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Old Jun 2, 2012, 10:58 PM   #1
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Default Weather - Creating Focus Issues

Another two shots from Colorado last week. Our vacation was marked by typical mountain spring weather - it didn't know what it wanted to do. One time I ended up resorting to manual focus because the camera couldn't figure out what to focus on. I think you can see why with this picture:



Second one taken with a longer lens, and at an elk that was quite a bit closer than in the first picture.



The camera still kept getting fooled into focusing on the snow instead of the elk!
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Old Jun 4, 2012, 10:52 AM   #2
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Both very cool shots!
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Old Jun 4, 2012, 2:43 PM   #3
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Love the first one especially... context is everything here.
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Old Jun 4, 2012, 10:50 PM   #4
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Thanks! I agree, bobbert - We came across this herd of elk and I took a shot first with the lens that was on the camera. It happened to be a 50-135, not exactly a lens one uses to shoot wildlife with. I switched to the 300, then we moved a bit and found several that were closer to the road (the second shot). Before I looked at the first shot, I figured it would be a throw-away. But then I saw it and realized that it told the story much better than the ones closer up. Not exactly a classic wildlife picture though!
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 5:03 PM   #5
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mtngal,
I really like the first shot. It tells quite a story with the heavy snowfall and the solitary deer trying to get a meal before it's all lost beneath the snow.
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Old Jun 5, 2012, 6:43 PM   #6
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# 1 for me as well mtngal - we don't see much snow here in town and when we do it dissolves when it hits the ground almost. I've tried but have not yet been as successful as you were in taking snow-falling shots.

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Old Jun 5, 2012, 10:31 PM   #7
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I know what you mean Bernice, about snow melting quickly. This did - it snowed pretty hard for a while, then let up. Temperatures hovered right around freezing and the ground was warm, so the snow didn't stick much.

The interesting thing is that we had been by this meadow a couple of times on previous days when the weather was either clear or cloudy and no wildlife was to be seen beyond a magpie and a couple of Mallards. I made a comment as we were nearing the area that the elk might feel more comfortable in the open when the weather was lousy. We then rounded the curve and there they were!
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Old Jun 6, 2012, 9:58 AM   #8
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I agree, the first one tells a story. But both are really very nicely done.
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Old Jun 6, 2012, 3:42 PM   #9
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Definitely calls for manual focus. All other focusing modes would be thrown off by the bright snow.

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Old Jun 6, 2012, 11:20 PM   #10
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Thanks! Cal - my camera either focused on the snow or else gave up completely, the snow not allowing enough contrast to get through. It was an interesting, practical lesson on AF limitations. Glad I have some manual focus lenses that I use regularly, I did reasonably well. But the snow did make it hard to see the elk clearly enough for me to be sure of the focus either.
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