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Fundamentals of Photography

Lesson 45 of 107

Digital Focus Assistance


Fundamentals of Photography

Lesson 45 of 107

Digital Focus Assistance


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.


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


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