WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY IS RIGHT IN YOUR BACKYARD!

white and black birds piercing on tree branch
Photo by daniyal ghanavati on Pexels.com

It is always a good idea to keep practicing your photo skills. One way to do that is to go out in your backyard and look for the different types of wildlife there is in your backyard. That could include squirrels, birds, butterflies, and other bugs. They all become a great photo opportunity.

Photo by Korie Cull on Unsplash

USE A GOOD TELEPHOTO LENS FOR WILDLIFE

To get the type of photo, like the very first picture of the bird above, you will need a good telephoto lens. This allows you to get your image to fill the frame. And of course the big thing, is that you don’t scare the animal away. You just can’t go up to most of these animals and ask them if you can take their picture.

Photographer using a macro lens

USE MACRO LENS OR CLOSE-UP FILTERS FOR INSECTS

A macro lens is the best lens for getting close-ups of bugs, critters, butterflies, rodents, etc. The price of a good macro lens could run you over $500 or more, but, you could also accomplish some good close-up photography with a set of “close-up filters”. Practice your aperture settings with macro photography, because if you use F2 to F5.6, you might find that the front of the bug is in focus and the back of the bug is not. Sounds like tripod work might be in order, or adjust your ISO setting to around 800 to 1200. Then you can have some help still with your shutter speeds.

SPECIAL TRAINING SESSION ON HOW TO BE CREATIVE IN YOUR BACKYARD:

And now, some ideas of how you can be creative with your back yard photography, here is a great YouTube video on being creative with wildlife photography in your own back yard. This is a great video from Nikon, and the European rep showing how to do the best work in your backyard. Please watch, because even I learned some great things from this video:

Just click on the play button and you will have this amazing training session.
praying mantis on a succulent plant
Photo by suellen baker on Pexels.com

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ZOOM LENS, OR SEVERAL LENSES?

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

Zoom lens vs. several lenses has been a question a lot of photographers go through. For example, should you buy a 75-300 Zoom lens, OR 100mm Macro lens, a 85mm F1.2 lens, and a 300mm F2.8? When you look at the combinations there, it’s a matter of numbers and what they all mean. Let’s go through them:

WHAT DO ALL THOSE NUMBERS MEAN?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

MM OF THE LENS?

First, we are going to go through each set of numbers on a lens and tell you what the meaning of each is. Seems that these numbers mean something. And the first number we will talk about is the millimeter of the lens. Let’s start with a reference number:

The first number we need to know is the “normal lens millimeter”. In today’s digital camera lenses, a 28mm is about the closest thing to a normal lens. What is a normal lens? It’s about the same thing as what your eye sees. So, if you had a normal 28mm lens on your camera, you picked it up and looked through the camera lens, what you see looks about the same whether you look through the camera, or view the subject without a camera and lens. There seems to be no change in strength or wide angle. With that being a normal lens, then something that is double the magnification would be a 56mm lens. So, now the subject is closer by double, or 2X closer.

Telephoto lenses:

Telephoto lens and also a zoom lens

There is a couple of things to notice as you use a telephoto lens. 1- Your angle of view in the lens also decreases by half, the bigger the lens. For example: if you go to a 56mm lens, the amount of area you see in your lens vs. the normal lens is now cut in half. But, the advantage, of course, when you use a telephoto lens, is that the subject is closer to you by 2X.

If you went to a 112mm lens (although they don’t make a lens with that mm), you double the magnification again by 2X from the 56mm, or 4X closer than your normal lens.

Now, you can see what happens when you go to a lens that is 300mm. That is a little over 10X stronger than your normal lens or what you see with the naked eye.

And lenses get bigger than that, of course. And guess what the next problem is with a big lens? It is hard to hand hold a lens that has that kind of magnification. So, most lenses that are around 300mm or bigger, have a tripod mount, right on the lens.

As you can see on this big lens, there is a tripod mount on the bottom of the lens. That is a balance point for the weight of the lens and the camera. That is the place that is usually makes it balanced well.

WIDE ANGLE LENSES:

Back to our reference point of 28mm: if we go the other direction, say 28mm and go to a 14mm lens, you do the opposite of the telephoto lens. It tends to look like the image in the camera has been pushed way back away from you. It is 1/2X power. But, the reason people pick up wide angle lenses is that it shows more area in the lens. You see twice as much angle in this wide angle as you do with the normal lens. Ideal for scenery and landscape photos.

ZOOM LENSES:

A zoom lens is a lens that is configured to give you a variety of lenses, all in one lens.

