Guest Bloggers: KD & MusicMaven

Ladies & Gentlemen, for your photo blogging entertainment, we bring you KD & MusicMaven.  Shrew may be out of pocket for a little while tending to some pressing business, so she’s asked KD and I to post a little in her absence.

Now, for the ground rules…

1.)  Don’t be expecting fancy, schmancy, crisp and clear photos from me.  KD may be able to accomodate, but I run a MUSIC blog.

2.)  We need some interaction, ‘cuz we’re needy like dat.

3.)  I am ignorant when it comes to photography, so I’m going to use this opportunity to get me some edumacation.  Please help me.

First assignment.  The Mums.


Now, I love this photo, but it’s grainy.  Why?  Also, what could I have done to make the flower in the forefront “pop” better?  Please use sexy photographer talk like aperture, exposure and shutter speed, but explain those to me.  I use a Canon Powershot SE and I know that it can take great pictures, my problem is that I can’t consistenly produce them.  I sincerely would appreciate any assistance anyone could give me on how to use my camera settings to produce better images.  Christmas is coming up, so there is an urgency to “get this”.


13 thoughts on “Guest Bloggers: KD & MusicMaven

  1. Hey MM! I think you’ve taken some pretty beautiful pics in the past so don’t sell yourself short! I am far from edumacated in photography myself, but I try to pick Ivoryhut’s brain on a fairly regular basis when I have questions. She suggested checking the white balance with my camera when trying to get a nice bright true representation of color. I’ve been playing with this button on my camera lately and I’ve been learning and getting some nice true colors. On my camera (an Olympus) the button for this feature has a square with a diagonal slash through it, white on one half and black on the other and a + on one side and a – on the other. When you press it, you can move your white balance either positively or negatively depending on the lighting situation you are in. I don’t know if that would give you the “pop” you are looking for, but I think its worth a try.

  2. LOL!
    Okay, MM…Love the ground rules…And since I run a “who the heck knows what it’s about?” blog, Lord knows what you’ll get over here from me!

    Now for the sexy talk…
    Aperture: pronounced a-per’-cher: One who perches, as in, at a cafe, drinking coffee, lurking about, waiting for some hot mama to come in, so he can saunter over and try on one of the catch phrases he learned from Mystery while watching MTV’s reality show, “The Pickup Artist.”

    Exposure: pronounced ecks-po’-zher: A raunchy behavior that aperture contemplates when lurking about in cafe, drooling over foxy mama.

    Shutter Speed: prounounced shud-der-speed: The length of time it takes hot tamale sexy mama to shudder in disgust when aperture decides to attempt exposure.

    Will that do for starters??? 😉

    As far as your photo…(which is quite lovely by the way)…How close were you? I’m finding with my Nikon that when I get too close, the focus is a bit off once I open it up on the computer. Small it looks great, large not so much. I’m finding that backing up a bit farther and zooming more is better. Unfortunately that can lead to cropping, which Scott has reminded me can decrease quality. But worth a try maybe?

  3. Hi Music Maven
    A couple of thoughts come to mind. The “grain” could be from a couple of things, the lighting looks a little flat which doesn’t give the petals much definition. Not familiar with your camera, but what was the ISO setting for that pic.? A higher number ISO will try to gather light more rapidly than a lower number, which will produce (more)”grain” or noise (as it’s called). Try to keep the ISO as low as possible an still get a good photo. For example shooting the kids soccer game in the rain should require a higher (faster) ISO than a flower still life. Your 6 MegaPixel camera should produce some very crisp shots depending on the settings. There is also the “quality” setting in the camera set up. High quality more memory=less pix, lower quality=more pix on the memory card.

    (But most important, we’re not seeing the original picture, so don’t be too hard on yourself, it looks pretty good to me, but I understand that it doesn’t look like what you think you were seeing when you took the picture)

    In a flat light situation the “pop” could be enhanced by lighting from the side with a reflecting surface or light. Also it can be enhanced in the computer with a suitable program. I messed with your photo a bit and gave it some pop you might be looking for, but not sure where to send you a copy.

    Hope that helps … regards

  4. I agree with Sherweld that the lighting probably has something to do with it.

    Though you have some nice bokeh goin’ on (and I think that can help make a subject pop), I think the flower also loses some impact due to it being surrounded in the background by so many other yellow flowers… and unfortunately the flowers in the background are brighter than your subject.

    Kanniduba you are hysterical with the photo humor 🙂

  5. Kanniduba, you are hilarious. 🙂

    MM, I’d offer some suggestions, but they’ve mostly been mentioned already. The photo is nice but also slightly out of focus. That can be due to one of two things: either your autofocus area was not on the precise spot you wanted to focus on, or you are too close to your subject. Your camera’s manual should indicate what the minimum distance is for proper focusing. Sometimes, when I try to focus on something but I’m too close, I switch to macro or even supermacro mode. But that’s because my camera on supermacro mode can handle a minimum distance of … wait for it … 0 cm. The danger, actually, is in possibly jamming my lens right against the subject.

    As Sherweld said, I’d check the ISO setting as well. Keep it low, especially with point & shoot cameras. Higher ISO leads to more noise, or grain.

    I tried my hand at explaining how aperture, shutter speed, and ISO all interact with each other in this post. Don’t know if it’ll help or just confuse things more. ‘Cause, as you well know, I tend to have a knack for confusing people. 🙂

  6. Ok, I’ve got a lot to try out, but let me say that to shoot Macro, I have to have my camera on Manual, therefore no zoom, and I’m not sure how to manually focus, therefore it is autofocus. I will work on some ISO settings and see how that works. Thanks for all of the feedback. While I understand KD’s definitions the best, I guess I’ll have to break out the manual.

    More to come…

  7. Ack. I cut myself off. How rude of me. 🙂

    I meant to say that if I had more time, I’d be more careful with the sharpening. Over-sharpening is what causes those color halos around the pixels. You can see that around the yellow flower in the background, which looks like it has a green outline around its edges.

  8. Ivory, the crop on that photo helps a lot. MM – I don’t think I remember anyone else mentioning this, but you also might want to try your fill flash on a shot like this. It brings out the detail, and obviously lights up the subject. Don’t worry – you don’t get freaky unnatural results like you do inside sometimes. Check out my autumn shutter challenge pictures for examples.

  9. Oh yeah, fill flash! If the resulting photo looks too harsh, here’s a quick trick: put a piece of paper or two (or white cloth) or styrofoam plate in front of the flash and try again. You’ll be amazed at how much better the diffused light looks.

  10. Pingback: Suggestions Aplenty! « Shrew’s Daily Shutters

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