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Focusing The Money Shot

22/02/16 - Written by ISS Admin

Main image

How to correctly focus for the Money Shot...

This is a prime example of a poor image taken in a rural OP. Perfectly exposed but whilst the hedge to the left is in focus and sharp, the subject is not, and the ‘money shot’ lost.


1. Automatic Focus Point Selection; don’t use it. This will look at the whole image to decide where to focus, and is likely to focus on the nearest thing it can see, such as the foliage on the left of the image.

2. Use Centre Point focus. This will auto focus on whatever is in the centre of the image and is a very good option for focusing, especially if your subject is moving.

3. Use manual focus and set the focus to the subject (in this case the gate where the targets vehicle will stop).

4. Maximise depth of field to ensure as much of the scene remains sharp. The above image was taken at 1/800th at a wide aperture of f3.5. As all settings are inverse, we could have altered the camera to shoot the same exposure but lowering the shutter speed to 1/200th (2 stops lower) and this will have given us a smaller aperture of about f6.3 (2 stops higher). As a consequence, the depth of field would have been much greater and more of the image in focus.

Don’t forget to share or you can read more in ‘Covert Imagery’ ISBN 978 09535378 53.