How to Lock Focus and Recompose Your Photos

In photography, achieving precise focus is crucial for capturing sharp, compelling images. One technique that photographers frequently use to control focus is the “lock focus and recompose” method. Whether you’re shooting portraits, landscapes, or any other subject, mastering this technique can significantly enhance your photography skills. 

In this guide, we’ll explore what lock focus and recompose entails, why it’s useful, and how to execute it effectively with real-life examples.

Understanding Lock Focus and Recompose:

The lock focus and recompose technique involves locking focus on a specific point within the frame and then recomposing the shot while maintaining that focus point. This method is particularly handy when using a single autofocus (AF) point or ensuring sharp focus on a specific subject within the frame.

Why Use Focus and Recompose:

  1. Precision: By manually selecting the focus point and then recomposing, you have more control over where the camera focuses, resulting in sharper images.
  2. Speed: It’s a quick and efficient way to adjust focus, especially when your subject is not in the center of the frame.
  3. Flexibility: It allows you to compose your shot creatively without being constrained by the autofocus points.
Lock Focus

Use the Lock Focus Button

Locate and activate the Lock Focus button focusing, it has many benefits.

How to Lock Focus and Recompose:

  1. Choose the Right Autofocus Mode: Set your camera to Single Shot AF (Canon) or AF-S (Nikon) mode. This mode locks focus once acquired, ensuring the focus remains constant while you recompose your shot.
  2. Select a Single AF Point: Choose a specific autofocus point rather than the automatic or multiple-point autofocus mode. This gives you control over where the camera focuses.
  3. Position the AF Point: Move the single AF point over your subject or the point in the scene where you want to achieve focus. Half-press the shutter button to lock focus on that point.
  4. Recompose Your Shot: While keeping the shutter button half-pressed to maintain focus, recompose your shot by adjusting the camera’s framing as desired.
  5. Capture the Image: Once you’ve recomposed the shot, fully press the shutter button to take the picture. Ensure you maintain a steady hand to prevent motion blur.

Real-Life Examples:

  1. Portrait Photography: When photographing a person, you can lock focus on their eyes using the focus and recompose technique. This ensures that the subject’s eyes, a critical element in portraits, remain sharp even if they are not in the center of the frame.
  2. Landscape Photography: In landscape photography, you can focus on a specific element in the foreground, such as a rock or a flower. Using focus and recompose, you can ensure that your chosen subject is in sharp focus while still capturing the expansive scenery.
  3. Street Photography: When photographing moving subjects in street photography, such as a person walking or a cyclist, quickly lock focus on them using this technique. This allows you to focus on the subject as they move through the frame, capturing candid moments with precision.

Lock Focus

Outdoor Portraits

Lock Focus in Portrait Photography

In Off-centre portrait photography, use the lock focus skill.

Want More Free Photography Tips?

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for daily photography tips and tutorials.


Mastering the focus and recompose technique empowers you to take control of your camera’s autofocus system and capture sharper, more compelling images. Practice this technique in various shooting scenarios to become proficient and adapt it to suit your creative vision. With patience and practice, you’ll elevate your photography skills and produce stunning images that command attention.

Ready to elevate your photography skills to the next level?

Join us at Omnilargess Photography Bootcamp and embark on a journey of creativity and mastery behind the lens!
At Omnilargess Photography Bootcamp, we’re passionate about helping photographers of all levels unlock their full potential and achieve their creative goals. Our Bootcamp is designed to provide participants with comprehensive hands-on training, personalized guidance, and practical experience, ensuring they develop a deep understanding of photography techniques and concepts.

Full Day Camera Course

April 6, 2024 9:00 am

Omnilargess Beginner Photography Bootcamp

June 1, 2024 9:00 am

Tofino to Ucluelet Tour

October 18, 2024 6:00 pm

That is all for now. Stay tuned for my following photography Tips. We love to hear from you. Let us know if you have any questions; feel free to send us your questions, and we will gladly answer them. Follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter for more Free Tutorials and Tips.

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

Scroll to Top