white frills

by Tara Goswami

We got us a new digital camera (Nikon Cool pix L20)a week back, and was having some fun with it.

I have no clue whatsoever about appertures and shutter speeds (I dont think my camera has provisions for manual adjustments).

I have always been mesmerised by close up shots of flowers,the colours and details of the petals, and couldn't wait to start trying myself; but realised that there is a loooooooooooooooong way to go before I could even think of getting close to the amazing pictures on the net.

Anyways I tried and this is what I got. I have used the macro mode but could not keep the camera from shaking (Mysteriously the camera shakes only in this mode. While using the other modes the green warning rarerly shows itself.)

Do not know what it is known as in English but in Bengali the flower is called Togor.

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I sometimes think I am getting old. I used to go clothes shopping and would head straight for the up to date fashion items.

Sometimes this resulted in absolute disastrous clothing that should not be seen in public. But there I was sporting skin tight trousers and a jacket with shoulder pads so large I could have taken to an American football field without needing to change.

And of course the sleeves had to be rolled up to just below the elbow – because that’s how Don Johnson wore his jacket.

This gives you some clue as to which decade was my defining period. Entries on a postcard . . .

But, fortunately, my eyesight has stayed 20:20. Which is rather handy as a photographer.

Which is why when I look at Tara’s photo I want to rub my eyes. Is it really a bit out of focus, or are my eyes getting as bad as my fashion sense?

Luckily for me I think it’s just the photo that’s a bit out of focus (so it’s just my wardrobe that needs work).

Tara has done the right thing in selecting macro mode, as this allows your camera to focus at a short distance.

The thing is, at such short distances the depth of field is very shallow.

This means that any slight movement towards or away from the flower will result in a slightly blurry photo. The solution is simple – either use a tripod, or place the camera on a solid surface and use the self timer to trip the shutter.

Tara hints at another problem though – the camera not being able to lock on focus at all.

There are two reasons why this might be the case:

First, it might be that the camera just can’t focus that close. The term macro has been used to denote close-up photography, but there are limits. Perhaps this is too close to the flower – and beyond the limits of the camera. To solve this problem just move back from the flower a few inches.

The other possibility is that the camera does not have enough light to work with. Cameras need a decent level of light to be able to focus. They’ll struggle in dim conditions.

Try the same type of photo outside in good light (it doesn’t have to be the middle of the day, just fairly bright) and see if the same problem occurs.

Overall though this is not a bad shot. The colours are ok, and the composition is fine; thanks Tara for the submission and I hope there are a few tips here that will help you out.

And in case you were wondering, the 80s were my decade,

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