Both passive and active autofocus have advantages and disadvantages. Active focusing works at night and in dim lighting, but
the infrared light can bounce off glass or mirrors, confusing the camera’s processor. Using passive focusing, you aim through
windows and there are no distance limitations beyond which it cannot work. But a blank wall or a scene devoid of straight
edges, particularly vertical lines, throws some passive autofocus for a loop.
To minimize the effects of shooting through glass, the photographer can put the lens directly on the glass. The infrared light
passes through the glass. Any light that bounces back makes the trip too quickly for the camera to use its timing information.
With passive autofocus, turning the camera 90° can give the camera the perpendicular lines it needs. Higher-end cameras take
readings on both vertical and horizontal lines to avoid having to turn the camera. In scenes with little contrast, try focusing
on an object elsewhere about the same distance away as your subject. Then keep the shutter button pressed down about halfway
as you turn to frame your real subject. On some cameras, holding the button locks the focus until you press the button all
the way to shoot your photo or until you release it.