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I’m not shallow…

February 23, 2011

I just love a shallow depth of field.  One of the reasons I decided to get a camera was to improve my food photography, especially after I started blogging.  Since I was a little girl, I have loved looking at cookbooks and Martha Stewart magazines.  I love the bright soft light, with only a bit of food in focus while the background (and sometimes the foreground) are blurred out.  Here are some examples of pictures I adore:

 

I quickly learned you can’t get this look with a normal digital camera, so I asked around before buying my DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex).

Once I bought my DSLR, things greatly improved. I had more control over the camera so I was able to capture the light better (but trust me, I still have quite a bit of learning left to do) .  I have been reading non-stop since I bought it in November, but I could never get the bokeh I was looking for.  Notice that fancy word?  Can’t you tell I’ve been reading?  For those of you who don’t know what that means please see the following definition:

To pronounce it properly: it’s like Boca Raton {minus} Raton {equals} bokeh.

After more reading, and lots of trials with my current camera + lens, I realized I needed to get a macro.  I went into the local camera shop, and they let me give it a test ride before I bought it.  I took one photo and said “I’ll take it.”  Here’s my brand new 50mm Canon lens:

The store clerk called it “plastic fantastic.”  This is a fixed lens, which means you can’t zoom in or out using the lens – you have to move your body to control the “zoom.”  This is perfect for food photography since your subject is up-close and stationary.  If you’re taking portraits, I would suggest getting the more expensive brother of Mr. Plastic Fantastic, so you can adjust from farther away, but older brother is more expensive to give you a heads up.

For those of you who could care less here’s a simple side by side comparison of the lens my camera came with verses my brand new macro lens:

Check out that bokeh!  So in the future I hope my food photography improves, but in the meantime, I am loving playing with my new lens!

(There seems to be debate about lens vs. lense – if you know the answer to when you use “lens” and when you use “lense,” please send me a message!)

 

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2011 9:45 am

    You will love it! It is my favorite lens and it is fast too. I use it a lot for portraits so the subject really stands out against the blurred background!

    • February 23, 2011 9:53 am

      I took a few portraits last weekend of some friends, and I was in love with the result! I’ll post about them later! Hope you’re doing well Kayla! Your little girl is so precious!

  2. February 23, 2011 9:48 am

    I’ve never heard it called plastic fantastic, but I have heard it called the “nifty fifty.” I bought that lens and loved it for a little while, until it broke in half. Just be careful with it because it didn’t get the name plastic fantastic for no reason 😉
    What kind of camera are you using?

    • February 23, 2011 9:52 am

      Hey Corey! The clerk warned me that it’s a cheap little plastic shell – so I’m trying to be careful with it. I have a Canon Rebel T1i. Do you use Canon’s also?

      • February 23, 2011 10:34 am

        Yes, I have 5D’s right now. Are there any other lenses that you are looking to buy? I’m going to be selling a camera and some lenses soon.

      • February 23, 2011 11:38 am

        I guess any macro you have that has a low f stop but can zoom since mine limits me. Let me know when you’re selling things!! Thanks!

  3. February 23, 2011 10:00 am

    I tease brandon about his plastic fantastics when we first met! I’m such a photo nerd…who teases about such a thing! When you go to the store next time get one of those white science fair boards. You’ll use this as a reflector. Place your model or subject near a window (use a white sheer drape to diffuse the light if needed) and place your reflector on the other side of the subject to fill in the shadows. You’ll see how much of a difference this will make.

    So excited for you Melissa!

  4. February 23, 2011 1:09 pm

    I use Nikon, but I have the 35mm version of your 50mm and love-love-love it!! Have fun! Now I have to go experiment with a white board…

  5. February 23, 2011 1:10 pm

    PS — maybe its just my computer but some of your pictures aren’t loading in this post. ??

  6. February 24, 2011 9:46 am

    YOU go GIRL! Looks great! Can’t wait to see more!!!

  7. Thersa B Giffin permalink
    March 4, 2011 9:45 am

    Have fun!!! I have the same issue as Brantley, some of your images are not coming through.

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