It’s late winter here in Ohio, and while we’ve already had our first tease of spring, it’s cold and damp out today — a perfect excuse to look back to a photo from the middle of summer last year.  This photo also illustrates the “Get Out of the Car” principle.  I had no idea when I shot these flowers that there was a bee in the frame — it wasn’t until I pulled this photo up in post-processing that I saw her.  Needless to say, I wish I’d been a fraction of a second slower so I’d have the whole bee in-frame, but I’ll settle for this.

This shot is also an example of the Panasonic FZ28 working in its best setting — strong sunlight.  Under these conditions, there’s plenty of light for the small-ish sensor, and you can put the great zoom lens can work without fear of slowing the shutter or introducing lots of noise (I shot at ISO 100).

Also note the bokeh, or blurring of the background on this shot.  Many people will tell you that you just can’t get bokeh out of a point & shoot camera, but that’s not true.  Even at a fairly modest f/6.3 aperture, I got some fairly decent bokeh here because I was zoomed in on the subject, and because the background foliage sat at some distance to the subject.  In this case, DOFMaster’s online calculator shows a depth of field (DOF) of around a foot at a shooting distance of 15 feet (estimated).  This works out perfectly to focus all of the flowers (and the bee!), but blur the background quite well.

If you keep these principles in mind as you’re shooting, you can produce some very pleasing shots with a very reasonably-priced camera.  As always, see the gallery for more shots like this.