Sleeping Magnolia – 97/365

I decided to hang fire today, and wait until the sunlight was almost gone, before I got today’s photograph. This would give me a chance to try out a low light shot with my new camera.

I started off with some general shots of the Magnolia blossom in our garden.

They turned out well, and I’m really pleased with them. However, what I really wanted to do was see if I could get a detailed close up in the low light conditions.

My first attempt didn’t go too well.

However, taking the camera out of full auto and into close up auto, helped matters a lot.

I started to get the shots I wanted, and experimented more and more with the settings.

Eventually, I dove head first into full manual mode again. I even adjusted aperture and ISO settings. I know all the pro photographers will be giggling now, but for me this is a massive step forward!

I played with colour balance settings too, this first one is “standard”, the second one “vivid”.

I got the shot I was after, however I couldn’t get the focus right on the very middle of the flower, on the really delicate stigma sat surrounded by petals.

Getting as close as I could didn’t help, and I pushed things past what was possible and ended up with a totally blurred image.

Some more adjustments to the settings, and I started to get somewhere again.

There are about 9 Little focusing squares in the view finder, who’s name I don’t know, but anyway the auto focus seems to use these and they flash red when they’re in focus with the subject on a half press of the shutter button.

What I needed to do was set my camera so that it only used the middle one, but although I have read that bit of the manual, I couldn’t remember how to do it.

To get around the issue, I forced a focus red dot thingy onto a bit of petal that was at the same distance to the stigma, and that worked a treat.

I’m sure of I’d have know how to set the focus points, I would have got an even better shot, however, I’m pleased with my little work around and love the shots I’ve got overall.

Learnings – loads about settings again, ISO and aperture (f/stop), but I think most important again today was learning to not be afraid of having a go in manual, and experimenting with the settings.

I’m sure the camera is carrying me at the moment, but we are becoming more and more in tune all the time.

Also, as a bit of a fun pic; my mum visited earlier today, and whilst showing her my new camera, she took this cool shot of Livvy!

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