Monday, April 13, 2015

Wide Open

Ever since I took the basic photography course from the talented Aaron Hogan a few weeks ago, I've been playing with different settings on my camera. Lately I've been shooting on the largest aperture possible. For two solid years I had been shooting on f/8, and while that seems to be the sweet spot on all my lenses, the trade-off was losing that luscious, creamy background. In addition to going wide open with the aperture, I lowered the ISO, taking it off 1600 and putting it on 100, 200 or 400, depending on the light. I've really enjoyed taking control over my shots instead of letting my camera make the decisions for me.
Tiger Swallowtail.

Anyone know what kind of plant this is? The thorny stems fascinated me.

Macro of purple thistle.

An orange clump of pansies in the middle of purple and gold ones.

Two x Two

Cilantro

I was captivated by this pansy that sprang up between the bricks.

A great illustration of a smooth background as a result of f/2.8.

In this instance, f/8 would have focused more on the bee below. Do you see it?
But I wasn't going for that in this instance and I like how it turned out.
I appreciate everyone who stops by to visit. Thank you for lifting my spirits with your words of encouragement. So far, blogging once a week has been going pretty well. I still get to see what most of you are doing, and also have time to go out and see what the world has to offer.

42 comments:

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

oh phun. Experimentating. Cool. But I think my camera is smarter than me. :)

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Did I mention...loved your photos

Irma said...

Hi Gail,
I love the first picture !!
Good that you maintain control over your own camera.
Large aperture F 5.6 always gives a nice soft background.

Blogging once a week HAS BEEN going pretty well.
You're right, I'm also going to do it quieter.
Also responding, I do not do more every day.
Have a good new week.

nookworm said...

Wonderful results. You are sooooooo skilled as a photographer who continues to experiment and learn. These are beautiful and amazing shots.

rainfield61 said...

I play with f/2.8 all the while.
Love macro.

ladyfi said...

Oh my - so gorgeous with those dreamy backgrounds!

TexWisGirl said...

lovely, dreamy shots!

Kim Stevens said...

Great job Gail, these are awesome, and I love the little pansy in the sidewalk crack too. I shot a pic of the same thing with thorns but have no idea what it is.

I only currently have a 40mm macro, so sometimes I have to stop down a bit depending on what I'm shooting and what I'm trying to get in focus, and how close I am to my subject. but mostly I shoot wide open too.

DeniseinVA said...

Oh my gosh Gail, those are exquisite shots. These are great tips too, thank you so much for passing those on.

Evelyn S. said...

What a fabulous photo array, Gail! I've always admired and envied your photos, and it's wonderful to see some new "angles." I do love the "dreaminess" of these images.

Stephanie said...

Beautiful shots!

Shug said...

I like whatever it is that you are doing...of course, I've always thought your photos were GREAT. When it comes to all the details of the settings on a camera....I find myself LOST. I have to give you a big clap for having such wisdom to figure it all out...

Michelle said...

You are very talented with your camera! These shots are beautiful!

Gone Country said...

Awesome shots! If I ever get time to play with my camera again I will have to play with the aperture a bit.

Ruth Hiebert said...

Your photos are amazing.

Felicia said...

Your images are gorgeous Gail. I would have never guessed you were using iso 1600...wow.

bailey-road.com said...

Beautiful shots, Gail.

Debbie said...

oooooo Gail, your images are just stunning!!

When I come here, I am encouraged by your knowledge of photography, your dedication to the art of it!!

I know nothing of what you speak of here. I use my Nikon like a point and shoot, always on auto focus. I have no idea how to edit a picture.....I guess I just take pictures for fun. Again, yours are so beautiful and I enjoyed all the purple ;)

Melissa said...

Love it! And good for you for experimenting. Sounds like a fun class!

Renae of Simple Sequins said...

hi Gail!

Oh I do know you came to see me. I re-read my comment and I wasn't sure what I was trying to convey. Please know I care about you, ok?

These photos are tremendous, absolutely tremendous!!! ---especially the pansy all by it's self --- wow!!!!!

Coming back to blogging and being at a new site has it's learning curve. I almost feel like I am completely starting over with about 20 people by my side. I'm so glad I am at "renae's repertoire" this time around, oh so much. It is better but still learning it.

love to you, sweet friend, Gail!
♥renae
renae's repertoire
renaesrepertoire.com

Petra Pavlátková said...

Beautiful captures, Gail. These really wide apertures are quite tricky to get the right focus but create a nice and soft result...

I had a look at the Aaron Hogan's website you provided a link to and I really liked his presentation. It must have been a good experience to participate in his photography course.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Gail, your flowers and images are just beautiful. Well done! Have a happy day!

Anni said...

...and your class learning shines!!! Gail, these are all so exceptionally beautiful.

Thanks for visiting and leaving such a caring message for me.

Linda said...

Glorious and gorgeous capture, Gail!!!

Hannah said...

Thanks for sharing hints from your photography course. I really enjoy all your shots with the sharp focus on the flower and muted background. I used to grow a citrus called a Flying Dragon, Poncirus trifoliata, with thorns like that and white flowers, it seems the petals were a little more rounded, but if the leaves are glossy like a citrus that might be it. I find posting once a week but linking as much as I can a good balance too.

Joy said...

Hope I learn photography too, but time is limited gor another hobby. But I did enjoyed your shots:)

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

Don't recognize the thorny plant. you have such unusual flora in LA. Love the Swallowtail. Must be new as the birds have not ripped off his tails yet.

Kathy said...

I do like the soft look of all these photos.

Anita Johnson said...

Beautiful photos and a challenge too. Sometimes I just get into the habit of using the settings that my camera sets...and what a difference these settings made in your photos. Ok, you have made me think. I also want to use a tripod more consistently...but sometimes I feel like it's like setting up a giraffe, those long legs are so frustrating.
PS I have found blogging a few times a week to suit me well too!

Gunilla Bäck said...

Gorgeous photos! I love the butterfly and the thistle. Nice work!

diane b said...

You have put your new knowledge into practise very well. Great narrow DOF shots

hootnonny said...

Wonderful shots, Gail! I love the pansy in the brick. Actually, I love them all!

Bethany Carson said...

Beautiful captures! Pansies are some of my favorite flowers.

Irma said...

I have Facebook, and have sent you a friend request.

Stephanie said...

The colors are so warm and refreshing, dear Gail. I love the image with the orange Pansies and the blurred edges.

Your work is truly stunning! Hugs to you, sweet friend!

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Truly artful images! Love the way the full aperture isolates the subjects, and the color is vivid!

Anvilcloud said...

Your photos have always been excellent, but it's good to learn. Ah ... to have a good lens that opens to 2.8. :)

Helma said...

My God ...... what a wonderful photos Gail !!! Really fantastic! I read that you have followed and photography course but you made it always very nice pictures. My compliments for all these beauties.
Sincerely, Helma

Indrani said...

You have mastered photography! Wonderful shots!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh such beautiful pictures ... It makes sense for someone as talented as you are to get off auto. Anyone , even me, can take a picture using autofocus. I couldn't begin to duplicate your art!

And yes I'd definitely say blogging is going well for you and I'm sure I'm not your only fan who is grateful that it is!

Susan (ABON) said...

Love the pansies! Great photos, Gail!

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Marvelous shots Gail!!
It's wonderful that you are open to learning new things!!! Especially since I think of you as a genius of photography and Macro!!