Fix Your Focus Part Two: 3 Factors That Affect Your Focal Plane

photography tips Jun 14, 2023
light and airy photography focus issues

We are back with Part 2 of our 4 part series on Fix Your Focus! Last week we tackled the 6 Factors that Effect Your Camera’s Focus, and today we are covering Focal Plane! But what exactly is your focal plane?! We are so glad you asked!

Focal plan is the area within your frame that can be in focus in a given photo. Your acceptable area of focus can be a very small area or a very large area, and there are 3 main factors that determine that: your aperture, the physical distance between your lens and the subject, and the lens focal length.

Let's take a look at how each of these affects our focal plane:

  1. Aperture: The wider your aperture (lower number) the narrower your plane of focus (meaning, a very small part can be in focus), and vice versa. Remember, practice is key to being able to hit focus with a wide aperture!

  2. Physical distance between your lens and subject: The further back you are from your subject, the wider your plane of focus (and more that can be in focus). Likewise, the closer you are to your subject the more narrow your plane becomes, resulting in less of the image in focus.

  3. Focal Length: As focal length increases, the depth of field decreases - so the longer the focal length, the smaller your plane of focus. All factors the same, if you are shooting with an 85mm you will have less in focus than if you were shooting with a 35mm.

Play around with these factors and determine the style that you love and that enables you to achieve the best focus in your images! In our course, Master the Light and Airy Style, we cover exactly how we use these factor to achieve the style we love! In our next post we are tackling different focus modes… does it really even matter?! Stay tuned!




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