Xpert Advice: Using the Zone Focusing Method for Street Photography

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Xpert Advice Zone Focusing (1 of 1)ISO 1001-20 sec at f - 5.0-2

When it comes to street photography, one of the best ways to make sure that you have your subject in focus is to use the zone focusing system. This is also called hyperfocal length focusing; which involves using the depth of field and focusing scale on your camera or lens to get the scene and subject sharply in focus. It’s a tried and true method: Bresson and a number of other famous photojournalists used it to capture some of the most iconic photos.

Ever heard the statement “F8 and be there?” Well, that’s pretty much it.

To do this, we suggest starting out by stopping the lens down to anywhere between f5.6 and f11. Then as you focus further out from the camera, more of your scene will come into focus. By looking at the scale, you can see what distances will be in focus. For example, at f8 anywhere between five feet and eight feet may be in focus at f8 with a Fujifilm 23mm f1.4. Then as you move around, just remember to pay attention to the distance that your lens is set to. As subjects and scenes move in and out of it, snap photos and keep moving.

As an added tip, raise the ISO levels up a bit depending on your lighting situations. Aperture priority also helps to make this easier.

Give it a try, the zone focusing method is a tried and true way of coming back with more candid photos.

Xpert Advice is a monthly collaboration between the Phoblographer and Fujifilm designed to teach you photography tips and tricks in a bite-sized package.