Monday, June 7, 2010

So here are the Spring Flowers

As a bit of instruction, clicking on any of the images in this blog will bring up a bigger image (still not full size I shrunk them before loading, so do not worry about download speeds).  If there is a particular picture that you would like to see full size, let me know (and I can either post it, or send it to you).  Just open a comment at the end of the post.

Since its spring I figure its time to pretty things up a bit.  With that, the best chance I have is to use some pictures from the recent trip to Mohonk.  It was late spring and the flowers were really in bloom.  As we were really there to relax and enjoy the outdoors, I did not carry the Rebel, but only the SX210.  That worked out ok in this case.  Though I will admit that I am a little disappointed in the noise in this camera, it can be overcome at low ISO (this is why it is important to put some time into testing to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the equipment).  You would think that a little camera like this would not be good for macro (normally the small cameras do not blur the background, and get the subject to pop as do the DSLR counterparts).  However, in this aspect, for a small pocket camera the SX210 shines.  Note on all pictures below, only resizing of the image was necessary, I did not sharpen or otherwise alter (I did not feel it was needed).

The picture above was taken under harsh lighting conditions (mid day, and no clouds blocking the sun).  This forced the contrast up, but in this case, you can still see what I was looking for.  The nice pink circular pink flower (and some friends) above the much darker green (and the shadows were very dark).  If you click on the picture, you will see very good details and the camera really captured the image well.  This picture is still good enough, with enough data, that if you wanted to soften it and reduce the contrast in Photoshop, that would be possible (but I liked it punchy like it is).

This example did not work out as well as the one above (and that is why I include it).  Here you can see the problem with pictures with the sun bright and high.  The colors did not come out well at all, and everything is a bit harsh.  Detail is still good (you can click on it to see for yourself), but really not a pretty picture (which is what flower pictures are supposed to be about).  A good example of what to watch out for (and why to avoid harsh lighting).  Changing the angle of the shot or a little shade would have helped greatly).

Above is the best example (in  my opinion) of a single flower picture I took.  No harsh lighting, the flower is visible in high detail (click it to see it better).  The colors are really nice.  Also, the subject stands out nicely, while the background is blurred out.  Normally this is a difficult shot with a pocket camera (I could not have done this on the SD1100).  However, with 14X zoom, all I had to do was zoom all the way, and stand only a few feet back.  This really shortened the focus length, allowing only the subject to maintain sharp focus.

This is really a cheat (they look like flowers, but really are on more of a bush/tree).  I put this here to further demonstrate the above shrinking of the focus length (depth of field).  Here you can see that the flowers in the middle (at the prime focus point) are really sharp.  However, the sharpness fall off quickly (for a pocket camera) and the ones behind it are not nearly as in focus. 

Back to the real flowers, and here was a nice pair that I had to shoot together.  Again, the background is not that out of focus (but I was not trying as hard, as the leaves are part of the picture, and though the camera can have the depth of field shortened, it still is not as good as a DSLR).  


Well the gardens are all great, and I figured I would get a picture that included one of the workers.  I used the full zoom so I could stand back and not scare him off (this decreased the depth of field as above, which worked for this shot).  The detail in the flowers and even the wings of the bee were remarkable (click it to zoom in to see if you like).  This was definitely a busy bee (there were lots of flowers, and he was hitting all of them).  Though these are smaller flowers (and not nearly as decorative as those above), I really liked the colors.  The blue pedals with the yellow centers (with reddish spots). 

This was a fun trip for pictures (and I still have at least one more update from it - this time infra red).  The camera functioned quite well.  Though it did not perform as well as a DSLR with a good macro lense, I got many flower pictures that I was more than happy with.  I hope you enjoyed my attempt to pretty up this space with a few spring flowers.  Until next time keep snapping pictures.

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