Book – Focus

My latest book from Ilex Press

Focus In Photography

Excerpt from Focus In Photography

Excerpt from Focus In Photography


“John Neel’s latest book, Focus, published in 2016 by ILEX, a Hachette company, had me wondering, “Okay. Focus. Either in or out. But is there enough here to write a book about?” The answer is a resounding “yes.” I’ll cut right to the chase… If you’re serious about your own image making, this book is, surprisingly, a must.” – Rick Colson – Boston 

“I love it. …it’s incredibly informative, well written and beautifully illustrated and designed. I can see that it would appeal to the novice as well as experienced and professional photographers. There’s plenty of technical info if one loves that stuff and yet more focused – excuse the pun – explanations. I’m not particularly a technical person but I find it very readable and clear. And as I mentioned, the design is gorgeous.” – Fran Forman – Boston Mass.

Every few pages, I learn something completely new. Thanks, John.”  Roger B. – Upstate NY


Filters can improve focus and what the lens captures.

“John Neel’s “FOCUS in Photography” takes one of the basic principles of making good pictures and goes way beyond what you thought you know. This terrific book takes you on a journey into some very technical subjects (don’t be fooled by the simple sounding title), but presents it in a way that anyone looking to make better photographs can understand. As a photographer for more than 40 years, I thought I knew how focus can be used creatively, but “FOCUS in Photography” has opened up new digital techniques I had no idea where possible. Get this book if you want to broaden your creative skills!” – Garry T. – Orange NJ

Focus In Photography - John Neel

Focus In Photography – John Neel

Focus In Photography – Amazon

Focus In Photography – Barnes and Noble

Focus in Photography – Book Depository

“While a quick flip through the index will tell you much of what this book covers, what it doesn’t tell you is a) how well written and easy to understand it is, how well designed the book is and how stunning and exemplary the images are. This is a well thought out, well-designed book that makes good use of typography and illustration. Kudos to John Neal and the publisher for bringing us such a great book.

In summary, John Neel has written the definitive work on the subject of focus and I expect it will remain so for many years to come. My recommendation? Find a place on your photo bookshelf for this book. My copy sits prominently on mine (but only when I am not revisiting it to catch up on subjects I am still, after 50 years of imaging, learning about). Thank you, John.” – Rick Colson – Boston Mass.


Released – UK October 04 and USA November 01

Focus In Photography – by John Neel


“Focus is an important artistic tool, directing your viewers into and around your image, but a technical challenge too. In this book, the first serious treatment of the topic in the digital age, John Neel shows how a mastery of your lens will greatly enhance the quality and ‘wow’ factor of your photographs.

Never losing sight of what real-life photographers need to know, Focus in Photography will let you master bokeh and other focus techniques, giving you a complete understanding of optics and what actually happens to light within the camera in your hand. Richly illustrated with John’s own amazing images, and drawing on his well-known authority in the field, it will be a valuable asset to students of photography, enthusiasts looking to refine their art, product photographers and commercial shooters alike.” – Ilex Press

Purchase Focus In Photography online:

Focus In Photography – Amazon

Focus In Photography – Barnes and Noble

Focus in Photography – Book Depository


Return to – Lens Garden


Reviews –

“If John Neel‘s Focus in Photography sounds like it might be a little more philosophical than nuts and bolts tutorialish, that may be because Neel has given a lot of thought to the subject.

He’s also spent a lot of time exploring the many facets of focusing an image so you get the nuts and bolts along with the philosophy behind them, too.

That makes this one of the more surprisingly delightful photography reads we’ve enjoyed recently.

We like Neel’s consideration of the larger issues (why you might shoot a panorama and the different kinds of panorama you might shoot, for example) as well as the technical details (down to software recommendations) of subjects like focus stacking.

It isn’t easy to marry those two discussions but Neel manages to do it very smoothly. He provides a general understanding of the concepts before he shows you how to use the gear to apply them in practice. You actually have the feeling of having learned something.” – Mike Pasini – Photo Corners

Read more at this link:  Photo Corners



5.0 out of 5 stars

5.0 out of 5 stars


Impressive and unique., January 2017
Focus In Photography: Master the advanced techniques that will change your photography forever (Paperback)
This is brilliant, original, inspiring. But more important, it’s chockablock loaded with useful, well presented suggestions. Doesn’t get bogged down in explicative text either. Just flows. I write as someone who’s been shooting, processing and post processing film and digital images for many decades. My standards are pretty high. This one is worth every penny and every minute of time. Kudos. – Picker
“Very detailed book…… and I learned a lot of new techniques from this book.” – F. Harris
Barnes and Noble
“Focus…hmmm, that aspect of photography which many of us take for granted. After all can’t the cameras of today focus automatically? From a myriad of points within the viewfinder frame the camera’s computer will pick the ideal setting, right? While this may be acceptable to the novice or snap-shooter we need to realize that, along with composition, focus is an aspect of photography that maybe you just don’t want to relegate to the auto-feature of your camera’s computer. After all, the camera won’t be up to the task of determining the “focus” of the photographer’s intent.
John Neel opens this discussion in his new book, “Focus in Photography”. With lots of great photo illustrations and diagrams he takes us on a journey through the fundamentals without getting too technical. He explores bokeh in its many variations along with various software and hardware tools as well. John as well as being a photographer is a teacher and philosopher of image making. So if you want to take your photography to the next level or brush up on some forgotten fundamentals I highly recommend this addition to your photographic library.” – Grok-Doc