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3.3 Rating
How to Film Using Autofocus, Rack Focus and Manual Focus Techniques

Focusing tips for HDSLR video shooting

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3.0 Rating
Subject Tracking

Subject Tracking enhances your shooting experience by automatically adjusting focus as it follows the…

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3.4 Rating
3D Focus Tracking

3D focus tracking automatically shifts the focus point to follow the movement of the subject. With the…

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4.3 Rating
Benefits of Using the AF-ON Button for Autofocus

Three pros discuss using the AF-ON button for AF control

Advanced

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4.2 Rating
Photograph the Classic Holiday Light Bokeh Effect

Tips for shooting lights as soft globes of color

Beginner

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4.5 Rating
HDSLR Video Tutorial: Getting Started with Your D-Movie Camera

Getting started with HDSLR video

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4.0 Rating
Getting Started: How to Hold Your D-SLR Camera

Getting sharper, more in-focus pictures can be as simple as learning how…

Beginner

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4.3 Rating
Which NIKKOR Lens Type is Right for Your DSLR?

Learn what the different types of NIKKOR lenses are and which ones will…

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4.2 Rating
51-Point Autofocus System

The 51-point AF system positions 51 points of focus within the frame to allow photographers to…

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4.4 Rating
Better Sports Photography

Which settings should you use depending upon which sport you're photographing

Advanced

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4.4 Rating
Quick Tips for Taking Better Portraits

Suggested Lens choices, exposure settings and focus modes

Beginner

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4.1 Rating
Pet Mode

Nikon's new Pet mode lets you capture the expressions and actions of your pet cat or dog automatically.

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4.2 Rating
Macro Photography Tips: Photographing Insects and Other Small Creatures

A few quick tips on macro photography

Beginner

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3.8 Rating
Hands On

Lindsay Silverman discusses autofocusing when using teleconverters

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4.8 Rating
Professional Video Camera Equipment for Your HDSLR

Using third-party rigs, rail systems and other accessories

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4.4 Rating
Bokeh for Beginners

Have your subjects stand apart from the background with this easy technique

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4.2 Rating
Using Teleconverters

Teleconverters let you extend your photographic reach

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4.2 Rating
Photographing Sports Indoors and Out

Capturing the action of a sporting event is easy when you follow a few simple…

Advanced

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4.6 Rating
Introduction to ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed & Other Advanced Settings for HDSLR Video

Advanced settings for HDSLR video

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4.0 Rating
Photograph Family and Friends During the Holidays

The holidays are prime picture-taking time. Get some great tips on…

Beginner

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3.8 Rating
Creatively Photographing Objects Up Close

The idea that less is more can be applied to the subject matter in your photos.

Beginner

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4.5 Rating
How a Sports Illustrated Photographer Shoots his Kid's Games

What can a Sports Illustrated photographer teach you about…

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4.7 Rating
FOCUS First: A System for Better Photos

Mark Alberhasky's 5 step system for taking better pictures

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3.2 Rating
Smart Portrait System

Nikon’s Smart Portrait System incorporates into COOLPIX cameras a series of automatic functions,…

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3.8 Rating
Cat Photography: Capturing Cats in Pictures

With a little patience you too can make great pictures of your pet cat or…

Beginner

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4.6 Rating
Underwater Photography

Tips for getting started shooting underwater with David Doubilet

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5.0 Rating
Sports Shooter Academy Workshop

Sports Shooter Academy gives you the opportunity to work with pros in a hands-on…

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4.3 Rating
Tips for Photographing Mountains

Making the most of mountains in landscape photographs

Beginner

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4.3 Rating
Shooting Abstract Photos that Make the Viewer Guess

Sometimes showing just a hint of your subject can be more compelling…

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4.1 Rating
Critical Focus: Getting the Most From Your D800

Michael Clark on getting the most out of your D800 HD-SLR

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4.4 Rating
Bright Ideas: Tips and Techniques for Photographing Jewelry

Jody Dole on photographing jewelry

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4.8 Rating
10 Tips on How To Leverage Social Media in Your Photography Business

Dixie Dixon on leveraging social media for your…

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4.6 Rating
Shooting Wirelessly with the Nikon WR-R10 and WR-T10 Wireless Remotes

Learn how easy it is to use the WR-R10/WR-T10 for…

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4.2 Rating
Photographing Dogs: Capturing Action

Tips for taking better photos of your dog in action.

Beginner

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3.8 Rating
12 Tips for Better Vacation Photos

A dozen easy tips for taking better vacation pictures

Beginner

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4.4 Rating
Tips For Making Tempting Food Photos

Alison Lyons offers simple tips for taking great photos of food & drink

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How to Film Using Autofocus, Rack Focus and Manual Focus Techniques

For photographers used to looking through their camera’s viewfinder to compose and shoot photographs, shooting video may take a little getting used to because it uses Live View on the camera’s LCD display.

To focus using Autofocus, simply choose your AF area mode and AF focus mode.

To focus the camera in Live View, using AF, simply frame up your shot, and press the shutter button half way down. When the red box turns green, your subject is in focus.

For the more adventurous, you can also manually focus the camera by switching the AF button on the side of the camera from AF to M. Remember to check your camera’s User’s Manual for instructions on its particular menu navigation and dial layout.


Rack Focus or Pulling Focus Technique

One of the techniques that Hollywood cinematographers employ often is the rack focus or focus pull. This is where one subject in a scene (foreground or background) is in focus and gradually the focus changes to another subject in the scene. This is a technique that allows the cinematographer to put a dramatic emphasis on one subject and then change that emphasis to another. It is often done in scenes where there is dramatic dialog between characters.

To do this, choose one subject to focus on. Say the subject in the foreground. Focus on that subject and then slowly and smoothly turn the focus ring on the lens barrel until the subject in the background becomes sharp.


Third-party Focus Assist Accessories

There are a variety of accessories made by third-party companies that help you focus the HDSLR when shooting video.

One of these is the Loupe or Finder. A Loupe attaches to the camera, covering the LCD so you can bring the camera to your eye as if you were using the viewfinder to frame your scenes. Different loupes offer different variations of magnification to help you see and focus accurately.

Another accessory is the External Monitor. This is often helpful to use when you are shooting video with one person operating the camera and another person who also needs to see the footage as it is being captured. An external monitor can also be useful for the videographer who wants to view the scene unfolding before his camera on a larger display than the built-in LCD.

A third accessory is a Follow Focus system that will attach to the lens and allow the camera operator to more easily control the motion of the rack focus.

Remember to check your HDSLR camera’s User’s Manual for instructions on its particular menu navigation and dial layout.

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