The camera sees everything


Of all the things I have photographed repeatedly, flowers are the most challenging.  Have you ever seen something and photographed it only to feel that the picture somehow fell short?  As human beings we have the ability to focus in on things to the exclusion of everything else around us.  So while the scene we are viewing may include much more than we are observing, it doesn’t matter.  We are completely focused on the singular item of interest.  Problem is, a camera doesn’t have that same ability, or so it may seem.

A DSLR- Digital Single Lens Reflex camera with interchangeable lenses can be operated in such a manner as to have a very limited portion of the image in sharp focus, which serves to point the viewers eye to the item of interest.  Point and shoot cameras typically don’t afford the user the same flexibility.  They default to everything being in focus or relatively in focus.  The camera manufacturers don’t want a lot of complaints about out-of-focus pictures so they design and manufacture point and shoots for maximum sharpness across the entire frame.

The image above is a very close up shot of a Daisy.  The brilliant yellow center and redish orange petals caught my eye.  They were all I saw from 5 feet away, however if I had shot them from 5 feet away they would have been very small and insignificant.  By moving closer and focusing the attention on the yellow center the image clearly says look at these colors, aren’t they spectacular?


In the image above the table of old parts would be hard to find any one particular part if they were all in focus.  The old spigot handle caught my attention so I isolated it from the rest of the parts by keeping it in sharp focus while letting everything else go out of focus.  In this instance I didn’t want to get too close because then you loose the feeling for just how many parts there were in total.

So, remember the camera can’t differentiate, it sees whatever is in the frame.  It takes understanding and practice to decide what should be included and what should be excluded, and how to best execute once you make that decision.

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