Monday, January 14, 2013

Camera lessons, part one.

A few years ago when Circuit City closed we were able to get a decent DSLR camera and extra lens at a great price. I like taking pictures, but that's been the extent of my hobby - pictures. I don't even say I like taking photos because that somehow implies what I'm doing is more than snapshots, and they aren't. I have been terribly lax with learning anything about the capabilities of my camera, or how to take pictures and what to do with them later.

Once again, Pinterest to the rescue! Never before have so many great tutorials and tips been so readily available and easily organized. I've decided to start small and simple. The first thing I tried was simply using focus length to change the overall look of pictures. Nothing complicated here: the farther away you are from a subject and the more zoomed in on it you are, the more the background blurs and your subject becomes the focal point. It also eliminates the fisheye effect that being too close to a subject gives pictures. This blog post was my instruction. I happen to have a 75-300 lens, so I snapped that on and gave it a try. It was a wet, dreary day outside so we stayed indoors and these are all taken with a pop up flash (one step at a time, remember?). These snapshots, taken randomly around the house, instantly step up a level as the background blurs and the subject takes center stage. If we'd been outside where I could get even farther away and zoom in more, it'd be even better!

V, 2 years old

S, 4 years old

N, 8 years old

These next three really show how using a long focus makes it super easy to change the focal point, which can drastically change a picture. The first two, of my kids' doll house, show how easily you can change the focal point in a tiny amount of space. I did use the manual focus to take these, so give me slack if they're not perfect. The manual focus is another step in the learning process.

First, we focus on the door.

A slight adjustment of the focus and now the clear focal point, just inches away from the door, is the sink.

I think this shows the most drastic focusing. I did absolutely nothing to the foreground or background of this picture. I laid down on the floor and shot straight on at this hairband that was laying about eight feet away from me. Because of the intense zoom, only the exact plane of the chosen focal point is in focus.

Even a hairband gains interest with a long focal length.

I am really looking forward to working with my camera. I don't have any grand dreams for myself to do anything other than improve the pictures I take of my own kids, but it'd be nice to finally use my camera to its full potential.

1 comment:

  1. Even Mommy does homeschooling!
    I think it's awesome when people make the effort to learn new things as an adult... and this is definitely worth while.