Soft Background with a P&S

Most of the time I’m photographing with a big and heavy digital SLR.  The quality is incredible and I love the results.  But it’s a heavy thing to lug around.  Sometimes it’s fun to go light and just carry a pocket digital camera.  In my case, it’s a Canon S70 that I bought in 2005.

Fairy Wands Seeds There are some things that the little camera does very well and others that are more challenging. This shot, of Fairy Wands seeds, is one of those things that’s more difficult to do with a pocket camera for a couple of reasons. First, it focuses closest at the widest setting of the zoom lens. Second, the sensor is pretty small. Both factors generally lead to great depth of field so blurring the background is hard to do.

For this shot, I used the manual focus mode and set it for as close as it would focus, which is only 2-3 inches from the front of the lens. I used aperture priority and set it for f/5, about the middle of the range. Then I moved in until the seedpods looked sharp on the LCD on the back of the camera. Since I was moving and the wind was blowing the seeds around I shot a bunch of frames to get a good one. I find it very hard to confirm sharp focus with the LCD. At least today it was cloudy so the display was more visible.

The photo was made at the Bellevue Botanical Garden perennial border.

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