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| DearWebby is actually Helmut Morscher, the CEO of Webby, inc.
Originally the "Tech Support Pits" were reports of the funniest tech support incidents, but over the years the
column gradually shifted to answering tech support questions put forward by the readers of the Dear
Webby Humor Letter.
This collection of computer and web advice was started partly because readers demanded an archive, and partly
because some questions were asked again and again. Each page has a different day's Tech Support Pits column.
Tech Support Pits column from Dear Webby's Humor Letter of
03/12/04: Apperture and Focus with digital camera
Tech Support Pits:
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There are so many ways to auto-focus with my camera that
I am starting to wish it had a plain and simple manual focus.
Magazine articles about it are no help at all. Those guys just
fill space and try to baffle with BS and big words because
they don't understand the topic.
I am counting on you to explain it in simple terms or tell me
what to do.
All those many types of focusing can be divided into two
groups: Spot and Area
Spot, as the name says, focuses things just right for the spot
in the exact center 1 or 2 percent of the picture.
Area, that includes Matrix, Average, Field, etc. uses various
formulas to sorta average things out. That almost always
works against you.
A recent example is a picture my dad sent me of my brother
and his daughter on a ski hill. Behind them was a mountain
with a glacier just to the right of the group. The shiny spring
ice on the glacier of course was extermely bright in the sun.
Unfortunately he had the camera set on Matrix or Average,
and everything was too dark, especially the faces of my
brother and his little daughter. But the glacier was perfect
and showed waves and creases in it.
Obviously, that was not what my dad had intended.
If he had used the SPOT setting and locked it on their faces
by pushing the clicker half way down, then lined up the shot
so as not to saw off any feet or whatever, then the brightness
of the faces would have been perfect and the landscape
a bit too bright.
Darkening the landscape is no big deal with a paint program,
but getting features to show in underexposed faces is difficult.
Overexposed, too bright and washed out faces are just as bad.
In summary, focus on the reason for the picture, lock the
settings by half pressing the shutter, compose (point the
camera for the actual picture), and click down all the way.
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