OM-D (M10) problem: Political Rally and stage shooting?

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by fast_primes, Sep 30, 2016.

  1. Hi Olympus OM-D users,
    How do you set up your cameras to shoot political rallies (and stage performances to generalize the question a bit more)? What is your preferred shooting mode? How do you set your focus point?
    I shot a Democrat rally here in Philly, and had trouble getting the central figure in focus. Instead I captured too many foreground (back of head and phone camera) shots--with my core subject on the central speaking platform out of focus. I had trouble getting the OM-D EM10 (mk 1) to focus on the distant speakers.
    My lens kit was the kit 14-42 lens and the Sigma 60F2.8 prime lens.
  2. Select the AF point closest to your subject, then lock focus on your main subject. If you need to recompose the
    photo after locking focus, then do it. I like using the smallest sized AF point available, S-AF mode, and never
    use more than a single AF point at a time. Procedure works fine with my E-M5 and E-PL2, and every other AF
    camera I have ever used.
  3. If you're taking one picture after another and neither you or the subject is moving too much, this could be a time for manual focus.
  4. You should have been focusing and exposing as far to the left as possible, LOL...
    On a more serious note, were you controlling the focus point being used, or was the camera in some sort of auto AF point select mode? The problem sounds like the camera was set to some form of auto AF point selection method. I would always select the point being used to focus and place that point squarely on who you want to focus on. If there's too much going on between the subject and you, go to manual focus.
  5. I shoot with Nikon, but the principles are the same. I shoot with longer lenses, for a start, so that some of subject isolation is performed by the edges of the frame. (On four-thirds, 225mm will gave you the same field of view.) I often shoot wide open and put the focus point on my subject. And I get as close as I can. Here is a photo of Dustin Lance Black, screenwriter of the film, "Milk," at a rally in 2008, shot with a D90 and a 70-300mm VR lens.
  6. Sometimes, getting separation is difficult, and a large aperture is your friend. This was not at a political rally, but a lecture, attended by author John Reed. Note that the person on the left edge of the frame is also in focus.
  7. Which AF mode were you using?
  8. Try going to S-AF mode 3. In that mode, the focus is locked with the AEL/AFL button. Use the smallest focus point you can, and make sure the image snaps into focus with the press of the AEL/AFL button. I think I'm correct in saying that in mode 3, the focus is locked until you refocus or turn the camera off. Exposure is locked with a half press of the shutter button. Mode 3 avoids the problem of a half-press locking focus on the wrong target.
    iansurita likes this.

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