Getting the Shot: Melting Snow Bokeh

February 22, 2013  •  2 Comments

So remember that awhile back I posted the shot below on my Facebook page?  I promised to write a blog post about how I got the shot, so let's get to it!

Melting.

(Canon 7D, Canon 55-250mmIS @123mm, ISO 100, f/5, 1/8000 sec.)

One clear, sunny afternoon I noticed that the dusting of snow on our deck was melting.  Little puddles of water everywhere.  With the sun shining on them from behind, the result was breathtaking:  a spectacular sea of diamonds.

Lawd-have-mercy, what's a girl to do with all that gorgeousness?  Let's just say I couldn't get my camera fast enough since 1) my rule is that you should never wait to capture a moment of beauty if your camera is within shouting distance (as in, 'Honey, please be a dear and bring my camera NOW!") and 2) it wouldn't be long until those diamonds ceased to exist at all.

I snapped the zoom lens on my camera, sat on the floor in front of the patio window, zoomed until I found a pleasing composition, picked a pretty puddle to focus on, and started shooting.  Then I decided I wanted a shallower angle so I laid my poor middle-aged front-side on the cold, hard floor.  (I ain't gonna lie:  photography rule #3 is that you do what it takes to get the shot.)

If you're wondering why I chose my zoom lens, there are two reasons.  Because I was sitting in my house and not actually on the deck, I needed the extra reach that the zoom would provide.  But I also chose it because I know from experience that zoom lenses (or lenses with long focal lengths) give us the perspective that the foreground and background of the image are closer together than they actually are (a term some call lens compression).  And I knew from experience that this closeness combined with the shallow angle at which I took the picture would give me the great bokeh I wanted.

Now go ahead and raise your hand if you've never heard the word "bokeh" before.  Bokeh is a Japanese term for the out-of-focus parts of a picture that our brains find pleasant.  As in "oooh, look at that beautiful bokeh!" or "I don't know about that blurry stuff but it sure is purdy!"  (Who knew, right?)  Many, many photographers are always on the lookout for good bokeh opportunities.

Anyway, without getting too technical, that's the simplest way to describe how I 'got the shot'.  I then converted it to black and white mostly because, well, I just plain like black and white.  Good stuff.

And finally, here's another of my favorites taken during the session:

Winter Shadows

(Canon 7D, Canon 55-250mmIS @55mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec., no focal point)

(Did I mention I LOVE intentionally out-of-focus pictures?  I think that's because it's what my world looks like when I'm not wearing my glasses/contacts.  But that's a post for another day.)

Please comment, "like", (links at top) or share if you've learned a little something new today!

-Callie


Comments

CallieMarie Photography
There's always a reason. :-) Thanks so much, Sonja!
Sonja(non-registered)
Wow and there really is reasoning behind all of this : ) Here I thought you were just amazing : )
I think I will choose to believe that yes you are AMAZING

thanks
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