Review: Finding Focus

After the previous huge Craft & Vision book last month, complete with its own tutorial files and Photoshop add-in, this month’s offering is scaled back and simple but still a great little resource.

Nicole Young’s book “Finding Focus” is 37 pages illustrated with some clean and sharp images. On hearing the title you might think it just covers how to get your photos tack sharp but it goes well beyond this.

To begin with Nicole talks about aperture. Something we immediately think of when people start mentioning focus, especially depth of focus (which is the second subject she talks about!). She then moves on to lens compression providing some great information illustrated with good examples. I personally found this section very interesting as I admit it’s not something I consciously think about often. However it does affect your final image.

The topics then shift from technical skills to the equipment you use and how different lenses – pure tilt-shift lenses and the more commercial lens baby are covered – and your camera’s features can help you focus. This includes use of the AF-On button (which I rarely use) and the depth of field preview button, before moving to soft-skills around composition and story-telling through selective focus.

The final section covers methods you can use to improve the sharpness of your images once you’ve got them out of the camera and covers Photoshop and Lightroom techniques. Again an interesting topic covered, that I’d heard of but didn’t know too much about, is focus-stacking.

All in all a handy little book. Some of it I knew, but other sections such as lens compression and focus stacking provided useful information and tips for me. You can buy the book on the Craft & Vision site for just $5. If you use the code FOCUS4 when you check out you can get it for only $4 or use the code FOCUS20 to get 20% off then you buy 5 or more books at Craft & Vision. The codes expire at 11:59pm (PST) August 19, 2012. (Check your timezone here).

Finding Focus by Nicole S Young at Craft & Vision

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