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Old Mar 20, 2011, 10:00 PM   #1
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Default FZ35 - early signs of Spring

I've been waiting a long time for some outside shots of blooms from bulbs in our yard. Finally, one very small daffodil, a couple of crocus, and some hellebore (lenten rose) have cooperated. The season is early, and the subject matter will improve, but had to get some shots to experiment. In the next couple of weeks, there will be many subjects, hundreds, if not thousands.

Many questions arose during this little outing with my new FZ35. Most of these shots are 3-4" away, some maybe 5-6". I tried P mode, then Macro/flower mode too. I tried AF and AF Macro. In terms of picture quality I had some shots at Saturation +2, Sharpness +2. I tried A, with f2.8, in an attempt to defocus the background. I'm not sure I gained much. I think I had better color with Saturation +2.

In the end, I think I got the best shots with P mode, AF Macro.

What do you think? What are good settings to experiment with for these kinds of shots? Am I on the right track for these trials?

I am not understanding Macro/flower vs. P (or A)? Which setting is best used for what application?

I will have many more daffodils and hellebore to shoot soon. Thanks. There are two sets of five images, grouped according to subject.

Thanks.
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Old Mar 20, 2011, 10:03 PM   #2
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The second set.

Here is a link to a Picasa album with some more that I've not included here.

https://picasaweb.google.com/rehrlic...7Xw_el2uS5gQE#
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Old Mar 20, 2011, 10:25 PM   #3
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For flowers, I like AF Macro in P mode (unless I'm using the LC55 closeup lens). Make sure you set to AF Macro using the button that says AF/AF Macro, and NOT the little flower symbol on the dial (that puts you in iA, full auto mode). There are many variables in getting good bokeh (fuzzy background). First, make sure you have good distance between your subject and your background objects. The further away the background, fuzzier they get. This usually means you have to walk around your subject to place everything is just the right orientation, and many times it's impossible! Use a small f-number in A mode is one way, but that doesn't always work. In P mode, keep the ISO low (80 or 100), then stand back and zoom in as much as you can. Zooming in often gives you good bokeh.

BTW, these are really nice, color sharp shots!
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Old Mar 21, 2011, 5:47 PM   #4
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I like the 2nd and 3rd from the second set.

Saly, some good info there about control of background that I need to learn, how did it get the term "bokeh"?
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Old Mar 21, 2011, 7:59 PM   #5
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Default More first signs

Some shots today in the backyard, albeit non-plant life like yesterday.

Lighting was lousy for both sets of shots - the deer and the turkey. I have many more from the turkey scene, but none that I really like. Catching these scenes is extremely rare, and I may not have another opportunity this year (last year, one day was all). The turkey scene is extremely interesting from an wildlife perspective -- much strutting, much gobbling. The scene today was also very rare, five toms and 16 hens.
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Old Mar 21, 2011, 8:04 PM   #6
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Saly, yes, good info on the backgrounds. In some of those shots, the possibility to move around was very limited. Most of them were taken without my eye on the screen -- the camera was not in a position that I could even see the screen, let alone the viewfinder. Most were shot "blind."

Square ..., I agree with your assessment of #2 and #3 from the second set. I also really like the purple crocus in set one, #3 image of set one. I like the rich color, and the sprigs of green. Even though the color was very deep on the subject, I know this was shot with Saturation +2.

Thanks.
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