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Thread: Background

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Gary

    Background

    When I looked at this image in PP I was pleasantly surprised to find that this shot of the dandelion had this dark background which gave prominence to the subject. Most times when I try this type of shot I just get a blurred background. The basic shot was done early morning(outdoors) with the sun shining on the dandelion head. The background to it was a cluster of stalks and leaves from another plant. I was using a Canon G2 with the macro function. Settings ISO 50, focal length 21mm, F/4.0 and 1/400. The posted image hasn't been modified apart from outputting to Jpeg. It's not that sharp that is probably because it was handheld.

    Anyway, I like the effect that it has given as it gives prominence to the subject. Maybe, I am thinking about this too much. But, I would like to make this repeatable. So, I guess my question is, was this just a fluke? Or is it something that is repeatable? Is it something to do with the brightness of the subject and the darker/shadier background? Would be very interested to hear some thoughts, thanks.

    Cheers for now

    Gary


    Background

  2. #2

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    Andre Burger

    Re: Background

    Hi Gary,
    Using spot metering and spot focus on your camera will give you the same effect time and again, providing the subject is lighter than the background.
    No fluke, you can keep doing it. Looks very good.

  3. #3

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    Gary

    Re: Background

    Andre, thanks for your reply. I seem to have stumbled on a technique which is repeatable. I look forward to trying again to re-create the effect.

    Cheers for now

    Gary

  4. #4

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    Gretchen

    Re: Background

    AB26, thanks for the explanation. I can do that on my Cybershot and have, but mostly because I wanted to get as close to a macro as I could. Mine also has a "defocus background" setting on the rotary dial which I noticed produces a fuzzy background.

    Gary, I really like how the dandelion turned out! The lighting on it is very appealing.

  5. #5

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    Gary

    Re: Background

    Thanks for your reply Gretchen. Hopefully, by keeping an open mind and going down the route of 'what if I do that?' keeps me on a constant learning curve. In another post it was recommended to keep a sort of log/diary of when you take images. I have found this this very useful. All these things I learn on the way I jot down brief notes which I can then refer back to for future use.

    Glad you also like the image as well. It did work out well but at the time was unintended and comes under my 'happy accident' category!

    Cheers for now

    Gary

  6. #6
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Phil Page

    Re: Background

    Well your shutter speed is more than enough to capture a sharp image. Not knowing how your camera works, they may have been a slight lag between pressing the shutter release and the shot being taken, during which time the camera has moved closer or further from the subject in focus. This may be the cause of the lack of sharpness.

    Regarding the darker background, if you are spot metering the camera will expose the image based on only the area immediately around the focus point. In this situation, if the background was already darker than the subject it may become darker again as the camera meters for the dandelion head. The camera exposes correctly for the head, avoid clipped highlights which may occur with matrix or evaluative metering and giving more detail to the final image.

    The flip side for spot metering is if you are taking a portrait for example, with the subject in the shade and the background brighter. The camera will expose for the subject, reducing the shadow, and the background will blow out.

  7. #7

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    Gary

    Re: Background

    Thanks for your reply Phil. The Canon G2 is something I bought for 30 off Ebay as a way of starting photography. As I understand, it is about 10yrs old and comes under the category of a compact camera.It does have a lot of the functionality of a DSLR. There is a continuous focus option which I never use as it's not very effective! I did have the metering set to evaluative so on this occasion I got lucky. So, I will try out spot metering to see how that changes things.

    I think possibly, the focus is more down to using the macro mode which the manual suggests for best results the camera should be supported in some way e.g. tripod. But, my beginnings in photography are on a very tight budget so I have to improvise as best I can!

    Cheers for now

    Gary

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