Friday, October 03, 2014

How to Focus on a Wet Window

Sudden Downpour on University Avenue
A heavy rain cascading onto a window creates marvelous pictorial effects, but capturing them with a camera can be difficult because autofocus gets in the way. Point your camera or phone at the window, shoot your picture, and the rain just disappears, because the camera focuses on objects in the distance, not the wet window.

You either have to focus manually, usually with a DSLR, or you have to trick the autofocus system. Most point-and-shoots and many phone cameras will let you lock the focus on a selected point. The trick is to lock focus on something sharp that's in roughly the same plane as the window. Indoors, that could be the edge of the window frame. You can do the same thing in a car. Last summer, when I was caught in a sudden deluge on University Avenue, I locked the focus of my iPhone on the line where the dashboard meets the windshield. This was the result.

1 comment:

Janis Nussbaum Senungetuk said...

You captured a marvelous image because you knew exactly what to do to lock the focus. With photography there's little time available for fumbling around with the controls.
Thanks for the reminder of what to do.