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Bev

Focusing On 2 Things At One Time - Possible?

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Bev

I am playing around with my fossils trying to take "artsy" photos of them among my flowers. There is usually a foot to 16" difference. Is there a way I can take a sharp pic of both?

Thanks for putting up with me! :D

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Auspex

Use your camera's Aperture Priority setting; use the smallest aperture (highest f-number) you can. Use a tripod, 'cause your shutter speed will be very slow.

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Jersey

Use your camera's Aperture Priority setting; use the smallest aperture (highest f-number) you can. Use a tripod, 'cause your shutter speed will be very slow.

Good info. Thanks Auspex.

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Bev

Use your camera's Aperture Priority setting; use the smallest aperture (highest f-number) you can. Use a tripod, 'cause your shutter speed will be very slow.

Photography for dummies like me... :P Don't know about F-speeds - which picture? Like tulips for macro... X for small aperature?

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Auspex

Photography for dummies like me... :P Don't know about F-speeds - which picture? Like tulips for macro... X for small aperature?

The last time I used a serious camera seriously, I was shooting Kodachrome 25, so you'll have to read your owners manual to learn how to set your camera.

<insert Old Codger emoticon here>

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Bev

The last time I used a serious camera seriously, I was shooting Kodachrome 25, so you'll have to read your owners manual to learn how to set your camera.

<insert Old Codger emoticon here>

Well, that got lost a long time ago... ;) But I really appreciate the advice.

Maybe someone will jump in who knows about the icons. :)

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Auspex

Well, that got lost a long time ago...

<LINK>

:)

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Bev

<LINK>

:)

You are like so SMART! I, however, I'm like so dumb... it doesn't talk about f-stops that I can figure out. :( Did I say I'm DUMB when it comes to cameras... and a lot of other things. :) The more I learn, the less I know... LOL :-D This is like cameras for REAL IDIOTS!!! LOL :-D But THANK YOU for trying... :-D

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Auspex

It may be that your camera is optimized for the usual snapshot routines, and does not offer any useful manual settings. All I can suggest in that case is to use the brightest illumination possible, and back off the subject (crop later).

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Bev

post-9628-0-16041600-1404648490_thumb.jpg Here is the shot I'm trying to get in closeup mode - tulips.

post-9628-0-46329500-1404648547_thumb.jpg Same basic shot in the standard mode.

I may just have to pick the flowers and lay them beside the fossils... :)

These are Hen & Chicks that have gone to flower - they usually die after flowering.

Kind of reminded me of the 4th of July fireworks.

Edited by Bev

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snolly50

Bev, Auspex original advice as to how to increase the depth of field was of course correct. Unfortunately, I infer that your camera does not allow for manual aperture setting. Your best option then is to back off from the subjects, take the shot with the highest resolution available and then crop the image to bring the subjects up to the size/prominence you desire. I think the shots you posted are lovely with the fossil softly focused in the background. That is actually the way our eyes see the world, but we can shift focus so quickly we are seldom aware of it. Have fun, again I think your posted shots are very nice.

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Bev

Thanks Snolly for keeping it simple for an old gal like me. :-D

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TOM BUCKLEY

Hi Bev. Why not try propping up the ammonite to bring it to the same level as the flowers? Possibly a simple solution to a complicated problem. Simple solutions are best for simple minds like mine.

Tom

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Bev

Hi Bev. Why not try propping up the ammonite to bring it to the same level as the flowers? Possibly a simple solution to a complicated problem. Simple solutions are best for simple minds like mine.

Tom

Another GREAT IDEA Tom! Thank you! :)

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Mr_ed

I have a Cannon G15 .. they are about $500 up here. It doesn't have any manual settings for speed or aperture. I think you have to spend about a grand on a camera to get that option and it is usually only one setting that you need to change and the other changes automatically to compensate. Truly a nice thing to have if you can afford one. In that case if you set the shutter speed to slower settings it would do as auspex has explained..Give a better depth of field and set the opening automatically to tune the amount of light needed to take the picture. What that means Bev is that the bigger the lens opens the faster the shutter has to go to compensate and not allow the picture to be too bright and the slower you set your shutter speed the smaller the opening has to be because there has to be a exact balance of speed and opening to get the exact right amount of light into your picture.

How much light.. well compare it with filling a bucket full of water .. use a large hose run the water for a few seconds or use a small hose and run the water for a few minutes, both combinations do the job of filling the bucket.

with depth of field a slower shutter speed increases the depth of field which means that you will get more focused items of different distances than with a faster shutter speed.

These days with digital pictures and automatic compensators for shutterspeed or aperture it is fun taking pictures . The most costly part is the camera. At one time a film cost 5 to ten bucks for 24 pictures. so playing around and experimenting was expensive..

I am in the market for a new camera.. I hope to find a good used one that has adjustable F stops.

If yours has such they will be on the lens and the lens would likely be removable.

Cheers

Ed

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Bev

Wow, THANKS Ed! You put it simply where I can understand it. :)

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Wrangellian

Are you using a Coolpix?

If so, set the dial to 'A' for Aperture, then turn the dial (the one with the 'OK' button in the middle) to the largest number, as Chas recommends - on mine that's 8.3 - my other Nikon has a greater range, but at least I know you can adjust it some on the Coolpix. And use a tripod.

