Originally Posted by Philimon
When you hold down the shutter release button, the camera would auto focus on the nose (as you pointed out) even though the image was centered on the eyes. I had been using "flash off" mode, and have now switched to "program auto exposure" so I could choose the focus points via the camera controls. I thought focusing and recomposing was to be avoided, based on what I've read during my quick focus point how-to search.
Inherently, there are two reasons why you don't want to focus recompose. First, generally when you half press the shutter button, the camera focuses and takes its exposure reading and locks them both. Then, if you do a huge recompose, you can change the scene enough that a different exposure setting would be more correct. I say generally, BTW, because, with the higher-end bodies, you can bind AF and AE to different buttons to avoid this issue. You can also compose, meter, AE Lock, recompose, focus, then recompose again but that's tedious to me. The second reason why you don't want to focus recompose is because many lenses do not have a flat plane of focus. Just because something is sharp and in focus right in the center of the frame, doesn't mean it will still be in focus if you shift your composition even without changing the distance. That's just one of the complications of optics and is unavoidable. There are certain lenses like the 50 f/1.2L which are notorious for extremely distorted focal planes so you can't focus recompose at all or your subject will fall out of focus.
I use a 5D Mark II which has an extremely outdated AF system. I really only trust the center AF point so I have it selected on its own and I do a ton of focus recompose. I do dial in exposure compensation on a shot-by-shot basis if I feel I've recomposed enough that it becomes necessary. Yes, I do occasionally get bitten by a non-flat focal plane issue but I deal with it. Try it and see how it works for you. That's the beauty of digital cameras: no cost and instant results when experimenting!
Originally Posted by hyogen
I'm using light room also.. I don't think i have seen a highlight slider...
Thanks for the help
The Highlights slider is new in LR4. To me, just the Highlights slider and its counterpart Shadows make LR4 a worthwhile upgrade. You can do the same things in LR3 but it is much more tedious. I'll say it again, though, stop worrying about your equipment and your next "upgrade." Use what you've got and take 10,000 pictures really working on your technique, thinking through every composition, then decide if you really need something else.
Here's my point. This photo is a very nice snap shot. Slightly washed out by the lighting but, still, very nice. Good control of depth of field, nice and sharp, etc.. However, one single correction and it goes from:
Your white balance was off. Way too warm/yellow. It's a standard problem when photographing indoors under incandescent light and it takes two clicks to fix. One to select the tool and one to select a neutral. If you want to use the above as an example of how your photography is progressing (which it certainly seems to be), this was such a small but necessary change that it should not have "slipped under the radar." Also, this image could benefit from pulling the highlights in LR4. With a RAW file, you might still have enough info there to get some detail back on the front right paw and "cheeks." But that would be gravy. The WB adjustment is plenty on its own.
Really, I don't mean to be harsh but it's the same story we've been telling you: learn the equipment you have and what you can do with it and what your results should look like before you start worrying about what your next lens will be.
Edited by leftnose - 8/24/12 at 8:22am