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Old Jun 27, 2006, 12:35 PM   #1
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Hello everyone,

I'm new here and new to photography. I recently purchased a Canon A620. It is my first "serious" camera. I've only really used cheap disposable cameras at various functions. I'm learning about aperture, shutter speeds, and iso's etc. but slowly. I've been taking my Canon out with me for the past few weeks and just using my eye and playing with the settings on the camera. To tell you the truth, I don't really know what I'm doing, but I find photography to be quite enjoyable and relaxing. Anyway, I was out hiking in our of our provincial parks and took my very first photo of a butterfly. I took one other after this but it turned out blurry. This first one I am posting here really is my very first butterfly. Any constructive criticism or advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Jun 29, 2006, 1:35 PM   #2
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Apologies for being so critical but, if this is supposed to be a Photo of a Butterfly, why is there so much foliage in the picture!

The camera you have has a large pixel count so it should be possible to crop out most or all of the background foliage and still have a decently sharpPhoto afterwards!

Also I would suggest you invest in a strong monopod or tripod. The improvement in the sharpness of the photos you take will amaze you.

Apart from which if you enjoy hiking then a decent monopod would make life easier and safer!

Get some decent editing software too!. ACDsee will do to start with and Photshops Elements 4 is now available at a reasonable price but may be a little advanced for you at this stage!

Good Luck and happy hunting!
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Old Jul 3, 2006, 3:43 PM   #3
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Congratulations on your purchase of an A620...I've bought 2 of them within the past 2 months. They are capable of taking some very outstanding photos. You are on the right track with your butterfly photo, but, as mike4sally mentioned, you should have zoomed or moved in closer to let the butterfly dominate the photo, with perhaps just the foliage that it was sitting on in view. Realistically, that may or may not have been possible.

Also, I see that you are instinctively doing what 99% of all novice photographers do...they put the subject square in the middle of the frame. If you're going for a frame filling closeup, this is OK a lot of the time. But, for most other pictures, you'll want to follow the "golden thirds" rule of composition. The frame is divided into thirds both horizontally and vertically, and the subject is then placed in a corner where those imaginary lines would intersect. In the case of your butterfly, since he is facing to the right, I would've put him primarily in the lower left corner of the frame and zoomed in some. Others may have a different preference, that just happens to be mine. This rule also works with horizons...move them up or down in the frame for a much more pleasing picture.

If you haven't done so yet, probably the most important piece of advice that I could give you would be to take a few basic photography classes. When I first got started with film cameras back in the veryearly 80's, that's what I did, and it helped me immensely. Learning about basic composition, camera features and definitions will get you started the right way. Good luck!
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Old Jul 4, 2006, 4:20 PM   #4
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A stationary object like a flower (when the wind quits blowing) is a lot easier to get really close to than a butterfly. Here's a 'super macro' shot I took with my S2is a week ago. I'm posting it here because several of you have been generous with your constructive criticism. I think this photo looks better upside-down, with the darker tones at the bottom; otherwise I think the technical aspects arepretty fair. Your comments, PLEASE.

Thanks, Steve

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a3.../TigerLily.jpg
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Old Jul 4, 2006, 4:24 PM   #5
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Old Jul 6, 2006, 2:40 PM   #6
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Steve, I agree that it takes much more stealth to get close to a butterfly than it does to a flower. I used to spend my summers with the other neighborhood boys, trying to get the best butterfly collection assembled, so I got pretty good at sneaking up on them. That was then, though. :-) Your lily pic is very nice; the only constructive criticism that I might offer is that the image looks a bit flat and "star-fishy". I'd be interested in seeing what it would've looked like had you moved a bit off center and to the side, so that we could see the length of the stamens and petals, in order to give it more dimension, and perhaps to lighten up the green foliage a bit between the petals. Color, focus and depth of filed all look very good. Keep up the good work!
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Old Jul 6, 2006, 11:00 PM   #7
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larryf1952 wrote:
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Steve, I agree that it takes much more stealth to get close to a butterfly than it does to a flower. I used to spend my summers with the other neighborhood boys, trying to get the best butterfly collection assembled, so I got pretty good at sneaking up on them. That was then, though. :-) Your lily pic is very nice; the only constructive criticism that I might offer is that the image looks a bit flat and "star-fishy". I'd be interested in seeing what it would've looked like had you moved a bit off center and to the side, so that we could see the length of the stamens and petals, in order to give it more dimension, and perhaps to lighten up the green foliage a bit between the petals. Color, focus and depth of filed all look very good. Keep up the good work!

Thanks larry1952. I used to collect butterflies and other insects as a kid, too. I'll never forget catching what I thought was a cicada or other large flying insect, by trapping it between a plastic jar and the jar's metal lid. For the instant it was immobilizedin the jar, I saw it was a humming bird! Then it smashed through the jar and flew off.

I appreciate your suggestions for my next lily shot. I especially will try to show the length of stamens and petals. What I REALLY wantedwas to catch a bee collecting some of that pollen, but didn't see any on several trips to the lilies.

--Steve


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