If that doesn't work we'll go to Plan B. I'll monitor to see how you make out.

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Bev

Definitely a Coolpix but never found an A for Aperature or an OK.

However, I am very satisfied with the results I am getting from the other suggestions - basically just keeping it in normal mode. :)

Check this one out... My two addictions combined - fossils and flowers. :P

post-9628-0-56868500-1405943121_thumb.jpg

Maclurites and a Hen & Chick that has gone to flower.

What do you think?

Edited by Bev

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Wrangellian

Now the flower is blurry....

Strange that is has no 'A' or 'OK'. Mine has all these things... I'd like to see a pic of your camera to see what you're working with but I guess you need another camera for that! (or a link to a website that show it).. You may as well be using a cellphone camera if you're that limited ;)

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Bev

I thought the pic was pretty good! It's a regular camera as I don't own a cell phone - can't figure them out. :)

Coolpix L810 Nikon - just remember you are dealing with an old lady dummy! :-D

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Wrangellian

Yeah it looks like that one doesn't have the dial, maybe it has those options in the menu?

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painshill

Hi Bev

Only just spotted this post.

What you are striving for here is the maximum possible depth of field (DOF), sometimes incorrectly referred to as depth of focus (which is something entirely different). Depth of field is the distance range (from nearest to farthest) within an image scene where objects appear acceptably sharp. A camera lens can only ever focus on a single plane at one distance but the decrease in sharpness in front of and behind that is progressive and gradual. You’re looking to minimise that effect such that it’s no longer noticeable.

These are the things that matter:

BAD FOR DEPTH OF FIELD

Using a large lens aperture (small ‘f’ number). If you don’t have a manual way to set this, then any program mode which is “shutter priority” is a bad thing.

Low light conditions, but this is an indirect effect whereby less light generally forces an automatic camera to use a larger aperture.

Using a longer focal length lens (ie zooming in with the telephoto function).

Moving closer to the subject.

Focusing on the most distant part of the subject.

Not having the camera lens parallel to the flat plane of the subject (ie taking pictures at an angle).

Using a Macro setting. Contrary to popular belief, although a macro setting gives you wonderful close-ups of relatively flat objects in a single plane, it has a terrible effect on depth of field outside that plane.

Increasing the magnification of the final image.

Allowing a camera to make the choices for you by using a general program mode.

GOOD FOR DEPTH OF FIELD

Using a small lens aperture (large ‘f’ number). If you don’t have a manual way to set this, then any program mode which is “aperture priority” is a good thing.

Bright light conditions, but this is an indirect effect whereby more light generally forces an automatic camera to use a smaller aperture. Flash will generally improve the situation but really bright sunlight is better.

Using a shorter focal length lens (ie not zooming in with the telephoto function).

Standing further away from the subject.

Focusing on the nearest part of the subject, or if your camera has a manual focusing option then setting the focus at a mid-point will be better still.

Ensuring the camera lens is parallel to the flat plane of the subject, even if that means you need to be above it and looking down. Use a set of steps if necessary.

Not using a Macro setting. Contrary to popular belief, although a macro setting gives you wonderful close-ups of relatively flat objects in a single plane, it has a terrible effect on depth of field outside that plane.

Using the picture at its original magnification.

Using manual camera settings to make the best choices yourself.

Taking a look at the file information embedded in the pictures you posted, what I see is this:

FIRST PIC POSTED

Aperture: f 3.7

Shutter Speed: 1/400 sec

Focal Length 8mm (equivalent to 46mm on an SLR camera)

LAST PIC POSTED

Aperture: f 4.8

Shutter Speed: 1/500 sec

Focal Length: 21mm (equivalent to 118mm on an SLR camera)

If we compare those two sets of numbers, what it means is this.

The aperture has moved from 3.7 to 4.8 and that’s a good thing. It will have had a dramatic effect because the maximum aperture of your camera is 3.3 and that’s where it’s depth of field performance will be at its absolute worst. As you move away from that things improve rapidly. But those are still small numbers. I would be looking for an f number of at least 8 for reasonable depth of field, and ideally 16 or even 22. The only ways you can force that up on an automatic camera which doesn’t have manual settings is with more light. A lot more. And you need to be sure you have set an aperture-priority mode.

The shutter speed has got faster, moving from 1/400 to 1/500 and that’s a move in the wrong direction. It allows the camera to keep the aperture number small, which is not what you want. The effect has been offset by the fact you got a larger f number anyway by using a different program setting but you want to force that shutter speed to be slower. You should comfortably be able to hand-hold a compact camera steady at 1/60th of a second but anything slower than that will benefit from a tripod. Again, if you have no manual settings, more light will have the desired effect, providing you set an aperture-priority mode.

The focal length has increased from 8 to 21mm and that’s also a move in the wrong direction but again has been offset by the improvement in aperture. To some extent, you have to live with whatever focal length gives you the image size you want at a reasonable distance from the subject. But you’ll always do better by not being ultra-close (no tulip macro icons) and only using the minimum amount of zoom if you need it at all.

Edited by painshill

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Bev

Your base of knowledge is truly AMAZING Painshill! THANK YOU!

PS What I got out of your post is stand or directly over the subect, use the normal setting, and take pictures in bright light - tripod if I ever getthat motivated.. :D:P

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