Very early in their blogging experience Garden bloggers find that the digital camera is their best friend. When I started blogging back in October of last year I discovered that illustrating my posts was essential to having a successful blog. People thrive on pictures. I've noticed that when a post has pictures more people are likely to read through the post. Readers like to look at the images and have a visual connection to the topics being written about. Usually images are more than just eye candy, they help to convey the message. The images can break up the text and help to make the post easier to read. Sometimes I just want to share an interesting plant or a nice landscape which is nearly impossible to do without a picture.
Putting pictures in Blogger can be difficult sometimes. I generally have to move them around several times to get them where I want them. Sometimes the pictures don't fit right when I do post them and I have to go back in and edit their size or placement. What I don't like about Blogger is that you can only upload one picture at a time. I would love to be able to pick 4-5 pictures for a single post and click once and have them all appear. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way!
To make the pictures look better before they go online you can do a few things.
Here's my disclaimer: I'm not an expert at photography, just an aspiring amateur. These tips are just what I have noticed since we bought our first digital camera.
- Use different perspectives. Sure an overall view of a plant looks great, but why not try from a different angle to change things up a little? To the right is a weeping cherry tree photograph that I took from underneath its canopy.
- Crop your image. Using the free software that comes with your computer you can cut out the stuff you don't like in the picture. A good example of this is at David Perry's Photography blog. He has a great tutorial for cropping pictures that is well worth a look at! When you crop you can highlight what you want to talk about and remove the distractions. This takes a little more time on the front end but will make the posts more interesting. In this cropped picture is of the same weeping cherry you can see the buds that are about to break.
- Don't lose your focus. Make sure you know how your camera focus works and how to utilize it.
- Zoom, zoom, zoom. I use the optical zoom function on our camera a lot. Unfortunately it is only a 3x optical zoom. My camera does have a 4x digital zoom but I have found that the digital zoom is nearly worthless. If you aren't absolutely still or your subject moves the digital image becomes blurry. When taking images of plants I can move close to the plant then use the optical zoom to get even closer.
- The right lighting is important. I prefer to take pictures without the flash. If I have enough natural light around I get a better picture. The flash adds unnatural shadows to the surroundings that I don't like in the image.
- Take lots of pictures! With the advent of digital cameras the concern of wasting film is gone. I take several images of each plant and just pick the best of the bunch. Just keep shooting.
Here is my next question, what do you like and dislike about your digital camera? Our Camera is an Olympus Camedia D-560 Zoom. It has a 3x Optical Zoom and a 4X digital zoom, with 3.2 mega pixels. It takes good pictures but devours batteries like the rabbits devoured my veggies last year. We use rechargeable batteries to help keep battery costs down. It has a timer which helps to take those group family photos during the holidays. I would really like to upgrade to a better camera sometime this year, one with a much better optical zoom. Something in the 12-18x range would be nice, the more the better.
Is there a camera you would recommend? Also do you have any photography advice to add?
As a side note I edited this post 4 times to get the pictures where I wanted them.
Labels: camera, photography