Skip to main content

Photography 101

Lesson 31 of 55

Focus Recomposing vs. AF Point Selection

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

Photography 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

31. Focus Recomposing vs. AF Point Selection


Class Trailer
1 Introduction 03:17 2 The Camera is Simply a Tool 06:24 3 How Does a Camera Work? 12:07 4 How to Adjust Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO 07:22 5 Exposure Triangle 13:53 6 What is a Stop of Light 07:06 7 Reading Exposure Via the Histogram 11:59 8 Blown Highlights or Clipped Details 04:18
9 White Balance & Color Temperature 23:24 10 No Such Thing as the Correct Exposure 06:13 11 How To Measure or Meter Light 06:41 12 8 Key Points to Understanding ISO and Image Quality 15:59 13 Understanding the 3 Primary Metering Methods 12:18 14 How to Get Perfect Exposures in One Shot 06:49 15 Equivalent Exposure but Different Images 03:49 16 Compensating for Light and Dark Scenes 06:14 17 Starting with Automated Modes 02:19 18 Auto Mode and Flash-Off Mode 09:33 19 Portrait Mode on a Fashion Shoot 08:45 20 Landscape Mode on the Beach 08:18 21 Sports or Action Mode 12:09 22 Macro Mode with Food Photography 10:10 23 Creative Effects Mode - Floral Photography 08:52 24 In-Camera Processing 06:01 25 A Glimpse into RAW Processing 12:55 26 15 Tips When You’re Having Trouble Focusing 15:18 27 3 Primary Types of Autofocus 03:42 28 Single Shot with Portrait Session 04:05 29 Single Shot with Action Shots 02:06 30 AI Servo with Action Shots 06:14 31 Focus Recomposing vs. AF Point Selection 05:41 32 Shutter Speed and the Reciprocal Rule 06:50 33 How to Hold a Camera and Panning Tutorial 11:07 34 What Makes a Great Photograph? 05:07 35 How to Capture Candid Moments 07:08 36 How to Find the Right Light Direction 11:40 37 5 Basic Compositional Theories 11:17 38 The Power of Cropping 10:22 39 Color Schemes 04:43 40 Diving into the Narrative 12:38 41 If It’s Not Working With, It’s Probably Working Against 01:56 42 More About Your Camera and Lenses 01:20 43 Understanding Megapixels 09:15 44 Crop vs. Full Frame Cameras 06:01 45 Crop vs. Full Frame Cameras Demonstration 04:55 46 Prime vs. Zoom Lens 06:57 47 How the Lens Affects Composition 08:54 48 Dynamic Range and RAW vs. JPEG 09:22 49 5 Tips on Memory Cards 07:06 50 10 Tips on Buying Gear 11:35 51 Conclusion 03:43 52 The Good Karma Jar 01:41 53 Posing and Action Shots with Female Model 12:39 54 Posing and Lighting with Female Model 01:31 55 Posing and Lighting Couples Portraits 06:00

Lesson Info

Focus Recomposing vs. AF Point Selection

In this video, we're going to dive into a half point selection versus focus, re composing when it comes to actually gaining, focusing our images. And I'm going to give you some tips, at least what I like to do when it comes to focusing now, in an ideal world, well, you'd have an f focus point. That's basically over any subject in any place in the frame and it's super accurate. And it works perfectly every single time. But let's, be honest, we don't live in this ideal world, and oftentimes we have twenty, forty or sixty eight points, and none of them are in the area where we want basically are subject to be in focus, because we're not often using just that on ly that center area. Oftentimes we're using very kind of well, more extreme compositions and having the subject's off towards the edges. In addition, many of these outside points are not cross type of points, and without getting into the technical details, basically across type a half point is going to be more accurate. Is going to...

