I was working on my next book this past weekend, the chapter on landscape photography, and I thought I would pass along one of the little tips that I wrote about. It has to do with focusing while using a tripod. Often times when I am shooting on a tripod I find that my point of focus is resting just outside of on of my focus points, especially if the main subject is in the lower portion of the screen.
Since I am a slave to my autofocus, what I like to do is loosen my tripod head and then put my focus point exactly where I want the point of focus to be. I press my shutter release and focus the camera. Then, before doing anything else, I slide my camera into manual focus mode. Depending on the camera, this can be a switch on the lens or on the camera body. After the focus is set to manual, I recompose my picture, lock down my tripod and take my shot. If I hadn’t switched the camera to manual focus, the autofocus system would have tried to re-focus, possibly shifting my plane of focus to an unwanted area.
It’s not a very complicated process but it does make sure I get just the shot that I want. Next time you are out working with your tripod, give it a try and see if it doesn’t make your life a little easier.