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Mar 28

A Misty Morning, Using Autofocus-lock

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 The promise of another sunny March day had been replaced by a very misty scene.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.

Focus lock button on the camera | Hellie's Corner

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 :-)

sheep in the mist - photo showing the centre focal point | Hellie's CornerThe 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.

Sheep in the mist just as the sun was rising | Hellie's Corner

Sheep in the mist just as the sun was rising | Hellie's Corner

Sheep in the mist | Hellie's CornerSheep in the mist | Hellie's CornerSheep in the mist, sunrise just showing through the mist | Hellie's CornerSheep in the mist | Hellie's CornerSheep in the mist with the sunrise just showing through the mist | Hellie's Corner

Sheep in the mist with the sunrise just showing through the mist | Hellie's Corner

sheep in the mist | Hellie's Cornersheep in the mist | Hellie's Cornermisty sunrise | Hellie's CornerThe sun eventually burned off the mist and within a few hours we were left with a bright, sunny, Spring day.

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8 comments

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  1. You Baby Me Mummy

    What fabulous pictures! I need to understand my camera a bit better x

  2. gx

    Nice, atmospheric pictures. Exposure lock is handy too, and if you have some grads, you can really make strides.

  3. Love All Blogs

    Oh I love these – they make me feel like I’m in my welligtons and cardigan shivering away with you. Not baaaaaaaad at all! *groans at own lame joke*

    Thanks for joining in again x

  4. Merlinda (@pixiedusk)

    Everything is so technical but I can get it a bit. I am also planning on borrowing books about camera. Mine is old but I think its works okay its just me who doesn’t know how to use it properly =P

  5. Michelle Twin Mum

    Thanks for that handy tip, going to try that tomorrow. The isty sheep pics are fab. Mich x

  6. Kriss MacDonald

    Beautiful shots. I always love going out with the camera on a misty morning.

  7. Kirsty Hijacked By Twins

    I love the pictures of the sheep with their lambs. The mist makes everything look so different, lovely photographs x #betterphotoproject

  8. HPMcQ

    oooooo top tip might have to give that a go myself!

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