From 38,000 feet: We're going to set the camera for soft
portrait mode to "fuzz out" the background. We're going to pre-set the
focal distance and freeze the setting by holding the shutter button half-way
down. Then we are going to move the body of the camera closer to and farther
from the subject until we get the distance just right and then we're going
to release the shutter button so the camera can make last minute adjustments
then we're going to take the shot then we're going to e-mail the BigDealGuy
with the result. Thank you very much and don't let it happen again. :)
The camera has several adjustments that we can set up before we begin:
Press the Program button once for the Soft Portrait Mode. We get an icon
in the upper left of the view screen that shows a couple of people with
emphasis on the foreground. From the manual: "The Soft Portrait Mode creates
a soft background for subjects such as people or flowers."
Don't use the flash. The flash, when used this close, will flood
the image with bright light.
When you're at the small subject and you are ready to take the picture:
Adjust the zoom to 50% of range. The "slider" on the display in the upper
left corner, just below the Soft Portrait Mode icon, should be half way
between the "W" on the left and the "T" on the right. The W is for Wide
angle and the T is for Telescopic.
Now, micro adjust the zoom to get a sharp image of your hand while your
hand is at the distance you'd like to shoot the small subject.
Hold the shutter half-way down. This "freezes" the focus
distance and the light settings in the camera even when you remove your
hand from in front of the camera.
The picture of my hand below illustrates. My hand is about 2.5" from the
lens in the same light as the subject and I have micro adjusted the zoom
to get a very sharp image.
Below is a photo that shows the actual size of a flower growing in the
water in the front ditch.
With the shutter button held halfway down, we approach the flower and adjust
the distance between the subject and the lens until we can see great detail
in the subject.
When that happens, we can release the shutter button momentarily and the
camera will make adjustments for the actual lighting around the subject,
as opposed to the lighting conditions around our hand that we committed
to earlier when we "froze" the exposure settings.
Then we can snap the picture.
The photograph below shows the final effect.
Notice that the background is soft compared to the foreground.
Note: While insects can and will move around and can be difficult to locate
later, flowers pretty much stay rooted.
After you take several shots, go to the computer and look at the results.
Take some more shots. Practice the method until you get just what you want.
Then, later, when you're shooting that great shot of a bug, you'll be pretty
certain that you'll get it right the first time.