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Old Dec 19, 2004, 4:46 PM   #1
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quick questions here, I have a canon Power Shot Pro1 and want to try something:

I want to take a close up of something, in detail and have everything else behind it blurry.. how is this done. I think i know but am not sure and when i tried it, it was sorta good but i feel it could be better, more blurry. what setting would this be arpeture? shutter speed? distance between iimage and background? distance between camera and image??



Second: I wanna shoot moving lights at night, there is a big, new bridge near where i work and driving alongside it at sunset i can see it would make a nice shot, esp. with the rush hour traffic going over it and the sunset behind it and off to the right of it. I want the bridge, surrounding buildings, water and sky to be sharp and clear, but the cars lights to be (trailing?) along the span of the bridge... what settings do i use?

I'll probably be standing in a park about 150-200 feet away to get the whole span in the frame.

thanks!

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Old Dec 19, 2004, 8:05 PM   #2
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Getting a blurry background (called "bokeh" a Japanese word meaning "blurred background" :-)) requires a narrow depth of focus. It can be enhanced in two ways... using the biggest appature available or buying a camera with a bigger sensor.

The bigger appature (smallest f-stop) will mean using Av or Manual mode on your camera. This might not be enough to do it for you. It can be enhanced bokeh by moving your subject away from the background before shooting the picture and stepping back from the subject then zooming in on the subject to fill the frame before the shot. Suggest a little experimentation. My wife is tired of getting her picture taken so I can blurr the background, but if that's what it takes...

I've been able to simulated bokeh with a point and shoot camera by carefully selecting the subject during post-processing, inverting the selection then applying Gaussian blurr to the background. This is a cheap, but tedious method.

Larger sensors, like those available in DSLRs DO produce better bokeh, and the same rules apply. A faster lens (more $$) work better, shooting at lower f-stop, proper placing of the subject and background etc. are still required. I'm not familiar with your camera, but you can maximize its capability by experimenting.

The situation with "light streaks" is the other side of the same coin. You want a slow lens speed (on the order of a second or three). This means using a tripod to hold the camera steady and a fairly large f-stop . This requires manual mode or Av and a lot of practice.
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Old Dec 19, 2004, 9:08 PM   #3
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so, if i step back and zoom in on the subject, using a small f stop it shoud work? i tried getting close and using a small f stp and it did it but not enough blurr...lol

I was sitting in a swivel chair this morning and i had the shutter down to 1 sec. and was swiveling around while the cam was shooting, i get a kinda cool mixture of my computer screen and the sun coming through the sliding doors to my deck... it looked awful because it was a blur but.... it was also doing what i'd hoped it would do!

thanks!

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Old Dec 28, 2004, 3:27 PM   #4
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i also discovered that a great way to blur the background is in Macro Mode. it works good for what i need. now for them pesky "light trail" shots of moving trafic at night!

Im gonna try it tonight with a tri pod, lets face it, ya just cant hold a camera steady for 1 second! esp. in the ded of a new englang cold snap!

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