manual Focus 45Digital Focus Assistance 46Shutter Speeds & Depth of Field (DOF) 47Quiz: Depth of Field 48DOF Preview & Focusing Screens 49Lens Sharpness 50Camera Movement 51Advanced Techniques 52Quiz: Hyperfocal Distance 53Auto Focus Calibration 54Focus Stacking 55Quiz: Focus Problems 56Camera Accessories 57Lens Accessories 58Lens Adaptors & Cleaning 59Macro 60Flash & Lighting 61Tripods 62Cases 63Being a Photographer 64Natural Light: Direct Sunlight 65Natural Light: Indirect Sunlight 66Natural Light: Mixed 67Twilight: Sunrise & Sunset Light 68Cloud & Color Pop: Sunrise & Sunset Light 69Silhouette & Starburst: Sunrise & Sunset Light 70Golden Hour: Sunrise & Sunset Light 71Quiz: Lighting 72Light Management 73Flash Fundamentals 74Speedlights 75Built-In & Add-On Flash 76Off-Camera Flash 77Off-Camera Flash For Portraits 78Advanced Flash Techniques 79Editing Assessments & Goals 80Editing Set-Up 81Importing Images 82Organizing Your Images 83Culling Images 84Categories of Development 85Adjusting Exposure 86Remove Distractions 87Cropping Your Images 88Composition Basics 89Point of View 90Angle of View 91Subject Placement 92Framing Your Shot 93Foreground & Background & Scale 94Rule of Odds 95Bad Composition 96Multi-Shot Techniques 97Pixel Shift, Time Lapse, Selective Cloning & Noise Reduction 98Human Vision vs The Camera 99Visual Perception 100Quiz: Visual Balance 101Visual Drama 102Elements of Design 103Texture & Negative Space 104Black & White & Color 105The Photographic Process 106Working the Shot 107What Makes a Great Photograph?


a Creativelive Student

Love love all John Greengo classes! Wish to have had him decades ago with this info, but no internet then!! John is the greatest photography teacher I have seen out there, and I watch a lot of Creative Live classes and folks on YouTube too. John is so detailed and there are a ton of ah ha moments for me and I know lots of others. I think I own 4 John Greengo classes so far and want to add this one and Travel Photography!! I just drop everything to watch John on Creative Live. I wish sometime soon he would teach a Lightroom class and his knowledge on photography post editing.!!! That would probably take a LOT OF TIME but I know John would explain it soooooo good, like he does all his Photography classes!! Thank you Creative Live for having such a wonderful instructor with John Greengo!! Make more classes John, for just love them and soak it up! There is soooo much to learn and sometimes just so overwhelming. Is there anyway you might do a Motivation class!!?? Like do this button for this day, and try this technique for a week, or post this subject for this week, etc. Motivation and inspiration, and playing around with what you teach, needed so much and would be so fun.!! Just saying??? Awaiting gadgets class now, while waiting for lunch break to be over. All the filters and gadgets, oh my. Thank you thank you for all you teach John, You are truly a wonderful wonderful instructor and I would highly recommend folks listening and buying your classes.


I don't think that adjectives like beautiful, fantastic or excellent can describe the course and classes with John Greengo well enough. I've just bought my first camera and I am a total amateur but I fell in love with photography while watching the classes with John. It is fun, clear, understandable, entertaining, informative and and and. He is not only a fabulous photographer but a great teacher as well. Easy to follow, clear explanations and fantastic visuals. The only disadvantage I can list here that he is sooooo good that keeps me from going out to shoot as I am just glued to the screen. :-) Don't miss it and well worth the money invested! Thank you John!

Vlad Chiriacescu

Wow! John is THE best teacher I have ever had the pleasure of learning from, and this is the most comprehensive, eloquent and fun course I have ever taken (online or off). If you're even / / interested in photography, take this course as soon as possible! You might find out that taking great photos requires much more work than you're willing to invest, or you might get so excited learning from John that you'll start taking your camera with you EVERYWHERE. At the very least, you'll learn the fundamental inner workings and techniques that WILL help you get a better photo. Worried about the cost? Well, I've taken courses that are twice as expensive that offer less than maybe a tenth of the value. You'll be much better off investing in this course than a new camera or a new lens. I cannot reccomend John and this course enough!