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Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Tips: How the Pros Focus for Sports

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Scott Kelby shows you that by separating the focus from the shutter button, you'll get more shots in focus.
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If you want to get more shots in focus, you’ve got to switch to back focusing (where you focus by pressing a button on the back of your camera body with your thumb, rather than focusing by pressing your shutter button). This makes a bigger difference than you’d think, because by separating the focus from the shutter button, your camera no longer focuses, then shoots—you’ve already focused on your subject with the button on the back, so now your shutter button just shoots. This back focusing helps to keep the autofocus from jumping off your subject when someone walks into your frame (which is a real struggle when shooting team sports), because if someone does walk into your frame (like a ref), you just take your thumb off the back focus button until they’re gone (but keeping shooting) and when they’re out of your frame, just hit the back focus button again. Generally, I just keep my thumb on that back focus button, aim at my subject, and then I don’t have to worry about my focus—I just concentrate on my timing. To turn on this feature on Nikon DSLRs (well, most of ‘em anyway), go to the Custom Setting menu and, under Autofocus, choose AF Activation, and set it to AF-ON Only. On Canon cameras (like the 7D or the 5D Mark II), press the Menu button on the back of the camera, go to your Custom Function IV-1 menu, and choose Metering start/Metering + AF start.

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