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  Topic: Wildlife, What's in your back yard?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 05 2012,08:42   

Quote (Robin @ May 05 2012,06:59)
Quote (Freddie @ May 05 2012,04:53)
Anyone have any tips for this?  I think some of the higher end cameras allow you to adjust the focus point on each lens but mine isn't one of those!

Mine either. You may be on to something Freddie. I don't have this problem (or at least, not very much) with my 18-55. I suspect that with the greater power, adjustments to the focus amount to larger and larger shifts in the focal point, but I'm just guessing here.

I find I have this problem in two situations:

When I'm standing and hand-holding
When I'm hurrying my shots

When I'm standing and hand-holding the camera, and I'm tired or not paying attention to my stance, I have caught myself sort of ... weaving a little forward and back. It's kind of funny when I notice it. I usually think, "Am I drunk? wtf?" (Sometimes the answer is "yes", in which case, there's the problem, but for this purpose, let's assume the answer is "no".)

I solve this issue by either kneeling and bracing my left elbow on my knee for support, or if I have to continue to stand to get the shot, I turn my body so that I'm not square to my subject. Not quite 90 degrees, but maybe 60 or 70 or so. With my left foot pointed at the subject and my right foot almost perpendicular to the left, I find that stabilizes me better than when I'm square to the subject. I'll brace my left elbow on something if I can, or against my body as best I can if I can't.

When I'm hurrying my shots, I tend to do two things that trash my shots. I lose track of my breathing, and I pull the shutter button. I find it helpful to lower the camera and take a moment (sometimes missing the shot, but I was going to miss it anyway because of technique, so...). I think about my military experience, which at first might seem odd.

When I learned to fire a rifle, the Army taught me to breathe normally (don't hold your breath) and wait for that little natural pause between exhaling and inhaling. Your body is moving less then. When you hit that moment, gently squeeze the trigger, don't pull it. Pulling the trigger moves the rifle, and it can be enough to move your point of aim just as the rifle fires. The shot should surprise you when you hear it.

While out and about one day taking pictures, it clicked for me that the camera is just like that. It's a very precise rifle that doesn't kill its target. The minute I started treating my camera that way, I started getting a much lower ratio of shots that were unusable due to focusing issues. Wait for the pause, squeeze the shutter button.

See if those things help.

Edited for sperlingness.

Edited by Lou FCD on May 05 2012,09:45

Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

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  2219 replies since Jan. 24 2008,14:26 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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