Thrifty Thursday

Thrifty Thursdays feature photographs taken with equipment costing less than $500.

A young mantis surveys the territory.

[Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3]

The profound depth of field in digicam images is both a blessing and a curse. Backdrops boldly insert themselves into digicam photos no matter what precautions the photographer takes. Thus, photographing well with a digicam is in large part an excercise in backdrop management.

In naturally pleasing contexts (like a pastel blue sky, below), digicams handily outperform the more expensive SLRs. In complex environments (like the forest, above), digicam focal depth is a liability unless the photographer can compose creatively. In the top photo, I arranged the angle so the subject’s clearly focused silhouette falls into a gap in the cluttered background. The effect hits a sweet spot: an animal and its environment, without any ambiguity about the subject.

A mantis against the sky.

Although this is a young insect, it is still a preying mantis and it is still large for an arthopod. Thus, I did not need to crop to force the little Panasonic to “magnify” beyond its ability. These photographs work well, in my opinion, because they play to the Panasonic’s strengths.

2 thoughts on “Thrifty Thursday”

  1. While I’m really enjoying this series, it has left me feeling depressed that I can no longer blame my camera for my poor photographs. Your tips are helping, though!

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