Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

July 17, 2010

Thinking, Learning, Blooming

Filed under: What's Blooming — Karma @ 3:29 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,


I want to start by saying thank you to all the photographers who have been reading this blog and giving me advice, especially since I got the new camera.  I’m spending time thinking about shots when I compose them.  I’m trying to remember what I have learned from the many awesome photos I’ve seen on your blogs.  I feel like I am beginning to bloom with my photography skill.   The zinnia above shows one of my better attempts to fill the frame with the zoom lens and keep the shot in focus.  I’ve unfortunately realized that just because a shot looks focused on the LCD, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is focused!

I’ve been thinking about composition.  I remembered Scott’s post about looking at any picture two different ways when I took these daylilies.  I thought they told a little story about daylilies: past, present and future. But I couldn’t decide which way looked better.  What do you think?


I’ve been thinking about white balance and exposure compensation.


I’m learning to take chances and to try to focus on the details.

I’m looking for the beauty and interest in everyday things.

I may be a late bloomer, but I hope that I am blooming and growing.

(P.S. Happy Birthday to Hubby today! 🙂 )


  1. You are definitely blooming… It’s immediately evident there’s an improvement in the quality and clarity of your shots, and it’s all good that it’s making you think more about your photography… That’s one reason why I like to sometimes use a tripod when shooting landscapes, because it forces you to slow down and think more about composition etc, rather then just shooting willy nilly… And my preference for what it’s worth would be the vertical daylilies… Love the depth of field you’ve selected for most of these shots too.. they work great against an uncluttered and unfocused backdrop… Considering how long you’ve had the camera you seem to have got to grips with it real well… 🙂

    Comment by FS Photography — July 17, 2010 @ 8:02 pm | Reply

    • I’m definitely planning to get the tri-pod out soon and try some things. I think it will help me with focus and composition.

      Thanks Brian!

      Comment by Karma — July 18, 2010 @ 9:42 am | Reply

  2. It’s great to experiment. Great depth of field! I like the second daylily shot the best.

    Comment by cggrlogan — July 17, 2010 @ 10:20 pm | Reply

    • I will continue to experiment and see what works and what doesn’t. Thank you!

      Comment by Karma — July 18, 2010 @ 9:43 am | Reply

  3. Yes, you are blooming indeed, Karma! You are doing exactly what it takes to become a good photographer. Take a shot, analyze it and think about how it could be better.

    The first shot fills the frame but I could have compsed it a little differently. I would have place the center lower so as to lose some of the bottom but to include the edges of the top petals.

    Of the two, the vertical shot works better because the tops buds have a bit more space around them. Also, this compostion places the main flower in the left third and not centered. However, for me, I like the colors and sharpness of the first shot.

    Underexposing definitely improved the (zinniz? dahlia?). Lovely backlit petals against the darker background.

    Try to avoid ‘bullseye’ compositions. These only work well if all the elements support it.

    Looking forward to what you do next!

    Happy birthday to hubby!!

    Comment by milkayphoto — July 18, 2010 @ 9:37 am | Reply

    • Thank you for the tips, Tracy. I always need and appreciate those. I realized after I posted that many of these shots were focused “dead center.” I’ve been so focused on learning the other elements, I sometimes forget that centering the subject doesn’t always make for the best picture.
      I have found with some of the pictures that I take that sometimes the subject shifts a bit in the frame when I push the shutter – would that be from the newness to me of the heft of a DSLR (kinda like the “kick-back” from a rifle? Don’t worry I’m not a hunter; I’ve only ever shot skeet!)

      The flower you questioned is a little dahlia. It is odd how those bottom petals formed smaller than the top ones, isn’t it?

      Comment by Karma — July 18, 2010 @ 9:48 am | Reply

      • What focus area is your camera set to? I think the Canon’s come standard with their automatic AF point selection (the camera selects the closest object). You will want to change that to manal focus so that you can select the point.

