Yes. A new feature here at LouCeeL. A 'once in a while' feature, to be sure, but something I hope will be worthwhile. The idea behind this is to pass on some photography knowledge, tips, etc., in order to help new and fledgling photographers understand their equipment better - how to use it, why they use it, and what type of equipment to select.
First of all, I need to fulfill a promise - below is a picture of the watercolor I'm working on as a result of the workshop last weekend. Keep in mind - THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS. Please.
For those of you who have trouble identifying - It's an Iris - soon to be purple.
Okay. On to photography.
Someone asked me, recently, why they would use a DSLR rather than a Point and Shoot camera. Both systems are capable of taking fine photographs. Which is true. And my answer is - it all depends on whether you want a snapshot or not. I'll explain ...
Inside every lens there is a diaphragm (not that kind of diaphragm. Pervert). The diaphragm opens and/or closes to allow control over the amount of light that reaches the sensor. Unlike the shutter, which controls the amount of TIME that the sensor is exposed to the light, the diaphragm also has an effect on focus. The SMALLER the f-stop number (subject for a future post), the more open the diaphragm is. The more open the diaphragm, the narrower the depth of field is. The narrower the depth of field, the more that foreground and background objects are thrown out of focus. The more out of focus that foreground and background objects are, the more the eye is drawn to the subject of the photograph. It's this isolation of the subject that makes a DSLR a better tool for serious photography than a Point and Shoot.
Point and Shoot cameras seldom sport f-stops greater than f3.5 or so. Zoom lenses, typically, will actually drop to f5.6 when run out to their maximum. A DSLR, by definition, has interchangeable lenses. Some are zoom lenses, which enjoy many of the same limitations that are imposed on Point and Shoot lenses. But some are of fixed focal length, and those lenses can see f-stops in the f1.2, f1.8 or f2 range, which will isolate better than any Point and Shoot I'm aware of.
Left and right you see two pictures of the same object. The shot on the left was taken with my Canon 30D with a 50mm lens set a f1.8. Wide open aperture. The camera was allowed to pick the shutter speed - which, as we know, has no effect on focus.
The shot on the right was taken with my Fuji FinePix J10 Point and Shoot. It was taken with the lens set at wide angle and the ISO set at 64 - which would force the camera to shoot wide open.
The first thing I want you to see is that there is much more 'clutter' in the Fuji shot. There is more stuff in the Fuji shot, mainly because of differences in angle of view due to different lens focal length, and physical size of the sensor (Both sensors are 8 megapixel - but the Fuji is physically smaller). I took the shot trying to get the object being photographed to be the same size in the resulting 'print'. Both shots were taken from the same spot.
The Fuji shot is a little blurred. The shutter speed couldn't get high enough to 'freeze' the subject - which was swaying a little in the breeze, and because of the low light situation, it couldn't freeze the 'camera shake' introduced by the human taking the photograph. Everything you see in the shot on the right displays the limitations of Point and Shoot cameras. Do you see how much of the scene is in relatively good focus?
Now look at the shot on the left. The subject is isolated. Everything beyond it that's in the scene is out of focus and your brain will ignore it. You see the feeder. You don't really notice the bush at all.
That is the clearest demonstration I can provide you as to why you want to use a DSLR instead of a Point and Shoot.
p.s. I made a boo boo yesterday. I sent everyone to hte wrong site for the interview. Okay. Everybody. Slap my hand ....
The interview is actually here.