Saturday, 15 May 2010

It's love all over again...

Love of my camera that is.  So I am going to share a bit of photography info with you. I picked some clematis montana and lilac from the garden (the lilac is my neighbour's) and thought I would get out the macro lens and set up a little photo session. It was bright but overcast in the  conservatory giving a gentle soft light and I set my little vase of flowers on a piece of green card to add soft reflected light. Then it was time to set up the  tripod and start snapping.
I may of told you all of this before, so forgive me but I started taking photographs seriously in 2007 when I got my first digital SLR camera, something I had wanted to do for many years, but hadn't the time for or the money. However with the availability of digital cameras and a gift from my Dad after we lost Mum I was determined to learn to use the camera properly. I took a course with the Open College of Arts as I was still teaching full time and the college offers a totally flexible course and as long as you keep in contact with your tutor you can take as long as you need over your assignments.




I really did not know how much I didn't know about photography and really enjoyed the assignments. The course was called the Art of Photography so as well as learning about the technical aspects of photography the tasks were concerned with colour, composition and conveying a message.
I had enjoyed taking close-up shots of flowers with my point and shoot digital camera and so I treated myself to a second-hand macro lens.  You really need to have your camera on a tripod with a macro lens as you often use a slow shutter speed and need to eliminate camera shake. Focusing on the right spot is also crucial and really only possible with a tripod.


Although I normally use automatic focusing, when you are using the macro lens the area in focus (depth of field) is very shallow so it is necessary to use manual focus. 

In this clematis you can see that the furthest stamens are out of focus, it takes me a lot of concentration to focus on the right spot.

With a high resolution camera it is also possible to make a tight crop to give an even greater close-up. My lens gives good quality clarity does not allow me to get really close, so by cropping I can get the details I want.


When I see photographs like these, I still can't believe I took them! They still give me such a thrill which is why I love my camera so much. Don't you love these lilac buds?
For those of you interested my camera is a NikonD80.

12 comments:

Lizzie said...

These really are so lovely, Jill! I especially love the first photo and the last one of the Clematis Montana.
Thanks for the tips - especially about using green card to reflect soft light... very interesting, as I always use white!
I'm saving for a digi-slr. Still using a point-and-shoot... basic, but better than my last one!

Emma said...

These are beautiful - I normally struggle outside with a raging wind & no light! I'm loving leaping about the garden as new flowers emerge taking photos to share on my blog - that & digital (I used to be a film purist!) have transformed things. We got a D100 very reasonably off ebay!

flutterbycrafter said...

These are such beautiful photographs. They make my heart sing. I got a digi SLR camera a couple of years ago, my work colleagues bought it for my 60th birthday, but still use it on automatic and keep forgetting I've got it and still use the little one. Your post has made me think I should do something about getting some tuition, thanks.

Leenie said...

Great photos. Thanks for the info on macro shots. Your classes helped with the tools but your eye is still what designed the final results. I have a Nikon D40. Now I really want a macro lens!

Sandra Hall said...

Stunning photographs Jill, no wonder you are so thrilled. I do so admire your photography skills and have a 'buried way down' longing to take a photography course myself, when I see such detailed photo's, it awakens that longing...I just need more time and the right camera!

Jee said...

Terrific photos, Jill. I long to buy an SLR - my little point and shoot isn't really working and I have to borrow husband's if I'm going out of the house. We still have an old Canon AE1 35mm camera that has several lenses and takes wonderful photos, but for everyday use a digital point and shoot is more practical. Have to start seriously saving. A photography course sounds really exciting.

Menopausal musing said...

I have just sat gawping, mouth wide open at these photos..................

I have a point and press and the quality of photo is nothing near yours........ WOW!

harmony and rosie said...

So pleased you've posted some more of your wonderful photos, I still remember your robin and the snow covered ironwork from last season. These photos are so beautiful I swear I can almost smell that lilac. Thanks for the tips, more please? Oh, and I too would love to take a course, only I'd like to do a sewing course, a knitting course, a crochet ...

Kate

Printed Material said...

Oh Jill,
These photos need no words from me. They speak volumes for themselves. Lesley

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

More wonderful photos Jill, my favourite being the second to last. I love the way that the background leaves have been turned into a delicate green blur. x

WrightStuff said...

I have both these flowers in my garden - you have captured them so brilliantly, I can almost smell them!

Eileen said...

One of the things I like most about photography (and my macro lens) is how it helps you to see the world afresh. So much to explore and enjoy! Great pictures - I think the 2nd last is my favourite because of the soft colours.