Wednesday, May 11, 2011

In Focus!

Portrait of Zachary

Dog Blog Post #327: Ok... so maybe I was a tad over-ambitious yesterday. While it sounds like folks enjoyed the shots, and I did think at the concept level they were cute, you have to admit from an artistic standpoint, they were pretty bad. :)

Even if you ignore the issue of White Balance (I didn't know how to correct for my indoor lighting, and it showed), Exposure/ISO (harder to get a clear picture with indoor lighting and I didn't know how to change these either) and Focus (I think there were exactly 3 hairs in focus between the two shots - thank goodness for iPhoto's "sharpen" and having lots of pixels to work with) you are still left with me grappling with putting Baby on the tripod for the first time, trying to figure out how to hold the camera (after abandoning the tripod) and treats (the doggie equivalent of "say cheese") and... and...

... well, you probably get the idea!

Today went much more smoothly. For one thing, I broke down and searched the internet for help to fix my focusing woes - and I believe I was successful (3D continuous focus is amazing.)

(Not surprisingly, photography is a lot more fun when you can get things in focus.)

Portrait of Henry

I also went back to the great outdoors, where White Balance/Exposure is less of an issue, and I could basically shoot "auto", with continuous 3D focus on. I still have a long way to go, but I saw definite headway today, and therefore, I am pleased. :)

Today's Daily Shoot assignment was:

Make a photograph using soft light today.

... which, if I understood my Digital Photography Lighting for Dummies book correctly, means a large, diffused light source that creates little in the way of shadows. A light source that seems to "wrap around" the subject.

Not wanting to face the great indoors again, I decided to stick to high shade outside, and hope for the best. For better or worse, at this point I'm much more interested in figuring out what the dozens buttons and knobs (used in a plethora of combinations) do, then trying to stretch the assignment.

So, while I'm not sure I achieved "soft light", and if I did, I did so with the rather mundane shot up top, I do believe I achieved "focus", and what's more, I think I can now do it repeatedly!

This means I have actually digested a whopping 5 of 300+ pages in the instruction manual.

Woo Hoo! :)

Just for kicks, here are some other shots that I was rather pleased with...

Flower Child

Rusty Lid

Rusty Pole

... see, sometimes I do like the shots I take! :)

The first one is what a I call a "calendar shot", since most the Golden Retriever calendars I have, have pictures that look just like that - cute dog in front of blurry flowers. I'm not quite sure what makes a "calendar shot", but I know it when I see it.

Just about any picture you take of a greyhound seems to be potential "calendar shot" - not sure if it's a greyhound thing, or if a greyhound photographer thing. :)

The last two were are of the tiki-torches, which we obviously haven't used in quite a while. (Don't you be dissing our tiki-torches - every garden needs a bit of whimsy, doesn't it?)

Here's a sprig of Lavender that I think came out nice...


... and here's some Pelargoniums, which came out terrible...


Obviously still need to figure out what settings work well for vibrant colors and/or backlighting...

... and scene modes...
... and white balance...
... and ISO...
... and aperture...
... and...

© 2011 BZ Training - All Rights Reserved


Sheltie Times said...

You see them with an artist's eye, most of us are just enjoying the view.

Boondocks Love Shack Pack said...

Paws up, dawg! These are great!


Amber-Mae said...

Very nice! How do you get the camera to focus on an object & make the background very very blur like that flower & spider web pictures? I've read the instructions book many times & I just can't get it! Could you help me?

Tanner & Beth said...

These pictures are Pawsome! The puppy looks so happy! And I can almost smell the flowers.

Puppy Kisses,

houndstooth said...

Today's pictures are all fabulous! I love the "calendar shot." Your comment about Greyhounds always taking calendar shots cracked me up. They're just good at making sure their outtakes don't make it out for public view! Either that, or you're talking about that other Greyhound blog with a real photographer! *snort* It sure isn't me!