Whadderyoo Looking At? : Oh Fair New Mexico

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by Karen Fayeth

Whadderyoo Looking At?

by at 11:22am

January 31, 2011    8 Comments

There is so much I have yet to learn about making good photographs. Each step along the way seems like I’ll never sort it out, but I keep at it. I snap photo after photo until I finally understand what makes a particular aspect work. It’s usually one photograph that turns out just right, and I say “hey, maybe I’m starting to get the hang of this.”

My current studies are about macro photography. I’ve owned a macro lens for a quite a while now, but have used it only rarely as I’ve never happy with the results. It’s the photographer’s fault, not the lens. It’s a fine lens, but a macro in the hands of an inexperienced photographer can yield some funky stuff (and not in a good way).

To me, a macro lens is amazing because you can get such detail, but that detail can come at the cost of clarity if you don’t have it focused just right.

Well, the practice continues, and since my pets must suffer their fate as the subject of my ongoing photography education, today I present to you another photo of my beloved male betta named Benito.

Last evening I pointed the macro lens his way when it was his turn to cool his fins in a holding cup. Freshly treated water in his tank was warming up to a comfy level while he waited.

Snapping him in the holding cup helps because he doesn’t have as much room to move and spin and twirl and turn his body into a perfect u-shaped form, thus creating ever more blurry photos of half a fin or an out of focus gill.

He’s very responsive when I speak to him and comes right up and looks at me. Sure, he wants me to feed him, but I like to think it’s because he knows I’m his human and here to take care of him.

I like looking into his little eyes, and wanted very much to capture a photo where you could see the clear domes over his little fishy eyeballs.

I think I succeeded. He was very patient while I fiddled with the focus and turned the knobs on my camera and cursed and snapped away.

For this photo, I used a very shallow depth of field and I like how his head is very clear and the rest of his body blurs to soft focus.

Benito is not really a fan of having a camera aimed at him, so I only took about eight photos, but I’m pretty pleased with the results.

I’m learning!

click image for larger size

This week’s Theme Thursday assignment is turn.

Photo by Karen Fayeth and subject to the Creative Commons license, as posted in the right hand column.


8 Responses to “Whadderyoo Looking At?”

  1. brian says:

    nice…love seeing the textures in his head…macro shots are fun…

  2. Karen Fayeth says:

    Brian – Macro shots are fun, but for me they are really difficult. I can’t seem to get the technique right. So I keep trying.


  3. HJ Smith says:

    Great shot. I used to have a male beta so I know they don’t wait around for anything, except food. Taking the photo must have been easy though, compared to getting Benito’s signature on the model release form. Keep up the good work!

  4. Karen Fayeth says:

    HJ – Benito doesn’t get out of bed for less than six food pellets a day.

  5. JamieDedes says:

    I heart Benito. Smooch …

  6. A.Decker says:

    Beautiful! I think you’re gettin’ it.
    That’s cool, how he comes up when you speak to him.

  7. Karen Fayeth says:

    Jamie – He hearts you back too! He’s such a sweet little fish.

  8. Karen Fayeth says:

    A.Decker – When I first bought him and drove him home, I sang to my fish. I don’t think that sat especially well with him. But chatting, he’s all good with that. He’s a bit of a ham and likes to show off…..