About the word Shekinah

The word Shekinah (shuh-kigh-nuh) means dwelling. It refers to the visible manifestation of the presence (or Shekinah Glory) of God. A luminous cloud. It is the very presence of God on earth. (see Holy Bible-Exodus 24:9-18)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

How-To Tutorial #1

Disclaimer: First off, let me say that I am not a photography expert nor do I claim to be. I do not know everything there is to know about photography. In fact, the more I learn about photography, the more I realize how little I know. I am always reading, learning and practicing the art of photography. I do know what works for me and that I like my own photos. (for whatever that's worth) I learned the art of photography by reading, practicing and evaluating my own and other's photography. I have not been formally taught and may not always use the proper technical terms, but I love the art of photography and believe I do a fairly good job at it.
A large part of my photographic ability is due to a natural, God-given instinct, and I thank God for it every day and give Him the glory. The more rules I break, sometimes with awesome results, the more I learn it's not ONLY about the rules. The rules are wonderful guidelines to start with and I highly recommend beginners follow them closely. With that said, I hope that some of my ramblings about "How-To" can help you become happier with your own images.

#1 "How to Minimize Fencing"

The photo below was taken by a friend who was disappointed that the fence took away the focus of her photo, the beautiful bird! I was once as frustrated as she, with the problem of fencing and enclosures at zoo-type locations. I mean, fences are lovely and all when you want the fence to be the subject. In fact, I LOVE FENCES; but when it's the bird you want...

Christa was kind enough to let me use her image here as an example, so I could help others who suffer the same frustration.

The photo below also contains the same type of chain link fencing as Christa's photo above; however, the bird is the subject instead of the fence.


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.


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!


Nativa said...

I am so happy you wrote on this topic. A few months ago my son went to Dominica and took some pictues of the animals in the zoo and the fence was there big and bold in the pictures. Apparently he did not know what to do to not see so much of it. Well I know what to do now! I will be practising this afternoon.!!

All the best to you and your daughter?

Shekinah Photography said...

Thanks, Nativa! Happy shooting. :D
Blessings, Kathleen

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