Some weeks ago I read a blog post about back button focus. I heard about this lots of times before but never really knew what it was. So after that blog post I got inspired to try the back button focus. And now I been only taking pictures like that.
What is back button focus then? Usually there are two ways of making focus, auto focus or manual focus. When you have manual, you focus and then press the shutter. When you are using auto, the camera will make the focus for you when you half press the shutter, so basically before each picture the camera will focus. I have a really bad sight, so manual focus is something that is not for me, unless is something really hard to focus on, so I was always using auto focus. But I hated it! Auto focus is painful, every time the camera wants to focus, even if you are taking a picture of the same thing. And sometimes the thing is moving and then the focus is slow and you miss the picture.
So what does back button focus does? It uses the auto focus, but instead of focusing every time you press the shutter half way, it focus when you told the camera to focus. There is a button in the back of the camera, that you press when you want the camera to focus, and then the camera focus and then your focus is lock and you can press the shutter. There is no need to change the focus if the subject is the same, so if the subject is moving or the focus is not chaining you don’t need to take time to refocus, its faster.
If you want to read about the technicalities of back button focus, its a good blog post in here about it.
Another thing that I started doing when I change to focus with the back button, is to take pictures in manual mode. I read a lot about how good its to take pictures in manual mode, but I never feel that I have a need to do it, but now I have to say that after a couple of weeks of just shooting in manual, I like it and I understand the power of it. Now using my focus like this and the manual mode I feel that I have more control over my camera and over my pictures and I can take the pictures I want, even in low light or too much light or moving subjects. Little by little I learn about the camera and that helps to take better pictures.
The pictures of this blog post are from my weekend in Myllykukko natural park, I was practising taking pictures of some rapids and some nature in the autumn.