Photography for me is much like any other skill. If I am not shooting on a regular basis, my ability to see the composition is not as sharp as it should be. This skill (or lack thereof) manifests itself as a sense of confidence. What that means is, when I am confident in my photography I feel as though I can be put in front of any scene or subject, no matter how drab or uninteresting, and be able to produce workable images that can result in a good or great final product. I am certainly not saying the good or great photographs always happen. But I am more likely to stay at a location longer and work different angles on multiple points of interest. That results in the possibility of more good or great photographs in the end.
One of the ways I stay sharp, but I should do more of, is take some time in the garden and hone those skills. I do not always have the time a photography day trip. Fortunately for me, in my garden there are mature trees and various plants to photograph. This particular session was to experiment with the 35mm prime/fixed lens to see how various depths of focus (by adjusting the f/stop) would look and what were the backgrounds I had available to work with. This session was a precursor to an idea that was suggested to me to create a 3-panel art display (triptych) of tree bark from the yard as a decoration for the interior of the house. The three subject trees are a redwood, an aspen, and a ginkgo tree.
I hand held the series of photos and quickly learned that with such a shallow depth of focus, not using a tripod resulted in quite a few images where the focal point was no longer correct because I had shifted ever so slightly.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 35mm (prime lens), f/2.5, 1/400 sec
Cameron Park (CA), Aspen Trunk, Shallow DOF, Mottled Background. Cameron Park, CA. March 06, 2016. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.