It"s a Crazy Wonderful Life

This is a blog about my family and the crazy life in the Sims Household. We have 5 children, ranging from 14 to 5, and seem to be going in all different directions sometimes. The purpose of this blog is to help keep our friends and family up to date on what is going on in our lives.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A little hobby I want to grow

So I very much enjoy taking pictures. My favorite subjects of course are my children. I have taken their portraits for the last 6 years or so and I think I have done a pretty good job of it.

I lack however the training and equipment to take the quality of pictures I would like to be able to take. For the past 6 years I have simply set up my own little backdrop in my living room, using a simple sheet, or taken the kids out to the park to use nature as a backdrop to do their annual pictures. I personally prefer the outdoors and the vibrant colors these pictures always have in the background.

You can see some evidence of what I am taking about in the posts further down about here and here. I would love to be able to take even better pictures than what my simple but wonderful point and shoot camera can take. Don't get me wrong, I love my little Canon Powershot SD870. It is a great camera and takes really crisp beautiful pictures, I just want more. (What else is new)

I love the pictures I have seen taken by others where the background is softened or even blurred while the subject of the picture is crisp and clear. I don't know how to go about getting these kinds of results or even where to start when I am looking at what equipment to invest in for this "hobby". I am sure it is a good ways down the road before I will even make such a purchase, but if anyone out there has any ideas or suggestions, I would love to read them so I can file them away for when I am ready.


Nigel Flannery Livingston said...

I have thought for a long time that you should pursue photography at least at a prosumer level. You have a very good eye. Your composition is usually very good, and your images always seem very balanced. These are good things.

My suggestion? Buy this book and then buy this book. Then read them both and then go buy this.

Carlee Hoopes said...

Our DSLR can do those blurry backgrounds, but I'm a moron at photography so I don't know how to do them. Kory does a really good job with them. We have a Nikon D40 and love it. But, it definitely takes practice, which I haven't done yet. :) You take very nice pictures!! You really should pursue it further!

Nigel Flannery Livingston said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jaidi and Justin Clayton and Family! said...

I think you definitely should pursue photography. I told you that before! You have always taken excellent pictures! You can always do what the girl here that took our pictures does. She charges $25 for the first person and $5 for each additional person and then gives them a CD with all the pictures. Then create a blog about your photos and pass around the address for people!

Nigel Flannery Livingston said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nigel Flannery Livingston said...

Blurring the background is very simple. You can do it a few different ways, but it all revolves around the same bit of physics.

1- Lower the amount of light coming through the lens by using a neutral density filter and opening up the iris.

2- Get a macro lens or a zoom lens. If you zoom in to something, everything beyond it will become blurry.

Both of these manipulate the image by lowering the 'depth of field,' that is the amount of three dimensional space that is in focus at the same time.

If you are taking a picture of a person, back up about fifty feet and zoom in to the shot. if you focus on their face, everything beyond them will be out of focus.

A wide angle lens will do the opposite. It keeps everything in focus.

Check out some of these images for some very controlled 'depth of field.'

Our Family in Pictures