Yellow Hibiscus

by Christina Leeper
(Goose Creek, SC)

I took this photo on Church Street in downtown Charleston, SC.

The flower boxes in front of one of the restaurants featured hibiscus flowers bigger than the span of my hand.

I was hoping to capture the beauty of the giant flowers, but they seem to be out of focus.

I suspect it is a problem with depth of field?

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When I first looked at Christina's submission I thought my eyes were misting up a little.

'Titanic' was on TV that afternoon and it never fails to bring tears to my eyes.

Every time I watch it I hope that this time around the Captain won't speed up to get to New York early, the first five compartments won't flood, and the lookout will keep their eyes on the ocean instead of gazing down at Jack and Rose kissing on the deck!

And so, with Jack struggling to hold on to that piece of board, and a lump in my throat, I turned my attention to Christina's submission.

At first glance I thought 'this is a bit out of focus', so I rubbed my eyes, and dabbed them with Kleenex, but it didn't help.

Which leads me to only one conclusion - Christina's photo is indeed out of focus.

Christina mentions that this could be a depth of field issue. Potentially, yes. But probably this is more of a focusing issue.

Before pressing the shutter button down it's important to check the subject is in focus.

On most cameras you can pre-focus. This means pressing the shutter button down half-way and holding it.

This allows the camera to lock on to the subject. When it has locked on it usually announces this fact with a cheery 'beep!'

This is when you are safe to press the shutter button all the way down to take a perfectly focussed photo.

On close up photos like Christina's hibiscus this is even more important.

If the camera is struggling to focus in close up situations you have two choices; either move back slightly from your subject until you can focus, or seek out the macro facility.

In Macro mode the camera will be able to focus at a shorter distance. It's not perfect though, so you will still need to wait for that confirmation 'beep!'

Hope this helps you Christina. And by the way, Jack didn't make it and the boat sank. Again.

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