LEARNING NEW TRICKS

Photography class

Last weekend I was part of a photography course at Kurisa Moya and learnt a few new tricks. Most Important: Use Your Tripod. Most Important: Play! The above photo was taken as a 10 second exposure… I rather like the blurry effect of people moving around their cameras, and the stream becoming milk. (And of course I got marvellous depth of field in the process…)

Early morning photographers

This early morning shot I like for the sense of figures in a huge landscape, all finding different subjects, and the rhythm they create across the frame. And of course the gardener in me likes the combination of plants in the foreground, which should have been cropped so that the figures were less in the centre and the horizon on the bottom third…

Deep depth of field

I got to play around with depth of field. The  photos above and below were taken from the exact same tripod position. They are of one of my favourite indigenous forest flowers, which I have never yet found on my own farm, although it is plentiful 800m away: Desmodium repandum.  The photo above was taken with a small aperture (f29) which results in a deep field in focus, and with an exposure of 4 seconds; luckily the air in the forest was quite still. The one below was only at f5 which means the beautiful leaves with their blister of air which gives them such a unique quality are completely out of focus. The exposure was 1/8 sec.

Shallow depth of field

One would think that the more detailed upper photo would in all ways make for  a better picture, but I love the delicacy and ethereal colour of the lower photo and the way the flower stalk shows up.

Strange fungus amongst mosses

This strange fungus, the size of a finger nail, perched amongst mosses on a dead stump in the forest was an early example of my discovery of a completely new trick on my Canon 1000D. I knew that the ‘set’ button could turn the screen into a viewfinder, but seldom used it before. On the tripod however it is very handy to compose a picture. Then I discovered that the image could be made 5x and 10x larger to check focus. Then I discovered that when combined with manual focus, this was an incredibly powerful tool when taking macros… What is more one sees exactly what you are going to get on the screen, so you can judge the lighting, the depth of field… MAGIC! FUN!! The next morning I really played with this feature photographing a little blue flower, and I intend to explore it very much more in future.

Blue flower 1

Here it is, and below the central part is blown up – the flower is about 6mm (1/4in) across.

Blue flower 2

Here is a similar flower, this one catching the early sun, resulting in wonderfully vivid colour and detail. These shots alone make me feel that the weekend was worthwhile. (Besides being immense fun with a group of friends!)

Blue flower again

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6 thoughts on “LEARNING NEW TRICKS

  1. Very interesting Jack, lots of useful tips. I clearly need to go on a course as I am very much “point and press” at the moment. I have bought a new wide angle lens, though I can tell just by looking at it that it’s a lot cleverer than I am!!

  2. I think there’s a tripod in my future. Now I have to find out if my Canon camera has that “set” feature and the ability to magnify the image to check exposure. Thanks for the second-hand lesson, Jack.

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