An 18-300mm zoom lens

If you look closely at this zoom lens, you will see a ring that goes from 18mm to 300mm. That means this one lens, has an 18mm lens in it. A wide angle lens. 28mm can be dialed in as well, so you have a normal lens. And now it goes up to 300mm, which is a powerful telephoto lens. All of this in one lens. One lens takes care of almost all of your photographic needs.

OR DOES IT?

Let’s take a look at our model lens again:

This model lens here is also a zoom lens, but, it covers only the area in the wide angle area: a 10 -18mm lens. That is super wide. Let’s look at the other number we need to be aware of: It says: 1: 4.5 – 5.6! If you remember how your aperture works in a lens, they will sometimes go from 3.5 – 5.6 for your kit lens. That is the maximum the aperture will range from at the biggest opening. The aperture is what lets in so much light. The lower the number, the more light gets through the lens. That is the number they put on the lens so you can see that it doesn’t really let in much light, but, not bad.

That is the problem with a zoom lens. It has this moving lens system within the barrel of the lens, that takes away the amount of light getting through the lens. If you could buy a zoom lens with a smaller F number, like a 2.8, you would also have double the amount of actual glass, or more. And the cost goes way up.

LENSES WITH LOW APERTURE NUMBERS:

The above lens here is a Canon 100mm F2.8 macro lens. List price on this lens is: $1399.00 US dollars.

The above lens here is a zoom lens that goes from 75mm – 300mm, and it’s low aperture capability is F 4.5 -5.6, meaning that at 75mm the aperture is at F4.5, and at 300mm it is 5.6. It does have a 100mm in this lens, but at 100mm it has an aperture capability of around 4.7. The list price of this lens is: $249.95US dollars.

WHY SO MANY CAMERA LENSES?

HERE IS THE COMPLETE LENS SELECTION FROM CANON. ALL OTHER MANUFACTURES HAVE ABOUT THE SAME NUMBER OF LENSES.

Every lens the manufacture makes is done for a specific purpose. That 100mm f2.8 macro lens’ purpose is to do extreme close-ups that not any other lens can do, plus, with a maximum aperture of 2.8, it is capable of doing it in lower light than any other lens that Canon makes.

SO HOW DO I CHOOSE WHAT LENS I NEED?

When you finally get to a point of getting a new lens, then it will be easily decided by what type of photography you are going to do. If you need help in getting the right lens, then get with someone who can help you. This is a service that 123PhotoGo can provide.

If you ever have a personal question about what lens you should buy, or even what camera you want to buy, I have set up a personal email hotline to ask questions. Email me to ask any technical questions you have by going to: question.123photogo@gmail.com

Tips on photographing your favorite fruit or vegetable !

Photo by Immo Wegmann on Unsplash
51 Different subjects on Photography! And I am going to do them all. Check previous blogs for subjects done.

Taking photos of your favorite vegetable or fruit, and still be creative, is a challenge. This photo above of the tomato, is technically a fruit, but used as a vegetable in most servings. (The tomato is the edible berry of the plant Solanum lycopersicum,commonly known as a tomato plant. – Wikipedia) To me, this is one of my favorite fruits or vegetables. There are many varieties of tomatoes, and I am growing in my own personal garden, about 8 different types of tomatoes, to see if one tastes better than all the rest. If I find I like most of them, then next year I will grow a nice tasty variety.

But taking pictures of tomatoes is an art. There is two ways to take this photo. 1- to make it look real yummy, I like the photo above, because the photographer had some water splashed on it, to give it that freshly picked, washed, ready to eat look. If that is the way you like it too, then notice it is placed on a dark background. That makes the tomato stand out than letting your eye wander to something else. Plus, it is a very nice photo to hang on the kitchen wall for decoration. 2- Get a photo of the tomato on it’s vine or plant, such as the one below:

Let’s look at another favorite of mine: the Pineapple. Funny name because it doesn’t look like anything from pine, and it doesn’t look like an apple, nor grows like either one.

Oh, mmmm, that looks so good. (The pineapple[2][3] (Ananas comosus) is a tropical plant with an edible fruit and the most economically significant plant in the family Bromeliaceae. — Wikipedia) To get a photo of any fruit or vegetable, get a plain backdrop like you see with the pineapple, and the tomato (above). That seems to be the most popular way of getting a good photo. For some people, it might be hard to get a photo of the actual pineapple plant, because it is a tropical plant. But, other ways to get photos of the fruits, is to show it in the bowl, ready to eat:

But, how do you take a photo of a very small fruit or vegetable, if that’s your favorite? I would recommend you either get a macro lens because it is designed to focus extremely close to the subject. And they make a macro lens for cell phones now as well.

