Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
So, how'd I do it? Well, I set my camera to a fairly large aperture of f/8.0 and I got as close to the fence as possible, while focusing on the bird's eyes. By doing this, the fence gets thrown out of focus, allowing the bird to become the subject. (I believe there was a railing between myself and the fence so I couldn't totally eliminate the fence in this photo, but you can see how it is greatly improved.)
What if you have a point and shoot camera and cannot manually change the settings? You will want to choose the auto setting that will cause the camera to change them for you.
Experiment with both the Portrait and the Close-up modes and see which one renders a better result for you. It may differ depending on your camera type and model. If your point and shoot has AV mode on it, try that, too. This mode allows you to set the aperture and the camera will set the appropriate shutter speed for you. Experiment with different apertures from f/8.0 and larger and see what happens.
The type of fencing will also affect the results. The eagle below was in more of a small mesh type of enclosure and it has almost been eliminated altogether, using this technique.
This technique is not just for bird photos, either. Try it with sports photos, too! Get out of the bleechers and down close to the fence if you can, after all, it's about your family member, right? Actually, I may have been in the bleechers when I took this photo of my niece, but again I used a large aperture and focused on my subject.
My physical distance from the fence is again why it's showing up as much as it is, but the shallow depth of field still allowed the fence to be out of focus enough to save the shot. This again illustrates why you want to get as close to the fence as possible. You still won't get a tack-sharp image, but you've at least minimized the obnoxious fencing and have a memory worth preserving.(f/5.0)
Practicing is a large part of becoming a better photographer, no matter what type of camera you use, (it's also the fun part!) so get out there and practice, practice, practice!
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I usually like to do things outdoors as naturally as possible, but since these were already cut, I went ahead and added some dew to them and shot them in my kitchen with natural light. (my favorite)
The sun was going in and out of the clouds so I had to wait at times for it to come back. That's part of the drawback shooting in natural light. You can't control it the way you can with studio light. I still like it, though. Maybe the challenge is part of what draws me to it, who knows? I suppose the reason doesn't really matter, it's what I do with it that counts. Hopefully I've done this flower justice with the light God lent me today.
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves is heard in our land.
"Song of Solomon 2:12
We went only about 5-10 minutes from our home when we saw this burrowing owl on a fence post. We stopped a little ways before reaching him and I took a few shots through the windshield just in case he flew off as we got closer. My husband slowly crept the car forward and I opened my window so I could get some good shots. He didn't move, but did look at us as he sat perched on one foot.
We slowly crept even closer. I had my husband turn off the car so it wasn't shaking. We started the car again and I was afraid he would fly off at that point, but he didn't. The owl held his position and we crept up until he was directly in front of me.
The natural light was a lovely, soft, afternoon glow. At first the owl was strongly backlit by the sun, but as we moved forward the light got better and better and I was able to get some really great shots with good bokeh. He was perfectly relaxed, even closing his eyes as if in perfect peace and just enjoying the afternoon sunshine.
At one point, he began to let down his other leg as another car passed and we thought he was going to fly away, but he didn't, at least not that time. Later he did take flight, and I was able to actually get out of the car and take some environmental shots as he had landed over near what was, I assume, his burrow. It was on private property, so I couldn't get close enough to tell.
Anyway, those are the details of my latest burrowing owl encounter. It really is amazing I got any sharp images as I don't have IS (images stabilization) on my lens and had to shoot hand held from the car for most of the images. I get so excited about my subjects at times, that my hands just shake. I can't wait to get a faster lens with IS so I can get even better shots.
See more of my raptor images HERE!