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

Focusing tips for HDSLR video shooting

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2.9 Rating
Subject Tracking

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

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3.3 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
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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4.4 Rating
Benefits of Using the AF-ON Button for Autofocus

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

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4.3 Rating
Photograph the Classic Holiday Light Bokeh Effect

Tips for shooting lights as soft globes of color

Beginner

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4.4 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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4.2 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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4.3 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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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
You’re the Guest: How to Capture Unique Photos at a Wedding

Abby Liga discusses getting great photos when you're a…

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4.6 Rating
How-To Take Great Photos at the Aquarium

Tips for photographing the fish and creatures that live under water

Advanced

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4.8 Rating
A Light in the Forest

Rod Planck on photographing critters in the field with a Speedlight

Advanced

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4.1 Rating
New Directions: The D750 Inspires Creating, and Sharing, New Images

Lindsay Silverman shoots with the D750 DSLR

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3.6 Rating
Second Time Around

Take a closer look at some of our classic lenses updated with the latest technology.

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4.6 Rating
Lighting Techniques: Light Painting

Using the technique of light painting allows you to add depth and dimension to your…

Advanced

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4.2 Rating
Shooting a Rock Concert

Whether you're taking photos at a major rock concert or at your child's school performance, these…

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5.0 Rating
Photographing it All

With experience as a newspaper photographer and close to 20 years with Sports Illustrated, George…

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4.7 Rating
Speedlight Tutorial: Bounce Technique

David Tejada uses Speedlights wirelessly for pleasing portrait illumination

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5.0 Rating
Outdoor Pursuit

Bill Hatcher photographs the impossible—well, let's say the extremely difficult.

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4.3 Rating
Zoom Lens Maximum Aperture: Fixed and Variable Apertures

Zoom lenses can have either a fixed maximum aperture or a…

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4.3 Rating
Prime Lenses

What is a prime lens? Well, it's a lens that isn't a zoom. A prime lens has a fixed focal length which means…

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4.6 Rating
Popular Nikon Lenses for Shooting Video

Primer on popular NIKKOR lenses for HD video shooting

Advanced

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4.3 Rating
Photographing the Night Sky: Star Trails

Astrophotography: tips for making great star trail images

Advanced

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4.7 Rating
'Shooting the Curl' Gets a Whole New Meaning

Welcome to the surf as Clark Little sees it.

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4.8 Rating
Going Solo: A Two-Wheel Photo Journey Across Asia

Photojournalist Eleanor Moseman documents vanishing cultures

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4.3 Rating
How to Photograph a Solar Eclipse

Learn the techniques needed to shoot solar eclipses from Mr. Eclipse, Fred Espenak

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4.4 Rating
How to Photograph a Lunar Eclipse

Learn the techniques needed to shoot lunar eclipses from Mr. Eclipse, Fred Espenak

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4.3 Rating
The Stories that Can be Told Through Photography

Commercial photographer Arthur Meyerson likes his photos to say the most…

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Joel Sartore

Conservation photographer Joel Sartore is a Nikon Ambassador. Learn more about his photography.

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4.4 Rating
For Memorable Family Vacation Photos, Focus First on Family

Tamara Lackey on taking great photos during family vacations

Beginner

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4.3 Rating
Using Variable Neutral Density Filters to Adjust Exposure in DSLR Video

Adjusting exposure with Variable ND filters

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4.2 Rating
Route 66 Road Trip

Tom Bol travels Route 66 with a Df D-SLR

Beginner

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3.9 Rating
Lighting for Video with AE-Lock Tutorial

Basic lighting tips for shooting video

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4.7 Rating
Destination Europe: Do a Little Research, Then Go Light on the Gear

Blaine Harrington on travel photography in Europe

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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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