I found myself mixed with humility and joy listening to my sixteen-year old son, Keegan, as well as just observing his passionate explanation of how I don't know how to use my own camera to take pictures. Having mastered the art of lecturing to me complete with eyes rolls and exhausted breath, he walked me through all the various settings, buttons, and dials on the camera. When did my son learn all of this?
While I tried to act interested in all of his tips, tricks, and strategies, I waited patiently for him to finish, so I could school him a very important fact that would keep me at the top of the food chain of knowledge in the family; the fact that I bought an expensive camera with something called "Auto-Focus". When he finished, I paused for dramatic effect before announcing my profound statement. Getting ready to drop the mic, he quickly brought me down to Earth with his response: "Then, why would the company still keep all these features? Sometimes, it is necessary to focus manually."
Even a year later, that experience and his response had me reflecting on its truth in settings outside of the photography world. We tend to think about the word “Focus”, and think it should be automatic in what we do with it. We tell ourselves we need to focus more as a New Year's Resolution, and say it when we are asked what changes we intend to make in improvement settings. It has become such a much-needed area of work that it often gets nods of approval and the occasional "Amen" when we say it aloud. We treat the ability to focus as something automatic, when it is something that is meant to be set manually.
In an effort to ensure you are focused, here are "Four Strategies To Manually Set Your Focus":