Saturday, September 12, 2009

what's your focus?

I got my first camera while in junior high school. I think I sent away for it from one of those ads in the back of a magazine. Unlike the pink-paddled breast-enhancer (you know them.... you'd squeeze the paddles together in front of your chest) that only gave me sore arms when it promised a larger bosom, the cheap plastic camera actually worked. Here's what was probably the first picture taken with that camera (my sis took it ~ it's of me ~ age 14).



In high school I received a 110 pocket Instamatic as well as a Polaroid self-developing camera. It wasn't until digital came around that I decided to invest in something new. I chose an Olympus Camedia C3000. It was one of the best non-SLR cameras available in 2001 and worked well for me for several years. It still works, but this year I wanted something more ~ something with more zoom that I could easily carry with me. Not finding one camera to fit both needs, I purchased two. In my purse, I carry a Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS Digital Elph. When I'm after good photographs, I use my Canon PowerShot SX1 IS. The SX1 IS is as close as I could find to an SLR without the price tag, challenges & higher learning curve of an SLR (I hope to get there someday).

Anyhoo..... to the point of this blog post... The auto-focus of most cameras zeros in on what is exactly in the center of your viewfinder/ LCD screen. What if that's not the section of your photo that you want to be the sharpest? For example, here's a picture I took without thinking about the auto-focus.


The fence is more in focus than the metal ring. This was not my intent. When I realized my mistake, I went back for another photo. This time, I shifted the camera so a portion of the metal ring was in the center then held the focus button half-way to 'lock' it. I then shifted the camera so the fence was again in the center of the photo and snapped the picture. See the difference?


Is this earth-shattering? Umm, no. It is something, however, that novice photographers might easily forget. Discovering a problem when we get home and view the photo on our computer monitor is not the time to shift the focus. Whenever we can, it behooves us to take a few moments before taking a picture to think through everything, then after snapping the picture, zoom in to view the photo on the camera's LCD screen before moving on.

Happy photographing!

2 comments:

Melissa said...

Hey, it's earth shattering for me! I've been fighting with the dang auto focus for years! I never thought to "lock" it. You may have actually changed my life!

Stepping off the edge said...

Since I am, also, working with a new camera- one that is way more intelligent than any automated devise should be- i completely relate! I was taking pics of dragonflies the other day- playing with the macro- when the thing disappeared. well, not actually- the camera just decided to focus waaaaaay past it- and the dragonfly went invisible! grrrrrr.
oh, and, uhm... i do remeber (we must, we must , we must increase our busts) ROFL- and I swear! I had that exact same shirt!!
you are a doll! Great to be home again so I can catch up with all of your great posts!
xoxo
Tracey