Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

Camera play

I have mentioned before that I want to try to “up my game” in the quilting department, but I want to do the same with photography.    When we were in China last summer I started working thru an online photography course and loved the things that I learned there.  This summer my plan is to go thru the course again….slower this time…..and really spend time getting to know my camera and learning to take better photos.

With that in mind, I hope to spend at least 2 hours each week out and about, testing the things that I am learning.  Thursday was the first of those days and, since flowers are such a fun subject, I headed to the local Botanic Garden.   It also helped that I could spend all of my time in the atrium area and not have to venture much into the 95 degree weather!!  

One of the first lessons is about “Depth of Field”.   Depth of field relates to how much of the photo is actually in focus.   As an example, in this photo……

….you can see every part of the photo in full focus. That is a wide DoF. However, in this photo…..

….only the front flowers are in focus and the back is blurred out. This is shallow DoF.

I did this by changing the focal length using a lens that would let me zoom in. The further I zoomed, the more blurred that the background became. This can also be done with apperture settings but I will test that next time!!

I learned a few things while I was out and about…..

…..Using a tripod is necessary to obtain better focus.

Incidentally, our current tripod is HEAVY so that may be my next photographic purchase. However, I bought it 44 years ago as a High School graduation present for Michael so I really hate to replace it!!

….When using a tripod, you need to use a cable release and, most importantly, dont let the strap hang down and swing because it messes up the focus……

…..Our telephoto isn’t super high quality and is pretty hard to focus. I am going to play with manual focus next time and see if I can make it work better that way.

These were my favorite photos out of the 95 that I took…..

Michael pointed out how cool the shadow was in this one……

I was trying to get the “alien” looking head in focus on this flower. In this photo I didn’t quite get that, but did get the two yellow and red bumps focused……

My absolute favorite for the day was this one…..

I love that you can see the fuzz on the edge of the petal!!!

I also played some with shutter speed and moving water. In this first one, it was in bright sunshine so I was able to use a super fast shutter speed. The result is that you can see the individual drops of water as they fell……

When I moved to a slower shutter speed, the water turned into a solid sheet…..

I wasn’t out for very long at all but it was fun to see that I remembered some from my work last summer and encouraging that I can learn even more this summer. We are traveling for a month in Europe in September/October and I want to have a good grip on the fundamentals well before then.

This was a good start!!!

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