Focusing on your subject sounds so damned easy, especially with a snazzy autofocus system, but nevertheless at times my autofocus seems to have a mind of its own! I’ve learned to twiddle around the available focus points with my little four point directional thing on the back of my Nikon to choose my preferred point of focus for each individual image, but even that can be a bit of a blunt instrument at times so often I’ll resort to using a single point focus and the AE/AF lock button, then recomposing the shot.
But being fond of shallow depth of field images, my biggest focus fiasco is remembering that it’s even more necessary than ever with my aperture wide open to be pin-sharp with my point of focus – it drives me mad to create a pleasing composition, and to get my exposure right, only to find my final image is either not focused where I wanted it to be, or is simply focused in too tight, like these crocus, taken at an eye-wateringly narrow f1.8…
As an experiment I took this photograph of the crochet blanket draped over the back of my sofa (where I’m sitting writing this) to see just how limited a plane of focus I actually get with my aperture wide open at f1.8 – and yes, creatively I may well achieve a spectacular depth of field at this extreme setting, but I can see I also need to be careful to leave enough of the subject in focus to make it visually comfortable to look at… I’ve found too much blur just gives me a headache!
So it seems like I can get so carried away with trying to be creative with my images I sometimes forget to concentrate on having good subject focus first and foremost! Ironically it’s probably the one thing that can’t be fixed later – poor composition can be cropped, bad exposure can be lightened/ darkened with computer software, but out of focus is out of focus, period! All my Nikon lenses have the option of manual focus, which I’ve avoided to date, but I think it’s maybe time I explored manual focus a bit more… 🙂