Landscape photography and more lessons learned

Here’s another lesson learned from my Algonquin weekend: When shooting landscapes turn off the auto focus on the lens!

What? Turn off my expensive autofocus system and go back to manual focus! Why?_DSC0035

When shooting landscapes many photographers use wide-angle lenses. Of course the camera is on a sturdy tripod and there’s lots of time to frame the image the way you want it but when you’re using autofocus you can never be absolutely sure what the camera is seeing. For example, if you’re using autofocus and you’re framing a scene with a tree branch in the foreground, the autofocus will likely focusing on the branch and not on the background. You may not notice this issue until you get your images on a big computer screen for editing and the problem shows up.

Also, when shooting with a tripod it’s a really good idea to use a remote shutter release to reduce camera shake. This can be electronic or a cable (not all DSLRs will take a cable) release. If you don’t own one you can use your camera’s self-timer to fire the shutter. Some landscape photographers go so far as to lock the mirrors up in the camera just before shooting again to minimize camera shake.

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