Why you should turn off autofocus
"Work harder for the photograph. Earn the moment..."
This is so freakin true. Some of the photos that came out of my comfort zone (manual focus) are not the sharpest of all but a few that I hold so close to my heart. It helps me be in the moment, earn that satisfaction rather than thinking on how I'm going to post process them.
Agree 100%. We’re so spoilt these days and it’s great but also not quite that great. My personal take is, a huge deal of photography is, why I take photos, is the journey of the learning process. Being more and more proficient at a form of self expression. Automated processes don’t tend to promote the learning process, whereas manual focus for instance makes you a slightly more skilled photographer with each shot. It’s like playing an instrument. I like thinking about the camera this way, they are an instrument, don’t necessarily have to entail a pick up and go type of immediacy.
Great content as always Gajan. Love the challenge of manual focus, after many years of autofocus. Puts the full control in my hands, removing the ability to blame the camera. Still a struggle though - can only hope to get to your level. Practice, practice, practice...
As simple as it is, the answer to the reader's question is fantastic. Know and trust your skills, plan ahead, work hard, stick to the plan, have a bit of luck, be constant and patient. Works everytime.
Great read! And I'd love to participate in the contest :)
I really appreciate this - I think also not using autofocus helps us remove the idea that the sharpest image is the best image; I’ve only recently started w a digital camera and I’m really thankful to have those lessons from analog photography!
Thank you for this wonderful article!
I have recently experienced something similar: when I used to shoot with my Nikon F3 and similar Film cameras, I always remember the moment, and how I felt when I made the picture. But with digital, Autofocus ect, It feels like I have been removed from the moment and only remember the Picture.
However I have been getting the same feeling back since using my M11 M. I have been shooting it on Full manual, meetering myself, and even at times using my old Hand held Meeter. I have once again become more involved in my images, and once again I remember the moment and how I felt more when I made that images.
Great idea. I think even to the point of not using focus peaking. Trying to see how well you can pull your subject out without the use of technology
I thought the contest would involve some sort of photography, like the exercise you just gave us/
A timely story Gajan. In paid assignments I use Nikon pro cameras that nail autofocus every shot. A train of thought says this frees more brain power to consider picture aesthetics. The reality is modern cameras have many menu options to consider that may distract a mind from artistry. For personal street photography I purchased a Leica M and find its simplicity unleashes more inspiration. It slows me down, aids creativity and is the camera I love most.
Earn the moment - love how you said that. Since last week I’ve put my zone focus to 1 meter and leave it mostly there so that my challenge is to go into that meter distance.