Sunday, December 09, 2012

Out the window

I've been experimenting with the camera again. I'm not all that satisfied with my pictures these days. It might be that I'm taking pictures in low light; it's that time of year. But I'm still trying to get a better feel for how this camera works.

One good gust of wind and these last seed pods will spin to the ground.

This shot is from the den window. These are the remaining seeds on the linden tree (tilleul) just outside the window. I like how the background colors came out. I'm not at all happy with the clarity of the image, however. I want my photos to be crisper and sharper, and I just can't figure out how to get there.

I know it's possible. I see great images on other photo blogs and wish I could get similar results. I keep experimenting with my tripod, aperture settings, shutter speed settings, ISO, and focus points. I don't know why I'm not getting the sharpness that I want. It might be the lens, but I don't think so. It's probably just that I haven't found my groove yet and I need more practice.


  1. Walt, it's a very strange coincedence... I was all cosy on the Staff's lap, listening to him rambling on to the Staffette about the same subject, just last night [he was reading his camera manual and using me...ME... as a book rest. Humphhh!]... apparently that is the reason he plays with Pottyshop so much!!
    He's trying to sharpen his pictures to a crisp[just like his brother's pictures].... and was moaning how he gets better results from his old '80s, heavy, all glass lenses!
    He'd just found a Pentax forum site that pointed out that the 'system' lenses... those that come with the camera... are never as good as the more expensive 'custom' lenses of the same focal length. Nor, it would appear, are the new "optical plastic" lenses... yet...

    Besides which.... his brother uses £1000 Canon lenses to take his pix and a matchingly expensive body... but could I tell him that that's the reason? He just wouldn't understand my "mewings"... would he?

    I like your picture... can't see what's wrong with it... lovely "bokeh"... whatever that means... but I keep seeing mentioned on this type of picture in flickr comments.
    Do you flickr?

  2. The background color is just amazing.The sunlight on the leaves might be a bit intense but I find the photo beautiful!

  3. I hope you're satisfied with the clementine photo. I sure am.

  4. I saw (I think it was on a recent "Des Racines et des Ailes")a photographer who took photos in bursts. He was shooting insects and took something like a hundred burst shots for a single press on the button. All these photos blended together, create close to a 3D image, crystal clear, fantastic. I have a setting on my little sony that takes a burst of 3 shots and creates a single photo from that. I'm sure you must have a setting somewhere on your camera for something similar. Or for a burst shot that some software on the computer might be able to blend. That might be just the ticket for your macroscopic close-ups.

    1. ellen, I did see that report on "Des racines et des ailes." It was fascinating. He actually turned the focus ring while the shots were snapping to get every part of the insect in focus. I do have the burst mode (up to 9 quick shots at a time). But the camera doesn't combine them... I need software for that. I don't know if Photoshop Elements has that feature although I'll bet the full Photoshop program does.

  5. You can practice as much as you want. I'm always in awe of your brilliant photos.

  6. I think your photos are great!

  7. The background has a rather dreamy quality that I like - or one that I would die for if I could achieve that kind of blending with my watercolors. I agree with Carolyn. The Clementines appear as if perhaps you used baby oil to show the brightness of the skin? Or maybe a light screen (right word?).

  8. goodness gracious - at first glance (and without my glasses) I thought these were hams.

  9. Hi Walt,
    Beautiful image... the back ground is wonderfully inked! Hope you find your perfect shot, it's looking more than just good from this screen!

  10. Thanks for all the encouragement, everyone! I really appreciate it. I'm now thinking that maybe my problem is the lens itself. It is, indeed, the lens that came with the camera. It's a cannon 18-55mm zoom. I've read that these are fine lenses, but it could be that a better lens would produce sharper images. I used to have some nice Sigma lenses with my film camera and I liked them.

    Unfortunately, I'm not prepared to shop for lenses right now. I may need a new computer to replace my aging (8 years and counting) Dell. It's begun to act up and that's not a good thing. I do a fairly good job at backing things up, so if it should die suddenly, I won't be panicked about it. So that'll be my first priority this spring.

    Oh, and by the way, the clementines are not oiled or otherwise tampered with. That photo is several years old, taken with my Lumix bridge camera. It's a little blurry, but it looks ok when reduced to the small size you see on the blog.

  11. You'll get there...I know you will.
    You already take some of the most lovely photos in my opinion.


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