Photo Analysis: Spring Sign E-mail

Photo of bud - Click for larger image Spring is in the air, well, at least in some places, the world is pretty large after all.  For just about every species on earth Spring is all about breaking free.  Whether you're a young american up for "spring break" or you're a bear fed up with your hibernation, or just an office rat who wants to savour your first outdoor beer of the season, it's time to shoot spring signs...

 

 

This picture is, as you must have guessed by now, a bud on a branch on a tree (didn't I clearly prove to you earlier that biology is not mye forte?).  As you'll see from the histogram below, the colors are quite nicely placed in the mid-tones (think browns, grays and the likes), which means that it's quite safe to let your camera choose the white-balance, so put that on auto and focus on the other stuff.Closeup of Bud on Branch

When I took this image I met an elderly woman who was trying to achieve the exact thing this picture achieves, highlighting a small bud or flower while throwing the scattered background way out of focus so that it becomes less distracting.  The way to do this is simply to have as wide an aperture as you can while still retaining the main subject crisp (something like f1.4 - f5.6 will generally do the trick).  Note how the background in this image has some vague brownish shapes in it, that's just lot's of branches that would have spoilt the picture.  During spring there is generally a lot of distracting backgrounds, whether big-breasted women or branches, so pay attention to that.

From a composition point of view this is a simple cut, the branch follows the diagonal from bottom left to top right and the bud itself is almost perfectly centered.  From an equipment perspective you might prefer to take these shots with a Macro lens.  I used a 105mm Macro for this particular shot.  They generally do a better job of diffusing the background, and allow you to get much closer and sharper details, but you can also achieve a lot with a normal lens or a non-SLR camera (remember that they often have macro setting, see mode tutorial for details).


So all in all, when shooting a small bud, flower or twig this spring, remember not to let the background spoil your picture.

 

 

Histogram of Photo of Bud

 

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