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Frequently asked question on how to get better pictures.

Camera Skill:
Could an auto-focus camera be fooled?
Yes, auto-focus could take a wrong focusing assumption, if there are obstructive objects or simply no object between or behind the subject and the camera. Better quality auto-focus feature will use multiple points to compute a focus. The best auto-focus feature will use a detector to trace the movement of your eye pupil such that it knows where your subject is located.

How do I overcome the auto-focusing trouble?
Some better camera can pre-focus by aiming at the subject by pushing the shutter release button half way down and holding it, then aim and shoot. Most single lens reflex camera can switch to manual focus.

Could an automatic exposure camera be fooled?
Yes, automatic exposure could be fooled if the subject is in front of a bright background. For example, if you take pictures in front of a window.

How can I compensate the in-correct automatic exposure?
Some camera will have automatic exposure compensation feature. They are usually represented by a symbol of facing the sun. You can switch it on to activate the feature. Some single lens reflex camera will have a + and - automatic exposure compensation dial. The worst or the best case is to use manual adjustment.

Is manual camera better than automatic camera?
If you know how to control your camera, manual camera is much more versatile. Good automatic camera will also be able to control manually.

What is the B speed of a shutter?
Bulb is the classical term when camera was using pneumatic control to operate a shutter. This setting will let you open the shutter and stay open to allow film exposure until you release the finger.

At Harvard Square.

This picture was taken at night in Harvard Square using B speed with flash. The total exposure time was about 1 second. If it was taken without the flash, the kids will be all dark shadow. If it was using normal shutter speed with flash, the background will be all in the dark.

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