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.