Changing Focus

If the title led you to believe that this is intended as an introspective post about the current direction of my life and how I intend to make some changes….

Nope.

Were you aware that the Canon 60d (and probably every other DSLR out there) allows you to change the point of focus?

Changing Focus, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com

I’m sure that those of the photographic inclination are fully aware of that.  I, until just a few days ago, was unaware, and just played with this new concept today.  Did you just widen your eyes and shake your head in disbelief that I, owner of such a camera for 7 or so months, have just now figured that out?  What can I say?  I’m just now reading the manual.

Changing Focus, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com
For some reason I love this photo. I know it’s not perfectly focused (though the exposure is good), but it’s just kind of ethereal.

 

The other excuse is the fact that, after taking the online Mastering Manual Exposure class this summer, my entire focus has been on, well, mastering manual exposure (not there, yet :).

And while I’m still acutely aware of every aspect of exposure, I’ve become comfortable enough with it to begin spreading my wings into other areas.

Changing Focus, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com

Take white balance, for instance.  The last week of class included white balance.  I didn’t get it and, frankly, found it overwhelming.  In the three prior weeks I had learned aperture, shutter speed and ISO.  In week four I was supposed to add white balance?! Didn’t happen.  I’d say it’s only been over the last couple of months that I have been noticing and playing more with white balance.

Same with composition…and focus.  There’s a part of me that wonders if I would be better served by focusing (hah!) on just one thing at a time, learn everything I possibly can about that one thing, then move to the next.  But, I read something…either in a book or online and find myself intrigued and wanting to try it.  I guess I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.

Changing Focus, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com

Today I wanted to play with changing the point of focus, so I pulled on my rubber boots and headed out onto our property.  It’s overcast today.  And drippy.  And mossy.  And puddley.  You get the idea.

I used the 50mm for all of the shots.  I changed the focus point quite a bit and, I have to admit, a bit of a light bulb went off.  Being able to change the focus point has a serious impact on composition!  Cool!  The other thing that I am trying to be more cognizant of the histogram.  I always check it, but I think that I rely too much on the rather small LCD to gauge overall exposure.  Today I made a concerted effort to really look at the histogram with each photo taken and to adjust based upon what it was telling me.

Changing Focus, cookdrinkhike.wordpress.com

Okay, then!  There you have the contents of my brain, dumped out on paper.  I’m off to make oatmeal cookies for the oatmeal sandwich cookies that I’m taking to a superbowl party tomorrow.  With maple buttercream filling.  And I’m thinking about glazing some bacon with bourbon and brown sugar and adding that to the icing.  It would then be breakfast, right?  Oatmeal, maple, bacon?  I might make some homemade pasta, too, for dinner.  Haven’t quite decided if I’m that ambitious, though.

 

10 thoughts on “Changing Focus

  1. Your desire to learn more is inspiring. I agree with your thoughts especially about white balance. I sort of gave up on thinking about it in-camera and have done all of my adjusting in post. Before, I would adjust it when I was inside, then forget to re-adjust it when I went outside, so then my outside shots would be all blue and awful. I got super frustrated and just decided to ignore it. But it’s probably something truly good photographers don’t ignore. *sigh*

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. Do you shoot RAW? I’m JPEG at this time, undecided on if I will make the leap. Some of the things that I’ve read seem to indicate that there isn’t a lot of white balance adjustment you can do on JPEG photos. I’m not doing a lot of post-processing, at this point (that’s another thing to learn, and it seems that it’s in my best interest to be able to do decently consistent SOOC before trying to all fancify it with post processing). Remember, too, like a lot of other things white balance is somewhat subjective. Unless your snow looks yellow…or blue. 🙂

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      1. I always shoot in raw. It’s amazing how much more data is included in raw photos. Sometimes it feels almost magical how much you can “pull out” of a photo when you have all of the raw data to work with. I will say though, I shot in jpeg until last year. It wasn’t one of the first things I concentrated on.

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      2. I think that’s where I am…good with JPEG for now. Plus, RAW is…well, pretty RAW…right? Pretty much demands post-processing? There’s only so much time in the day. And the husband said quitting work to dabble in photography isn’t gonna happen. 🙂

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      3. I’ve always just looked at it as when you shoot in RAW, you can pull more out of a photo. I love editing almost as much as taking the photos, but I never paid attention to whether or not a RAW photo needed it more than a jpeg. hmmm. now you have me wondering on that one. And yes, it can be quite a time consuming thing. (so fun though!!)

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      4. I’ve heard the same…that you can pull more out of the photo. It’s just not my focus, yet. I’m sure I will eventually be pulled down that rabbit hole, too. 🙂 Order that ND filter, yet? 😉

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  2. Food for thought. Taking a raw photo of Chitwood covered bridge, then putting its likeness on wood then burning that image into the wood . I call this fun and a hobby. LaNae score was Toledo 9 Eddyville 6

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