Most of the time auto focusing is the better way of taking pictures when you need to capture something important quickly. However there is undoubtedly some situations where the manual option on your camera is a better choice. Sometimes you just can’t risk the auto focus kicking in while you’re taking a once in a lifetime shot of someone falling into the pool.
Either way if you’re more comfortable working with auto focus then by all means go ahead with using it but if you’re looking for something new give these scenarios a read.
1. Obstacles Are In The Way
Sometimes your dog might be frollicking in the flowers and you just can’t bear to miss such an important shot, however the auto focus keeps focusing on the flowers instead of your silly pup. Try switching it into manual mode and focusing on your dog and you’ll have that memory forever instead of a decent picture of a flower with a blurred dog in the background.
2. High Contrast
Sometimes when you’re trying to take a nice photo outside with your family and such and they’re standing in the shade while the sun is bright in the sky the contrast might be skewed on an auto focus mode. With manual focus mode you can choose to focus on your subject and try and bring down the contrast a little bit.
3. Dominating Features
Sometimes taking a picture of someone in front of something large doesn’t always work with auto focus. An example of this might be if someone is standing in front of a large mountain it might focus on the mountain instead of the person standing in front of it. Who wants a picture of a mountain with a blurred out person standing in front of it? Switching to manual focus mode might help to fix your situation.
4. Fine Details In Close Proximity
If there is a bee pollinating a flower near your windowsill and you just can’t seem to make auto focusing work then try and move into manual focus mode. It might bring out a clearer picture in the end because the focus is up to you instead of what the camera thinks you want.
5. Geometric Confusion
Some people that work with buildings and architecture need to take clear pictures of their work so that they can show off their hard work. Sadly lens flares and other geometric shapes might throw off the automatic focus on your camera and either focus on the wrong part or blurring the whole photo completely.
6. No Contrast
Just as the scenes with high contrast there also comes a problem with having no contrast to work with. There are a couple of scenarios that could happen with this such as a pure white dog running through snow, instead of taking a photo of your dog you might just end up with a near blank white picture. Using manual mode on your camera might give you way better results.
Sometimes there are pictures that just don’t have enough light in the frame to be able to fully capture the moment. There might a scene at a birthday party on the back deck where the only light you might be able to capture is off of the candles in the cake. Instead of auto focus just trying to focus in on the candle and blurring everyone else out you can try and kick it into manual mode and focus on your subjects faces instead.
Source: Digital Photography School