Night Photography Tips–Turn Off Autofocus Before You Fire The Shutter

If your camera won’t fire and you’ve eliminated all the obvious reasons (did you turn on the camera?), the most likely culprit is that the camera is trying to autofocus and can’t do so in the darkness. If you use autofocus as I do instead of manually focusing, you must turn it off after you have acquired focus or else the camera will try to focus again when you take the shot. An even better option is to enable the camera’s “back button autofocus” so that the camera will focus only when you press a button on the back of the camera. Nikon and Canon both have this feature, but I’m not sure of other brands.

Night Photography Tips is a nightly feature in which I give a quick tip for night photographers. It’s a way to share all the little things I do and think about in my night shooting, without boring you with my usual wordiness. If you have a tip you’d like to share, please email it to me and I might include it here, along with a link to your blog or website.


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