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Monday, July 7, 2008

The Magic of Picasa - Using picasa to Create Singular theme/Isolation Compositions

It is very very difficult to create photographs in which the background remains muted and out of focus with an ordinary point and shoot camera. Even when the aperture is wide open, fixed lens digital cameras like canon powershot A630(& most basic digicam models) capture a lot of the background. In his book Understanding Exposure, Bryan Peterson says that an f/2.8 aperture length(which is the widest aperture on most fixed-lens digicams) corresponds to a modest f/11 on an SLR. You can try to get additional lenses, and related accessories to over come this problem - but these tend to be heavy on your purse.

Does this mean that only people with SLR's or people with a fat wallet can create singular theme compositions? NO WAY! With Picasa, its pretty easy for anyone to do it!

Here is a simple three step process to create singular theme/isolation compositions!
i)Using your digicam's widest aperture setting, (if your camera doesn't support manual mode or aperture priority mode, try with Auto mode) and take a picture of your object against the background. For example, you could try capturing a tiny leaflet against an array of leaves, or a single flower with a garden of flowers in the background..

ii)Now load the photo into Picasa. In the Tuning tab, there is an option called Shadows. Increase the shadows setting and play around with it so that you reduce the light falling on the background. Make sure that there is enough light on the target object.

iii)Now, go to the Effects tab and click 'soft focus'. Picasa lets you select the object you want to focus on and blurs the rest of the photo. You can play around with the 'size' of the selected area and the 'amount' of blurring desired. Just remember that the 'Amount' field dictates the level of 'blurring' of the background.


A Singular Theme Composition showing a single plant against a background of plants

Thats it! You are all set to create awesome looking singular theme compositions !

3 comments:

Filarial said...

soon I am gonna buy a camera and then use all these techniques... u r gonna get hounded and feed back..:D

by the by -- missed being in chicago..:( but got a lot of gossip on u..;) ... its gonna come bite u soon.. soon... :D :D

DHIVYA ARASAPPAN said...

G, Good post! should be very useful for folks interested in takin good photos without spending too much on expensive cameras and lens.

And maybe it ll be good if you put up the before pic as well.

passion@itsbEsT said...

hey prashanth ! thanks da :) what kinda gossip did u get? :P
@dhivya - thnks for the comments. keep reading!