What is Focus Peaking?
Focus peaking is a technique used to create an effect where the focus of an image has been moved towards a particular object or subject.
There are many ways to achieve this effect. One method is to place an opaque blackboard behind your subject. You can then use the light from the background to illuminate the part of the subject that you wish to highlight. Another method is to use a ‘strobe’. This is a stroboscope, which works by flashing a series of short bursts of light. The light source needs to be a bright one – an LED light head is ideal. You need to position your subject so that the light source illuminates them from the side, but not directly from the front or back. This can be achieved by either putting your subject against a dark wall or placing them in the corner of a room. The light will make the subject look white, while the wall/corner will make the subject darker and help the viewer see the face more clearly.
You can also use the same strobe to illuminate a subject that is in front of the background. Again, you will need to ensure that the light is not shining directly onto the background or on your subject. Position your subject in such a way that the background and the subject are parallel. Using a large aperture (small opening) on the lens will help to ensure that the subject is sharp. You can then illuminate the subject with a low intensity setting on the strobe. The result is that your subject will look in focus, but the background will be a little darker.
Finally, you can also create the effect by using a flash with a slow shutter speed. If you have a long exposure time, the light will appear to spread across the whole scene, making the subject look blurry. If you have a shorter exposure time, the image will only be illuminated by the light source.
How to use it in photography
Focus peaking is a feature that helps you to know exactly when your subject is in focus. It’s particularly useful when shooting video, but also works well for still photography.
Focus peaking only works with certain lenses and cameras. If you have a compatible device, here are some tips to help you use focus peaking effectively:
1. Turn on the feature in the camera settings menu. If your camera doesn’t have this option, it’s not compatible with focus peaking.
2. Use manual focus instead of autofocus (AF). AF does not work with focus peaking and can cause issues if it’s enabled at the same time as focus peaking.
3. Set your lens to manual focus mode by turning its focusing ring until it stops moving easily; then turn it slightly more until it becomes difficult to move again. Make sure that you don’t change the position of your camera while doing this!
4. Set the ISO value high enough so that it can still capture an image even if there isn’t much light available (e.g., ISO 1600). This will ensure that the image has enough detail to be visible on-screen while also keeping noise levels low enough so they don’t interfere with visibility of the peaking effect itself.