In a recent guest blog post on Etsy (Mastering Depth of Field: Techniques for Dynamic Photos)
I wrote about working with your camera's manual aperture settings (aka: f-stop). Controlling this setting in both point and shoot and DSLR cameras helps you create really dramatic photos of your small objects:
- Read your camera manual and make sure you don't have a manual aperture adjustment setting. This may be listed under the Program or Manual mode section referring to "aperture" or "f-stop" or maybe even "exposure".
- If you are certain this adjustment isn't available, look for another setting called "spot focus". (Not spot metering - this is different and will not help your depth of field.) Spot focus will allow you to create a narrower depth of field by focusing on a smaller area in the center of your frame. Then you'll focus lock by holding your shutter button halfway down and recompose your shot according to the rule of thirds.
- Make sure your "macro" setting is on (look for the little flower)
- Practice obtaining the clearest focus possible - hold still, lean your body against something solid, hold your breath when taking the shot - all of these things can help a great deal.
- If you're still getting blurry shots, try using a tripod - especially if you normally hand hold your camera
- Use different angles and compositions to create more interesting photos
- Diagonal lines and off-centered subjects are much more interesting.
- Try lowering your camera to the same level as your item
- Change your background to find a texture (or remove texture) to compliment your item
- Color plays a huge role in the viewer's response to a photo
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