manual focus

50mm DSLR Photography Lesson in the rain at Crescent Lake Park!

Danielle trying to master the tough task of manually focusing a 50mm f/1.8 lens

Many past DSLR Photography Lessons have very nicely managed to end right before rain arrived.  Well, this Sunday the luck ran out as most of Andrea's 5th! lesson (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th) was in at least light rain.  That was not the only thing that made today's lesson unique, it was also the first lesson to exclusively use a 50mm lens and the first to be all manual focusing too!

Ah, and another first, the first lesson at Crescent Lake Park in St. Petersburg.  Andrea recently bought the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D lens, but I did not point out in time that her Nikon D3000 will not be able to autofocus it because the D3000 lacks an internal focusing motor.  Thus, today we practiced manual focusing.  

Even with autofocus, the 50mm f/1.8 lens is very tricky to use.  It has a very shallow DoF even through f/2.8, and even beyond.  Then add in the challenge of trying to stay dry in the second hour of the lesson, and I ended up very impressed with Andrea's determination to get a good, sharp shot with appealing bokeh.

50mm manually focused bokeh, in rain

The above shot was the kind we set as our goal for that day's shooting, though the conditions were not conducive to it.  The first photograph of mine that got any attention was a green leaf bokeh shot (view it here).  

Andrea did well in the very challenging conditions taking time to ask questions and making sure she understood why we changed the settings on our DSLRs.  In the end we were able to make a few photographs that met our preset goal for the day.  Thank you Andrea for being so tough and patient!