be quicker to focus simply because there are two crossing sensors. So in cameras that give me additional options like it gives me a whole plethora of a focus point. Options. Like my cannon finding mark cruz has sixty one or my defeated two hundred, which has forty something. I always turned them off. Okay, so I turned off, too. So I have my standard f point and my cross type of points on ly displayed as one thing that I'd recommend for you all as well. Now, let's, talk about the center focus point and also focus, re composing. Now, when most people think about focus re composing, they think really on ly of their center, focus point and there's. Good reason for that. That centre a half point. Is the strongest point really on any camera, and this means that if you are shooting in low light situations, if you are shooting and scenes that lack contrast your center a half point is always going to be the best, and people don't realize that low light or scenes that lack contrast doesn't just have to be in places that are dark. You might be shooting in the shade or just out in the day, and you still might have areas of low contrast. For example, if we're shooting well, a bride and a groom and you have a groom or even just a guy in a suit, if he's in a black suit, then there's so much black there, that is gonna lack contrast, your camera is looking for that contrast, and if it can't find it well, then it's going to have issues focusing contrast is tough to find when you have all solid colors. Contrasts is also difficult to find in low light anytime in these situations, I highly recommend centre if point is going to be your best friend for these types of hard to focus situations. But there is a downside when focus re composing, particularly when you're only using the center a half point and that's that when we focus with just a center point general, we have to make pretty broad movement to get our composition correct and that's why in the shot that we're about to take? Well, I'm going to use my outside cross type of points because this is after all, a pretty bright scene they're going to do well and they are cross type of points, then since I don't have enough of them, I'll do minor basically minor adjustments to recompose once I get the closest a half point selected and in focus and they'll do a small adjustment to get my shot. All right, so this what we're gonna do, we're gonna get into the scene and we're gonna get ready so that when the sun comes out guys, we're all ready to go cool, everybody good? Okay, I'm gonna go ahead and stand up with that was like a crowder kid moment was awesome. Okay, so even I'm gonna have you bring your hand up so you're kind of looking at the phone so yeah, kind of cradle it like around there you go that's pretty okay and then turn the phone a little bit more towards me so I could see it a little bit there we go, okay, now the area that I want to focus is really on the best face right here the phone itself is on a very similar focal plane so it's going to be sharp so long as we kind of nailed focus I want to show you guys something if I were to use this center a half point okay, so I'm gonna use the senator have pointing the camera watch how broad this movement is going to focus on her eye and then I'm going to move my frame in the composition okay? That's the composition that was a huge movement to make the problem when you're doing center or focus re composing you this center a half point is that these movements come here really broad if you're shooting at a shallow that the field which we are right now then you end up having a little bit of focus issue either gets going back focused or front focus a little bit because it's hard to keep perfectly still in that movement so what I want to do is switch my point to just the point that's going to be right basically where her here I have one that's kind of really close to here and I all right now watch this when I use this eight point the adjustment is so minor watch I'm gonna focus and recompose I barely moved it all you probably couldn't even see how much I move this is so much of a better technique because it's gonna end up giving you much better focused images. Ok, so let's, go ahead and get everything nailed. It looks like the sun has poked out again. Let's. Go ahead and bring up our main light and I wanted to be pretty hard. We're going to bring it in very close. We want to go for a very strong line. It's gonna have ah, more editorial feel to it versus kind of a soft lifestyle kind of look and that's pretty solid right there that smile a little bit towards that. They're gonna bring the chin a little bit towards me so I can see it. There you go. Right there. Perfect. And bring that hand just a little bit closer. Your face. There you go. Right there. Beautiful. Perfect that's exactly what I want. We're just gonna do a few more shots of this. Some kind of comes in and out to get the perfect shot and that's it. But hopefully I can see the difference now between using the standard eight points election vs focus, re composing, using on ly the center a half point again, my recommendation is you use your outside cross type of points, especially in bryce. Situations like this then focus recompose if you need thio okay, use it first to focus on where your subject is and then move your framing in place if you're in those kind of low life situations or darker situations than yes, obviously, you have to use that center a half point. And then you're gonna have to focus recomposed and just be a little more careful. Take more shots to make sure that they're in focus. That's it for this video. We'll see you on the next one.

Class Description

Learn how to create, edit, and share stunning digital images.

To a photography beginner, the gleaming complexity of a new camera seems to demand an arsenal of expensive equipment and a long legacy of training. This is a common misconception – beautiful, professional-grade shots are within reach to any with a mastery of the basic mechanics of photography.

Join Pye Jirsa of SLR Lounge for a thorough, practical exploration of the fundamentals. Photography 101 teaches you how to use standard, inexpensive equipment to:

  • Explore the inner mechanical workings of your camera
  • Learn how to recognize good light and modify it to your needs
  • Make the elements of manual mode - aperture, shutter speed and ISO - work for you
Take advantage of the flexibility and control offered by your camera’s manual mode by shadowing Pye on 5 days of shooting at 8 different locations. You’ll learn how to capture both crisp action shots of moving subjects and classic portraiture with posed models. You’ll also gain a sense of what makes a great photograph, and how to mix professional staging with candid, humanizing moments.

You will walk away from Photography 101 with SLR Lounge's Pye Jirsa as a better photographer, and you’ll have the creative and practical skills to create, edit, and share stunning digital images; all with no more gear than you started with. 



I watched this class "live" and was simply amazed at the amount of information Pye covered. Yes, he talks a little fast, and since I was streaming the class I couldn't stop it to review anything, but this guy really knows his stuff and explains it very well so I absorbed quite a bit. Bye is enthusiastic, clearly enjoys his craft, and delivers excellent information to students in a light heartedI and fun way. I think some reviewers are a bit harsh about his humor. Lighten up, people! His examples and the additional information his co-host provides are very worthwhile and you can tell the course was well thought out. I plan to buy the class to help me get back into DSLR photography.


I really enjoyed this class. I am not a beginner, but there were still things I learned here that I found helpful. I really enjoy learning from Pye. He is quick, gets to the point and doesn't spend a lot of time going over and over the same point. There is a wide variety of things that he covers, so really something for everyone. I would recommend purchasing this class if you want to understand your camera better, improve your technique and start taking better photos.

Joy Bobrink

I have tried to learn photography myself via the internet / YouTube but always felt like I was missing something in my foundation. Sure I can zero out my meter...but why? How do I know the settings I've selected are the correct ones? I've been circling this drain for a year until this course. WOW! Pye has SO MUCH information in every video. He doesn't just stand in a classroom and talk, he's out in the field actually putting his settings into his camera, talking about why and why not and then shooting. He's hands on the entire course. You don't just hear him, you see exactly what he's doing! I'm a visual / listening learner and this is my eureka moment! Thank you Pye! Watching the Exposure video and how you changed the settings yet maintained the exact same exposure was mind blowing. Awesome course! I would recommend this to anyone new to photography or anyone that feels like they don't have all the info.