I have been trying forever to convince my point and shoot digital camera to take the kind of pictures that I want.
I love pictures where the subject is in focus and the background is soft and blurred. I think the subject stands out so much, and the whole picture has a professional feel to it.
I’ve been trying forever because I’ve never been successful.
At BlogHer, I attended a photography workshop with Erin Manning and learned some new tricks. At the Sara Lee Back to School Nutrition Summit, I visited with two professional photographers who let me in on their tricks. I picked up books on digital photography at both places.
Yesterday, a family friend was visiting, and we took her to the Hershey Gardens. It’s a beautiful, beautiful place, and it’s perfect for taking lots of pictures.
I tried the tricks I learned in Chicago, using the Program mode and adjusting the aperture and shutter speed, but I still didn’t get the result I wanted.
We went into the Butterfly House, where I took lots of shots in the Macro and Super Macro modes, all with my camera zoomed way out. (I have an Olympus Camedia with a 10x optical zoom.)
My pictures were perfect! The flowers and the butterflies were often nicely in focus with a softer, blurry background, like this:
I wondered what would happen if I used the same techniques (even the Macro and Super Macro settings) outside, with people. That worked, too.
With each success, I experimented more and got better and better shots. Over the next few weeks, I’ll share some of the stunning flower shots I got, but here, I want to show you the success I had with Gracie Anna.
It was hot yesterday, and Grace and I sat down in the shade while the rest of our group was looking at garden flowers.
Grace didn’t know I was taking her picture. If she had, she would have turned around and said No peekters, Momma!
I held my camera in my hand down low – on the ground, on the Macro setting. The flash was off, but I had the High Speed Shutter mode on. I watched Grace play in the perfectly manicured grass, and I talked to her and pointed neat things out with my other hand.
She’s sweaty and tired, but that’s my sweet baby, perfectly captured.
We just played. It wasn’t me taking pictures and Grace playing. I was playing with her and snapping pictures silently.
I love the expression on her face in this one, but her face isn’t as sharp as I’d like.
Of course, I wanted to show off a few of the photos I took yesterday, but I also wanted to encourage you to experiment with the settings on your camera. I had no idea that I’d get such nice shots just by moving further the camera away and zooming in and playing with the perspective.
Try it! And then, don’t forget to come back and tell me so I can see your pictures, too.
© 2009 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.