Manually focusing on the wrong "sharp edge"?

Larry Colen lrc at
Mon Jul 19 15:24:11 EDT 2010

I was photographing a friend playing in a small club in Capitola the other night. When I reviewed my photos, I found that an awful lot of them were focused on sharp edges in front of the musician:
The tip jar, drum kit, microphone etc.

I understand how this happens with autofocus. The camera is too stupid to know what to focus on and focuses on the sharp edge.  What I don't understand is why this happens on manual focus. *I* should know better.

One challenge that I have in low light is actually seeing the line of the split prism to try and line that up on the musician. Especially musicians that tend to move around a lot.  As such, I may rely a lot more on the microprism ring, and wonder if I just focus until I see whatever is in that ring come into focus, and not notice that it's not actually the subject that I'm trying to photograph.  More a case of my brain saying "something is sharp, press the shutter".

I'm curious if other people have this problem when manually focusing, and what they do to fix it.

I got what I thought was an amusing compliment on my dancing that night.  I had a rather nice slow blues dance with an attractive young lady. Afterwards, she said in a rather husky voice "I need a cigarette". Unfortunately, she was married. Even worse, her husband doesn't share.

I did get a couple shots of the lead singer which turned out pretty well:
In the second one Amy Lou isn't as sharp as I'd like,  but I do like the way the composition worked out with Gary (the bass player) in the background.

Larry Colen lrc at sent from i4est

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