Most of the times I teach a workshop or I go on a photowalk I get asked the “zone focus” question. What is funny is that although zone focusing is a very old manual focusing technique that was used by most if not all photographers before the days of autofocus technology, it seems like it has gradually been “forgotten” by younger shooters. Is zone focusing a dying focusing technique? Far from it!
Personally I use zone focusing 99% of the time and I also tap into the sweet hyperfocal distance magic spot where everything is in focus. I find it so easy and so fast, much faster than any af system. Anyway, if you want to find out more about zone focusing and hyperfocal, click play on the video below and check it out. If you are person that prefers reading to watching and you also like understanding lots of technical details, you can always visit our very popular Learn Zone Focusing and Hyperfocal Distance in Street Photography blog post. Everything you need to know about the technique is there in detail.
The day of the video
I shot this video a little bit more than a week ago. It took me a while to edit it into something presentable because I have been quite busy with recording a new Street Hunt video here in my home town of Rethymno and I have also been shooting lots of Flash Street Photography. Unfortunately, I managed during the past week to break my flash and jam the record button of my action cam… But never mind, things like that happen! I have sent them both to be fixed and I should have them back pretty soon (I hope). Anyway, I shot the video one week ago and it was very cold so there were no people in the streets. I had to demonstrate by shooting some photos of objects and trees. I hope that’s ok!
The zone focusing and hyperfocal distance in street photography video
As I said before, the speed of zone focusing and hyperfocal distance is something no autofocus system can beat, simply because the camera is preset to be in focus. There is no lag time between the actual pressing of the shutter release and the taking of the photo. I highly recommend you all give this technique a try and decide its value for yourselves. I really can’t see myself shooting in the streets using anything else, and the reason is because I am an instinctive street photographer, I want the fastest possible response from my camera. I can’t afford to lose even a split second and autofocus is always a split second too slow.
Stay Sharp & Keep Shooting!