05 October 2009

A Bunch of Bokeh

I'm trying to learn how to take nice photos. Specifically, photos in which the subject is in sharp focus, but the background (and sometimes the foreground) is blurry. I'm talking ultra-blurry, and apparently this blur is called "bokeh".

I've got a digital SLR camera to play with, and I've got advice from such photography gurus as MckMama and The Pioneer Woman, both of whom make it look easier than it is. Maybe that's because I'm trying to go full-manual too early.

I'm at a disadvantage as my aperture can only go as low as 4.0, and sometimes it will only do 4.5 or 5.4 for me. I want to see numbers like 1.8, but I find with a distant enough background, I can blur it well enough.

My garden is my most willing subject, so I went out there today and snapped a lot of plants with backgrounds I could blur. All these pictures are SOOC (straight out of camera - no editing.)















I'm doing okay, but I'm looking for gloops of light and dark, not just a blurry but identifiable background. Keep trying.

And next, I'll work on exposure. Not too dark, not too light. Or not. Maybe I'll clean the kitchen sink or do a load of washing, or get the gravel out of everywhere-it-gets-put.

15 comments:

Scurrette said...

How exciting you're into photography too! (So am I). I have an entry digi SLR and have the same problem as you with the apperture. I'd love to get a smaller lense, but my 18 - 50mm gets the job done.

You've taken some lovely shots!

Swift Jan said...

See you lose me when you start talking aperture and numbers...

The plants sure do look pretty though :)

CynthiaK said...

Those look fantastic! I think you've got the knack!

Beautiful garden.

Long dark hair, blue eyes said...

What a lovely garden you have - so many flowers! You must have spent years planting them all ;)

I think you are doing very well with the photos too - where do you find the time?

Hippomanic Jen said...

I prefer the ones when you're looking into the face of the flower, rather than profile. My favourite is the last - yes the background is identifiable, but it is blotchy colour.

Heather said...

I agree with HJ - love that petunia shot.

Jealous that you've got flowering gardens as everything around me is dying or dead, except for my hardy mums.

I long for a digital SLR camera but that is so far down the list of Things We Need To Buy that technology will likely have evolved to the point that one just needs to think of what shot one wants then blink and cough to produce the picture by the time I actually get one.

Femina said...

Oh, I'm jealous. I'm madly saving for a DLSR - also saving to do some kind of course so I can learn how to use the jolly thing. I am clueless about anything manual (camera-wise) but I'm dead keen and soooo frustrated by the limitations of my point-and-shoot. I love it, but there's so much it can't do.

My goal to get the camera and do the course is about 18 months and I have resigned myself to being patient, but it's very hard when I read a lot of blogs and people start talking about cameras! Keep at it and I'll live vicariously through you for a while. :)

Tracy P. said...

Those are gorgeous!! Camera envy here! I vote for exposure. Those other jobs sound like the kind that get undone faster than they get done.

Jen said...

I think those look great!

Joy said...

The pictures are impressive. I think you accomplished the blurry background thingie.

I get confused with all the official photography lingo. I have a slr too, but would love for someone to say ok. move this dial to this and you will get that.
But so far I haven't found that person.
Pretty Pics!

Joy

Hairline Fracture said...

I think you're doing really well.

Lauren said...

Those are really lovely! I particularly like the flower bud. :) I'm impressed, I think you're doing very well. I'm a point and shoot girl, so you're one up on me!

tinsenpup said...

Cool! Great photos. You know, I get hung up on the idea of taking really good photos of the sink, washing and gravel. I'm not sure why. I'm just in love with the notion of finding the sublime within the mundane.

Crazy Sister said...

You could publish a calendar!

Givinya De Elba said...

And we all THINK you mean a Gardening Calendar, but we can't be quite sure you don't mean a "Calendar Girls" type calendar.