Welcome to Back Focus.

“Back focus,” in photography, originally meant what happens when a camera’s focus point is behind the film plane, resulting in soft, out-of-focus images.  This usually results from a misaligned lens element or ground glass; the image appears to be in focus when looking through the camera, but in reality the image is blurry.

The term has morphed in recent years to mean an autofocus error, wherein the camera’s autofocus system latches onto something besides the subject, usually behind the subject.  Since autofocus systems rely on contrast to judge sharpness, back focus most commonly occurs when the background is much busier, brighter, or more contrasty than the subject, making it easier for the matrix to compute focus.

Both definitions are valid.

I have drawn inspiration from these concepts for the name of this blog.  In this blog, I will be going behind the subject of photography to explore the back areas and to peel back the polished veneers to reveal what’s behind the images, the inner workings of photography, as I see it. I look forward to sharing this journey with you.