The one thing you can leave alone on your camera for most cat photos when you are taking candid pictures is Auto Focus, or AF for short. It’s so easy that you could say it AF makes a cat yawn, or at least Toulouse thinks so (see further down!)
There are two types of auto focus. Single, and Continuous. Both work brilliantly for those of us learning to use our cameras properly.
Why Use Auto Focus?
Why, if you have a fancy camera that you paid good money for, would you leave something like the focusing to your camera. Don’t you want complete control of everything?
Honestly? I am not so sure. Even the most basic DSLR camera these days has very sophisticated focusing systems. These systems will help you take better pictures than your eye sight alone and, while you are exploring other areas of photography, I would not worry about focusing if the camera is ready to help.
Your camera may be set up to focus on a central point in a basic grid. This can be changed but while practising, keeping the central point over your cat’s eye is great practice, so let’s take a look at the two basic types of focus you will use.
You press the shutter half way down to focus and while you finger stays in this position the camera will stay focused on your subject until you take the picture.
Continuous (Active) Focus
The camera stays focused on the spot you have selected for several shots doing its best to keep your photo sharp. On my Canon camera, this is the AI Servo mode and on a Nikon this is AF-C.
The photo of Toulouse yawning was part of a series of 6 taken very quickly using Continuous Focus. This photo was taken moments before.
There will be times when you need to use manual focus for for the new photographer and beginner, having the help a good camera can give you is fantastic so make the most of it.
- Check the manual on your own camera to find the right focus setting and how to change it. Your manual is your best friend as a beginner.
I am so happy my camera focuses for me!
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