How Auto-Focus Can Go Wrong

This Easter 2007 I gave my Nokia 50D to some friends and family members. Unfortunately (myself included), not everyone knows the first thing about taking a proper shot.

It still amazes me that people can completely ignore how auto-focus works on a digital camera. I'm not talking about consumer point and shoot cameras. I'm talking about more professional digital SLRs. Even with a point-and-shoot the focus is generally set to the center of the frame. As such, if your subject is off to the side and you point and focus the camera as below, what else can one expect? Note the sharp focus of the couch and the obvious blur of your humble webmaster. To be fair, a deeper depth of field could have solved this, but as it were, the f stop was too high and the shutter speed too slow, thereby reducing depth of field.

And this is what happens when you ignore shutter speed. Yes, manual mode does require you to know what you're doing.