On Wednesday morning, I woke up, walked into the kitchen and, as usual, looked out of the window to check the weather. The promise of another sunny March day had been replaced by a very misty scene. However, within a hour, the sun had started to rise, giving a whole new dimension to the mist, so I grabbed my camera, shoes and a coat and headed out to the bottom of the garden.
I’ve spent the last few months learning how to use my SLR camera in more than just a point-and-shoot kind of way. I’ve picked up some great tips from Love All Blogs weekly Better Photo Project, from my photography books and from picking Mr HC’s brains.
One of the things Mr HC tought me recently, is how to autofocus on a subject when it isn’t in the center of your shot – a method known as ‘focus-lock’. This issue is primarilly a result of the development of the autofocus system. Prior to autofocus lenses, the photographer would manually focus upon whatever they wished within the frame. Of course, a potential solution is to just switch off autofocus and focus manually…but who on Earth would want to do that?!
I was able to put this into practice in the following photos. I wanted the sheep to be in sharp focus, but also to get the sun in the shot and not have too much grass in the foreground. When you look through the lens, the small box in the centre is usually the point that the camera autofocuses on. In some of my photos, that point was on the grass and would have possibly put the sheep out of focus. To overcome this problem Mr HC had shown me how to use the camera’s Autofocus lock.
Firstly, I pointed the camera (i.e. the small box) at the sheep and half-pressed the shutter to focus. Then, holding the AF-L (Autofocus Lock) button down, I moved the camera to where I wanted to take the photograph and then pressed the shutter to take the photograph. The end result, was an in-focus sheep off to the side of the photograph
The photograph above shows the centre point of the photograph, which is the area that would be auto-focused (probably infinity). It also shows where I cropped the foreground to balance the photograph better. The photograph below ↓ is the result, with others taken using this technique.