        As for the shutter, proper form is to ‘roll’ the shutter rather than click it. Rest your finger on the shutter and depress half-way to lock focus, then slightly roll it until the shutter fires. This will produce a softer motion than ‘clicking’ it. Takes practice but makes a HUGE difference, especially when hand-holding at low shutter speeds.

        Breathing. Don’t hold your breath when shooting! Practice slow breathing and then shoot as you exhale.

        Yes, a dahlia! I thought the leaves looked familiar! The different sized petals add to the interest of that shot!

        Comment by milkayphoto — July 18, 2010 @ 11:28 am

      • I have my lenses set to manual focus because I’ve been much happier with that than the automatic focus so far. I haven’t looked to see if there is some setting I should change on the camera itself while I’m using manual, but the only obvious switch that I see is on the lens itself.

        Thanks for the shooting tips! I will keep trying and practicing.

        Comment by Karma — July 18, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

      • Wow – even I don’t shoot on Manual all the time! You might be cheating yourself here as these DSLRs have sophisticated focussing systems to get things tack sharp.

        In your manual, read up on what Auto Focus options you have. A manual focus in camera simply lets you manually select the focus point (one of those little squares that will appear on your screen – depending upon what you choose you will have more or less). I find that I only shoot in true manual (meaning, at the lens) when I am shooting super macro and the AF system is having difficulting locking focus on the point I want. Otherwise, I use AF for most things.

        Comment by milkayphoto — July 18, 2010 @ 1:50 pm

  4. You’re doing great!! How do you feel about the camera purchase now, all the guilt forgotten? 😉

    I love the first shot, but agree with Tracy, and would have included less on the bottom and more on the top.
    Of the lilies I actually prefer the horizontal shot.
    Of the next two, I can’t quite make up my mind… the flower seems just a tad too underexposed in the second shot, but the leaves look gorgeous!

    Comment by thedailyclick — July 18, 2010 @ 2:40 pm | Reply

    • The guilt isn’t completely forgotten, but its getting there! 😉 I’m having so much fun I’m sure it will be packing its bags and hitting the road soon.

      I thought the second dahlia looked a bit underexposed too, once I saw it on the computer. It can be hard to tell on the LCD when I am outside. That flower actually has a hint of violet to the color, which I was trying to bring out, and you can see it a bit more in the 2nd shot.

      Comment by karma — July 18, 2010 @ 3:51 pm | Reply

  5. I have to admit that even though I was pretty much the lone practical, un-fun voice that didn’t think you should get a new camera that these shots are pretty darn fabulous! 🙂

    Comment by JenniferA — July 18, 2010 @ 5:57 pm | Reply

    • Well, thank you! I promise to learn as much as I can and make use of as many features as possible! 😉

      Comment by Karma — July 19, 2010 @ 7:51 am | Reply

  6. It’s fun to watch you at play! I love the bee.

    Comment by Gerry — July 18, 2010 @ 7:34 pm | Reply

  7. It looks like you’re having so much fun!

    Of the two daylily shots, I like the second one best as it seems to accentuate the curve and upwardness (probably not a word…lol!) of the stems and flowers.

    The zinnia is beautiful. I know what you mean about focus and really focused.

    Comment by Robin — July 19, 2010 @ 9:14 am | Reply

    • I am having a lot of fun, and learning a lot too.
      Thank you!

      Comment by Karma — July 19, 2010 @ 10:23 pm | Reply

  8. I love watching how you’re so focused and learning with your camera. You are inspiring. I don’t think I have the patience or the concentration or something to truly start learning at the level you are right now. Way to go, Karma!

    Comment by Kathy — July 19, 2010 @ 2:45 pm | Reply

  9. Gee, thanks, Kathy. There is a lot of learning going on, but I also remember that I will never be doing anything at any sort of professional level, so there is no real pressure either. I’m just figuring out what works for me for now.

    Comment by Karma — July 19, 2010 @ 10:24 pm | Reply

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