Monday, 13 June 2011

Photo Glossary - 06 - Focal Point/Focal Plane

Focal Point
Focal point has two meanings in photography.
Optical Focal Point is the point of the photo that is in sharpest focus.
Artistic Focal Point is a point of concentration in the photograph that draws the attention of the viewer.
It is quite common for the two focal points to be on the same point in the photograph, for instance the eye or a bird, the centre of a flower or the face of a person in a portrait.

Focal Plane
The focal plane is an imaginary plane that passes through the optical focal point of a lens.  What that means is that everything that is the same distance away from the camera as the optical focal point will also be in focus.  Everything closer to the camera and everything further from the camera will be out of focus.  The degree to which they are out of focus is called the depth of field.
Note:The camera’s sensor is placed on a second focal plane inside the camera, sometimes called the sensor plane.  

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