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Fundamentals of Photography

Lesson 45 of 107

Digital Focus Assistance

John Greengo

Fundamentals of Photography

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

45. Digital Focus Assistance


Class Trailer
1 Class Introduction 23:32 2 Photographic Characteristics 06:46 3 Camera Types 03:03 4 Viewing System 22:09 5 Lens System 24:38 6 Shutter System 12:56 7 Shutter Speed Basics 10:16 8 Shutter Speed Effects 31:57
9 Camera & Lens Stabilization 11:06 10 Quiz: Shutter Speeds 07:55 11 Camera Settings Overview 16:12 12 Drive Mode & Buffer 04:24 13 Camera Settings - Details 10:21 14 Sensor Size: Basics 18:26 15 Sensor Sizes: Compared 24:52 16 The Sensor - Pixels 22:49 17 Sensor Size - ISO 26:59 18 Focal Length 11:36 19 Angle of View 31:29 20 Practicing Angle of View 04:59 21 Quiz: Focal Length 08:15 22 Fisheye Lens 12:32 23 Tilt & Shift Lens 20:37 24 Subject Zone 13:16 25 Lens Speed 09:03 26 Aperture 08:25 27 Depth of Field (DOF) 21:46 28 Quiz: Apertures 08:22 29 Lens Quality 07:06 30 Light Meter Basics 09:04 31 Histogram 11:48 32 Quiz: Histogram 09:07 33 Dynamic Range 07:25 34 Exposure Modes 35:15 35 Sunny 16 Rule 04:31 36 Exposure Bracketing 08:08 37 Exposure Values 20:01 38 Quiz: Exposure 20:44 39 Focusing Basics 13:08 40 Auto Focus (AF) 24:39 41 Focus Points 17:18 42 Focus Tracking 19:26 43 Focusing Q&A 06:40 44 Manual Focus 07:14 45 Digital Focus Assistance 07:35 46 Shutter Speeds & Depth of Field (DOF) 05:18 47 Quiz: Depth of Field 15:54 48 DOF Preview & Focusing Screens 04:55 49 Lens Sharpness 11:08 50 Camera Movement 11:29 51 Advanced Techniques 15:15 52 Quiz: Hyperfocal Distance 07:14 53 Auto Focus Calibration 05:15 54 Focus Stacking 07:58 55 Quiz: Focus Problems 18:54 56 Camera Accessories 32:41 57 Lens Accessories 29:24 58 Lens Adaptors & Cleaning 13:14 59 Macro 13:02 60 Flash & Lighting 04:47 61 Tripods 14:13 62 Cases 06:07 63 Being a Photographer 11:29 64 Natural Light: Direct Sunlight 28:37 65 Natural Light: Indirect Sunlight 15:57 66 Natural Light: Mixed 04:20 67 Twilight: Sunrise & Sunset Light 22:21 68 Cloud & Color Pop: Sunrise & Sunset Light 06:40 69 Silhouette & Starburst: Sunrise & Sunset Light 07:28 70 Golden Hour: Sunrise & Sunset Light 07:52 71 Quiz: Lighting 05:02 72 Light Management 10:46 73 Flash Fundamentals 12:06 74 Speedlights 04:12 75 Built-In & Add-On Flash 10:47 76 Off-Camera Flash 25:48 77 Off-Camera Flash For Portraits 15:36 78 Advanced Flash Techniques 08:22 79 Editing Assessments & Goals 08:57 80 Editing Set-Up 06:59 81 Importing Images 03:59 82 Organizing Your Images 32:41 83 Culling Images 13:57 84 Categories of Development 30:59 85 Adjusting Exposure 08:03 86 Remove Distractions 04:02 87 Cropping Your Images 09:53 88 Composition Basics 26:36 89 Point of View 28:56 90 Angle of View 14:35 91 Subject Placement 23:22 92 Framing Your Shot 07:27 93 Foreground & Background & Scale 03:51 94 Rule of Odds 05:00 95 Bad Composition 07:31 96 Multi-Shot Techniques 19:08 97 Pixel Shift, Time Lapse, Selective Cloning & Noise Reduction 12:24 98 Human Vision vs The Camera 23:32 99 Visual Perception 10:43 100 Quiz: Visual Balance 14:05 101 Visual Drama 16:45 102 Elements of Design 09:24 103 Texture & Negative Space 03:57 104 Black & White & Color 10:33 105 The Photographic Process 09:08 106 Working the Shot 25:29 107 What Makes a Great Photograph? 07:01

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

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

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.


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!


Dear John, thanks for this outstanding classes. You are not only a great photographer and instructor, but your classes are pleasant, they are not boring, with a good sense of humor, they go straight to the point and have a good time listening to you. Please, keep teaching what you like most, and I will continue to look for your classes. And thanks for using a plain English, that it's important for people who has another language as native language. Thanks again, Juan