Shoot me, but I’ve not been keeping up with the Olympics. Though I can’t exactly escape it – Yahoo loudly screams the medal counts at me every time I go to check email. I try not to look, but it’s tough to avoid. Monte Python fans (you know who you are!) should recognize the familiar catch-phrase as I say “and now for something completely different” from the Olympics…..some also-ran photos. These are the ones that got left on the cutting room floor. And these are all unedited, straight from the camera images, only resized to fit the computer screen. Some are recent, some not, and most (but not all) were left behind with good reason!
I don’t know what made me think one dried tomato would be photogenic, and here’s proof. You can catch the better photo here. Just one looks lonely, doesn’t it? At least my hand was clean!
Busy cooks and gardeners will appreciate it’s sometime tough to find a spot to photograph things without background clutter. I finally had to clear the counter to get a good shot for a recent recipe for Green Bean and Bulgur Salad with Walnuts. You can see a better shot here. So now you know what it really looked like, before I cleaned it up. Decluttering doesn’t seem to last long around here though!
Background clutter isn’t always bad. In the below photo, I use a shallow depth of field (low F stop number) to blur the clutter in the background. I cropped the photo just a bit for the finished product, but decided to leave most of the clutter in. Maybe I was in too big a hurry to eat, and didn’t want to clear the counter!
Folks with pets can probably appreciate how difficult it can be to catch that perfect image of our furry friends. Our cats will sleep for hours on end, but just walk in the room with a camera and sometimes they won’t sit still! I wish I had a nickel for every blurry pet photo I have ever taken. Other times, they actually seem to be mugging for the camera. Dusty hadn’t been here for very long when I got a great photo of him in the recliner in my office/man cave. When I went back about a half an hour later he was fast asleep, and I quietly captured a few more images of him. The one below isn’t too bad, with the shallow depth of field keeping his face sharp and everything else burred.
Patience definitely pays off in photography. One day I caught Dusty checking out some printed photos of bamboo my wife had laid out on the floor. That shot was ok, but I got a better one later when Puddin decided to get in on the act. In that one a slight blur helps give motion to the photo. I just got lucky there – take lots of photos and occasionally that will happen!
Wildlife is always fun to photograph. Most of the time I am chasing living things around the yard, trying to get close enough, for long enough, to get a good photo. And often times I get nothing usable. But sometimes I have a captive audience. I guess I started off being peeved at these two little bandits who wandered into my Havahart trap last July. I knew I was going to have to haul them off someplace far, far away, and then clean out a stinky cage. But how can you stay upset with two faces like that looking up at you? I chose another photo for the blog post, but this one might have been a better shot. They were sure happy to be out of that cage when the time came – far away from the strange paparazzi!
Lighting is another frequent problem, and I know I’m not the only blogger that struggles with this. I wound up using the photo tent to get a decent shot of the pickled garlic recipe I posted recently. How hard can it be to get a decent shot of a jar of garlic? As it turned out, I tried several different angles and looks before I got one I liked. The photo below didn’t make the cut. Taking the top off helped for the final photo. The photo tent helps with lighting, if you don’t mind the ‘staged’ look.
Sometimes it’s hard to get the photo that really conveys what you are trying to illustrate. I was trying to show how to tell if your pita dough had risen enough in this photo, but it wound up looking like a two-hole bowling ball to me! A slightly better shot can be found here. The difference is subtle. And quite subjective! It’s the same dough, same two indentations, but a slightly different look.
Sometimes a good photo just gets buried in the bit bucket (lost in your computer files). There’s nothing for me not to like of this shot of Puddin trying to sleep in my wife’s fabric storage cabinet. I don’t think we could even bring ourselves to shoo her out – we both grabbed our cameras instead! You can’t make this stuff happen, but you can be ready when it does. She was in no hurry to leave her spot!
With people you get ‘red eye’ shots, with cats and dogs you get the dreaded ‘green eye’. Puddin looks like a monster in the below photo. She’s really not – most of the time! It’s a little blurry too, no doubt because of a slow shutter speed due to not enough light.
I’ll close with some photos that just never made to a blog post – until now! I hope you enjoyed this little diversion from the medal counts. And for the record, all these images were captured on my Canon Rebel T1i with the kit EF-S 18-55 zoom lens. Now I’m off to watch some of the Olympics – NOT!