I love using auto focus, but sometimes some shoots just don’t work easily. While in Greenland, I took lots of low-light and night photographs of distant horizons. Sometime my high-end camera just didn’t want to auto-focus (I say this because I want to believe that the camera has a mind of its own and do not have to take any of the credit for my photographic mistakes). I would click halfway and have the lens zoom in and then zoom out, and then zoom back in again. It was looking for the focus point that it couldn’t see. As an auto-focus junkie, I have gotten into the nasty habit of forgetting that I have another option.
I am learning to throw my lens into manual mode (please, don’t be afraid). Yes, this can be a little scary if you have become dependent on auto mode, but manual allows me control over low light, fog, sky, smoke, horizons, snow storms, and other common situations that my auto-focus cannot focus on. More importantly, I am learning, like everything else, that I get better with practice.
Written and photography by Devin Galaudet
For more on Camera Talk at ITKT