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The Day I Learned How to Use Manual Focus on My Digital Camera

  • Suomeksi
  • In English
The journey of learning to take beautiful photographs is long and full of bumps. Especially when you start that trip from zero.

All the camera settings, terms and tricks, shutter times, inverse figures, white balance… And how to remember which knob in your camera is for which function?

At the very beginning, you need to check everything from the manual. You might know the theory, but how to learn the practice? By trial and error.

And after the error, you go back to your guidebook and check how you should have done it. Sometimes it feels like the complicated manuals are written for professionals only.

Professional photographers are a great source of information. And they are normally happy to give an advice. But soon you’ll learn there are as many instructions to do one specific thing as there are photographers. I was recently listening to a Finnish nature photographer Kimmo Ohtonen giving presentations about the wonders of nature and macro photography.

Kimmo’s tip was:

Learn how to use manual focus on your camera.

– Nature photographer Kimmo Ohtonen

I’ve tried and I’ve tried, but I came up with only crappy results. Apparently, the fact how to use manual focus on your camera is thought to be something so obvious it’s instructed neither in the manual nor on the expensive photography course I took this spring.Yesterday I did as told. And today I am presenting you some of the unedited shots from our little walk in the forest. There are definitely worse ways to spend a sunny spring day than photographing.

A couple of days ago I was playing with my camera in my backyard and accidentally turned the focus ring on my Nikon lens. Whaaaat…?Yesterday I did as told. And today I am presenting you some of the unedited shots from our little walk in the forest. There are definitely worse ways to spend a sunny spring day than photographing.

Oh, THIS is how to use manual focus? So simple! Why does it have to be such a secret?Yesterday I did as told. And today I am presenting you some of the unedited shots from our little walk in the forest. There are definitely worse ways to spend a sunny spring day than photographing.

Yesterday I did as Kimmo suggested. And today I am presenting you some of the unedited shots from our little walk in the forest. There are definitely worse ways to spend a sunny spring day than photographing.

 

The Day I Learned How to Use Manual Focus on My Digital Camera | Live now – dream later travel blog

 

The Day I Learned How to Use Manual Focus on My Digital Camera | Live now – dream later travel blog

The Day I Learned How to Use Manual Focus on My Digital Camera | Live now – dream later travel blog

 

Luckily, the nearest forest is right next to my back garden, so I don’t need to travel far to find a perfect place to practice photography. We even have many different animals around, so you might be able to capture birds, squirrels, foxes… even deer with their calves right in our backyard.

Unfortunately, when you are a beginner, you’re not able to set the ideal functions on your camera quickly enough. Too often it happens, that once you have set your camera ready, the situation is already gone. That’s why you should start with animals that have absolutely no rush to get anywhere.

 

The Day I Learned How to Use Manual Focus on My Digital Camera | Live now – dream later travel blog

 

The Day I Learned How to Use Manual Focus on My Digital Camera | Live now – dream later travel blog

The Day I Learned How to Use Manual Focus on My Digital Camera | Live now – dream later travel blog

 

Have you ever looked a butterfly in the face? It’s quite cute, in a funny way.

 

The Day I Learned How to Use Manual Focus on My Digital Camera | Live now – dream later travel blog

 

This silly animal was also found in our back garden. Let me introduce you our crazy kitten Tipsy, who apparently thinks she is very well hidden and no one can see her.

 

The Day I Learned How to Use Manual Focus on My Digital Camera | Live now – dream later travel blog

 

We, meaning myself, Daniel and his kids, dedicated our May Day to our new hobbies. I was taking pictures and learning how to use manual focus, Daniel and his son were looking for treasures with a metal detector, and Daniel’s daughter was learning – and also learned – how to ride a bicycle. What a productive day for all of us!

We went for a walk to a nearby forest. We saw two swans swimming in a little pond, so I tried to capture them on my camera. Unfortunately, my zoom didn’t quite reach close enough, but you can definitely spot the swans on the picture. I also like the reflections of the birch trees that are drawn on the surface of the water.

 

The Day I Learned How to Use Manual Focus on My Digital Camera | Live now – dream later travel blog

 

Our destination in the forest was the pet cemetery where our dear cat Kilu was buried after the deadly accident last October.

 

The Day I Learned How to Use Manual Focus on My Digital Camera | Live now – dream later travel blog

 

I love this little pet cemetery, and we go there quite often. There are so many lovely graves with colorful flowers, candles, and angel statues that I might make a separate photo reportage of it one day. My heart just melts when I see how much effort people are making for the memory of their beloved pets. Look at this grave stone, for example, :

 

The Day I Learned How to Use Manual Focus on My Digital Camera | Live now – dream later travel blog

 

After Kilu had his candle, we continued our journey through the woods. The spring-like nature is just starting to blossom.

A walk in the forest on a sunny spring day is the best possible therapy. I guess I’m such a nature child that I couldn’t even think about living in a concrete jungle. Have a look, even the ants’ nests are flowering.

 

The Day I Learned How to Use Manual Focus on My Digital Camera | Live now – dream later travel blog

The Day I Learned How to Use Manual Focus on My Digital Camera | Live now – dream later travel blog

 

Just before our home yard, I had to take one more photo of these cute little wheelbarrows. I found them in the garden of a house along the neighboring street. I feel like I’d like to go and borrow them. Maybe even I would work harder in the garden if I had this lovely pink barrow to work with! 🙂

 

The Day I Learned How to Use Manual Focus on My Digital Camera | Live now – dream later travel blog

 

Here’s a question for all photographers who are – or once were – beginners: Did you find it difficult to learn using manual focus on your first proper camera? Please share your best tips in the comments.

More nature-inspired stories:

Nature, Snow and Koli National Park – Finland, You’re So Beautiful You Don’t Even Need Editing!
Spotted in Finnish forests: 8 unique nature photographs
The Perfect Travel Destination – Always Free, Always Easy to Reach, Always Different
Day Trip from Prague to Paradise: Bohemian Switzerland National Park



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Saana

The girl behind the blog is a Finnish travel and outdoor enthusiastic with a huge passion for writing and fulfilling dreams. When I'm not abroad, I'm showing you the best of beautiful Finland. My heart lies in the archipelago of Satakunta and Rauma area in the South-West of Finland.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Wow! What an incredible journey you’ve taken us into the amazing Finnish woods! Through your fabulous photos, I feel as if I am there too!
    I love the pic of your new kitten Tipsy and I remember your cat, Kilu…The gravesite is a lovely tribute to Kilu.
    The bugs and flowers and wildlife are so pretty — and that ant hill is amazing..soo big!
    Thank you for sharing your travels around with us. It’s lovely to view the world via WordPress and your great blog!
    Happy Sunday!
    *Lia

    1. Thanks again for your lovely comment, Lia. I’m glad you liked the pictures, I’m still learning, slowly but surely! 🙂 Luckily the surrounding nature offers the best possible conditions for practice. Happy Sunday to you too!

Make me happy; let's get chatty! :)

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