Smartphones aren’t always smart when it comes to cameras. I’ve personally experienced a handful of focusing problems throughout the past few years and I know I’m not alone. Either the camera focuses on the wrong place or re-focuses when the image is already in focus. Either way, the photo doesn’t come out quite how I would like or the time to snap the photo has been slowed down enough to miss the shot. Here are a couple of quick tips to fix these problems.
Focusing in the wrong place
Many smartphone cameras will adjust exposure and focus for the center of the camera. There’s often a circle or square cross-hair indicating where the camera is adjusting for. The problem with this is the center isn’t always what we care about. Centered photos are often, but not always, dull and amateur looking. Good news! It’s not permanent! Just tap on the screen where you’d like the camera to adjust exposure and focus for. This means you can apply other composition styles such as the rule of thirds and still get a perfectly exposed, in focus shot.
Re-focusing when you don’t want it to
Another problem is that the image might already be in focus and when you press the button to snap the picture, the camera focuses again before snapping the photo. Meanwhile, your toddler has dashed by in that moment your smartphone decided to re-focus. Most smartphones have an ability to lock focus in the camera app. Whether or not this will work will depend on the phone and app you use, but it doesn’t hurt to try. In order to lock the focus, tap the screen where you’d like the camera to adjust focus and exposure for and then hold your finger there for a few moments. By tapping and holding, you’re telling the camera to lock focus and exposure for that location. You can then move the smartphone around, recomposing the shot to fit your needs. Each time you snap a photo, the camera won’t re-adjust. Just keep in mind that this means you can still get a bad photo if lighting conditions change or distance changes. at this point, you will want the camera to re-adjust focus and exposure.