I believe that there are three things which make a photo great; exposure, composition and focus. In this blog we are talking about why focus is one of those three things. So let’s start with what focus is. When you hear a photographer say that something is in focus, they are talking about the part of the image which is sharp. In some photos everything is sharp whilst others may have only a small area which is sharp (this is controlled by the depth of field). This can vary depending on the type of photo and the photographer’s artistic vision. Only having a small part of the image in focus can be used to add emphasis to your subject and make it stand out more.
The sharp part of the image is the part which will attract the viewers eye first. Therefore, it is important to have the right part of the image in focus. If the subject of your image is not in focus it will be very hard for the viewer to work out what they are looking at, and the picture will be useless in communicating your message.
Focus also helps to show off the details in your image. These details, depending on what they are, can help to provide interest in the image, help to convey your message, or make your subject more beautiful. Details in out of focus areas are completely lost because they are just too blurry.
Finally focus is one of the few photographic elements which cannot be changed or fixed in post-production. Therefore, you have to get it correct in camera. If your subject is out of focus or the focus is in the wrong place, quite simply it is a throw away image. If you want to learn about what you should be focusing on, please come and join my Facebook group. There is also lots of free tips and videos on exposure, composition, depth of field and more.