Discovering manual focus
My idea of taking a photograph, long before I took up photography, was that of rotating a lens to focus on a subject and then pressing the shutter. Aperture, ISO, shutter speed etc. were unknown entities. But by the time I took up photography, we had already moved in to the digital age. Advent of the digital camera brought auto focus to all and sundry and I was not an exception. More so, since the first camera I used was a Lumix DMC TZ1 that offered no manual focus option.
To the average user, focussing has been made so easy that seeing a little green box on screen when the shutter is half-pressed is taken for granted. With SLRs though, the story is different. When I got the Lumix DMC G1, I was aware that it had a manual focus option. But life had been made so easy by the auto focus feature, that even trying the manual option was a little scary, if not cumbersome. And, to be frank, the first time I tried it, I did not know what the hell was going on. Subjects seemed to be perpetually blurred. I kept rotating the focus ring to no avail.
Now, unlike other DSLRs, the Lumix G1 allows you to drag a small yellow box to any part of the screen and fix the focus. This option exists for both auto and manual focus. In my quest to learn about how to use the feature for auto focus, I found out what I was doing wrong when using the manual focus option. I also realised how embarrasing it can be when you can’t figure out the easiest things.
The thing that delights me about MF is that it allows you to get closer to the subject, as compared to AF. And then there is the bokeh! The kind of blurring of background I managed to get with MF, I never could dream of.
Here are a few of the pics I uploaded on flickr. Suffice it to say, I am in love with it.