eBook review — Craft and Vision’s “Finding Focus”

FINDING_FOCUS_newrelease_coverspread_550.pngEvery month, the folks at Craft & Vision release another title in their fine series of photography eBooks. This month’s contribution was just released today —┬áit’s Finding Focus: Understanding the Camera’s Eye, by Nicole S. Young. As you might expect from the title, this eBook is a top-to-bottom discussion of the use of focus in photography. It’s comprehensive, and doesn’t assume you know very much of the subject (which has its pros and cons, obviously, depending on where you’re at photographically-speaking).

Finding Focus costs $5 for a PDF with 36 (double-width) pages, full of explanatory text and plenty of helpful example images. It covers the following topics:

  • Aperture
  • Depth of field
  • Lens compression (of the subject’s apparent depth)
  • Tilt-shift lenses
  • Related camera functions (pre-focus, DOF preview, etc.)
  • How to focus (for portraits, landscapes, etc.)
  • Focus & storytelling
  • Software (focus stacking, adding blur, etc.)
  • Common mistakes

The eBook’s coverage of focus is technical and comprehensive, but given the nature of its subject, may be a bit basic for some people. From my perspective, Finding Focus will likely be more useful for a beginner or beginner / intermediate photographer than for a more advanced shooter. That being said, it’s a well put-together eBook if it answers a need for you. I have only one complaint about this title: example images are labeled with their EXIF data, but many of the labels don’t include the focal length used (for shots taken with a zoom lens). This is an odd oversight, given that telephoto compression of a scene is part of the ground this title covers.


On the way home from our trip to Glacier N.P. and the Canadian Rockies, it so happened that we spent a night in Great Falls, Montana. Before we left the next morning, we stopped off to check out the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center — great displays, lots of hands-on stuff for the little one to play with. Oh, and all the landscape plants around the building are historically accurate — just what the Lewis & Clark expedition would have encountered on their way through.


Like these milkweed blossoms.


While I was experimenting with stock-style photography, I turned my attention to my computer’s keyboard. It’s just sitting there, can’t run away, why not? “D” and “F” are right next to each other (pity the “O” is all the way over on the other side of the keyboard), so I thought they’d be the perfect subjects for a little bokeh / DOF shot:


Green coloration added in PS Elements in honor of St. Patrick’s day…

Pink carny

OK, I’ll freely admit it. A side benefit of buying my wife flowers is that I get to play with them too. In a few spare moments, I did a little macro experimentation on some of the “survivors” of the crop I bought her for Valentines Day.

Pink carny

I like how the DOF worked out in this shot — gives it a semi-abstract feel.