The other idea, of course is to use close-up filters. This is a very inexpensive way to get close to the subject. I would recommend you get a set of 4 close-up filters so you can get as close as you need:

Make sure you get the right size for your lens.

And here is a couple of pictures of small fruit, using either close-up filters or a macro lens.

close up photo of a cherry fruits
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
close up photo of stacked chocolates bars beside raspberries
Photo by Lisa on Pexels.com
Conclusion:

If you are taking a photo of your favorite fruit or vegetable, get as close as you can, with a plain background is the ideal way to do this. Or, like the photo above, use the fruit alongside other things you are going to eat.

Words in red, provide a link to that subject. Just click on the word, and you will automatically be taken to the website, with more information about that word.

Ideas of how to take the best “flower photos”

Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

Taking pictures of flowers is always a rewarding experience. Sometimes when you are on Facebook or some other website and you see other people’s photos of flowers, do you wish you could take pictures that good? I want to take a moment and explain how you too, can take beautiful photos of flowers, even to the point of people wanting a copy (maybe I could sell my flower photos).

The beauty of a flower to me comes when I can see the flower in close-up mode, similar to the photo at the top of this page. The human eye does not usually look at a flower this close. We see them in the garden, in clumps or groups of flowers, and that all looks good, but, if we had the chance to see a flower up close, you would realize that the Creator has really blessed us with amazing beauty that looks better up close.

Here is just a few ideas of how your photos of flowers can look better:

Get down to the same level of the flower:

Photo by Gabriela Popa on Unsplash

Look at the photo above, and the photo at the top of the page. The fact that the photographer got down to the same level as the flower, brings out much more of the beauty of the flower. Oh yeah, you may end up laying down on the ground to get this photo. But, it will be worth it.

Use a tripod to hold your camera steady.

Photo by Arw Zero on Unsplash

Note the photo above shows a tripod for a cell phone. Yes, they make a tripod for cell phone. I have a tripod for my regular camera and tripod for cell phone. A good photographer that uses their cell phone a lot will want to get this. And they are not that expensive. I have a tripod for cell phone that is full size, and I think I still paid less than $30.00 Click on the link: tripod for cell phone to see what you can get. But, I have found out that it is extremely hard to hold your camera still when trying to do a close-up of a flower. I think it is a must. I also think that photographers should use their tripods more than they do.

If you can, get a macro lens or close-up filters

For those of you who have a good dslr camera, close-up filters should be a must have item, in case you don’t have a true macro lens. These come in a set of 4 usually and you can have different magnifications depending on which close-up filters you use.

Photo by Immo Wegmann on Unsplash

See what you miss when you don’t have close-up filters. The detail of flowers is amazing to see. So, please, to do it right, at least try close-up filters.

A macro lens I have seen built-in to some cell phone cameras, so try that on your phone if you are so equipped. Otherwise, try a macro lens for your dslr camera. This makes it extremely easy and even better quality than the close-up filters. With macro lenses, you can focus as close as a 1:1 ratio all the way out to infinity on your lens. Just get macro lenses for your brand of camera, and check out what is available and really enjoy it.

Be aware of flower movement. Try a higher ISO setting.

Photo by Dominik Rešek on Unsplash: Took this photo on my recent trip to Triglav lakes. Beautiful destination, lots of nice things to shoot.

I have found that there always seems to be a breeze that causes flower movement. Any way you can stop the flower from moving would involve one thing: You will need a high speed shutter, to stop camera movement. And sometimes the easiest way to get a higher speed shutter is to use a higher ISO setting.

If you are going to use your cell phone that doesn’t usually have much chance of setting a shutter speed, then make sure you have a lot of light on the flower, in hopes that the automatic settings of the camera, will be in your favor.

Carefully control your depth of field if you can.

Photo by Echo Grid on Unsplash

The purpose of having depth of field control is to be able to blur out the background of the photo, and still keep the main focus of the flowers in sharp focus. That, of course is accomplished by changing your aperture to a lower number (f2 to f4), to make that happen.

Conclusion:

The best photos that you will find and create, almost always needs to have control over the settings on a camera. The shutter speed to be fast enough to stop any movement of the flower, and the aperture to control the depth of your focus. And if you can’t get it exactly set up with the settings you want, then you can change your ISO setting. If you have further questions on how to take good flower photos, submit your questions to: http://question.123photogo.com

“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly our whole life would change.” –

Buddha