Photo Friday: Cherry Blossoms

For one week out of every year, the two cherry trees in front of my house make me the happiest person on Earth.

That week is now.

Also, the instructor of my photography class earlier this year said cameras automatically focus on what is closest. My camera missed that memo. Could someone please explain why my camera likes to focus on something behind my damn subject? I swear to all that is holy I focused on the center cluster of blossoms in each shot of this series, yet some of the shots turned out like this, with blossoms further away in focus instead:

Seriously, if anyone can help me on this, I’ll be your friend forever.

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25 Responses to “Photo Friday: Cherry Blossoms”

  1. Karly Robin
    Friday, March 23, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    Beauty. I love Cherry Blossom trees – I wish one would grow in my backyard.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

      Our two are rather old and pretty sickly the past few years, but the way they still bloom once a year is worth trying to keep them happy as long as possible.

  2. Tracy
    Friday, March 23, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    I think these pictures are stunning! Are you using auto or manual focus? This is one of my favorite blogs and she gives a lot of advice on photography:

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

      Thanks, Tracy, I’ll check out that link.

      I usually use auto focus (although I do try to lock in a focus point if the dot that lights up isn’t the one I had in mind). Maybe I’m getting old, but my eyesight and my tiny viewfinder aren’t sufficient for me to use manual focus. Nothing’s in focus when I try to focus manually.

      My one manual trick if my camera’s bugging out on me and changing which dots it auto focuses on is to get the dot I want and then flip the switch to manual so it won’t try to refocus the next time I depress the button. I do this if I want to take a shot in the dark — set up the shot the way I want it with the lights on, flip the switch to manual focus then turn the lights off and take the shot (that’s how I got my shots of my vaseline glass under black light).

  3. Kathy
    Friday, March 23, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    I’m visiting from the Not Mommy Hop.

    Love the pictures! The tree limbs look like they are in clouds of blossoms!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

      Hi Kathy, I was so glad the weather was nice while they were in peak bloom, I sat outside on the porch a lot and stared at them.

  4. ladyalyss
    Friday, March 23, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    I think it is an autofocus thing… the camera focuses on what it can see the clearest, which often is what is closest, but not always. Try zooming out a little and holding down the shutter button but NOT all the way, so it will focus on something, and you can see what before the picture is taken. If it’s focused on what you want, zoom in gradually, repeating the hold-down process to be sure it’s still able to focus on what you want. I have a Canon Rebel t1i and that seems to work for me.

    Lovely cherry trees, though! I had one of those in my backyard growing up, and early spring was the nicest, because all the fruit trees would be in bloom. :-) Sopretty.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

      Thanks for the tip. Sometimes I think my camera is possessed, like the time it focused on a tree on the edge of my shot 50 feet behind my nephew opening his birthday presents. But I’m sure some of it is user error. I’m trying to practice more often rather than only taking pictures on special occasions.

  5. Ms. HalfEmpty
    Friday, March 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    I don’t have photo advice, but the Cherry Blossom season is near and dear to my (cold black) heart since my husband proposed a few years ago during the Cherry Blossom Festival fireworks in DC.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

      That IS a heartwarming story. I love the cherry blossoms, the trees were one of the reasons I wanted to buy this house. I try to get to the Tidal Basin each year, but I’ve never been to the fireworks, even though this is my 16th year here. Oops.

  6. Chaotically Yours
    Friday, March 23, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    Not Mommy Hopping.

    These pictures are prettyful.

    As to your camera, my first thought went to possession. Maybe some dead photographer trying to force your hand? :) I’m living in horror-land lately.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

      I prefer your explanation to my being a moron! Plus, it would justify my buying a new camera which I would like to do.

  7. Ada
    Friday, March 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    Just beautiful, even if you were having trouble focusing the camera. I’m not help there; I’m a total “point and shoot” sort of photography. I love cherry blossoms but we don’t have any in my neck of the woods. Surest sign that spring’s here in pussywillows.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

      Ah yes, I remember well the pussywillows of my youth. And lilacs. There aren’t many lilac bushes down here and I miss them.

  8. Susi (@no1susi)
    Friday, March 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    Since you’re in a photography class I assume you already have a good camera? Can it be some setting you need to change? My new camera has some setting that makes it blur the background, and the opposite as well I think.
    I love your pictures! So springish!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

      I have the original (as far as I remember) Canon digital SLR. It probably needs to be checked out. If there’s nothing wrong with it, maybe I need glasses.

  9. TriGirl
    Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    I know nothing about picture-taking, but I’m here from the Not Mommy hop and just want to say I love cherry blossoms too! I would love to have that in my yard!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

      The rain and wind has blown many of the blossoms off the trees already. I wish they lasted a little longer, but they are so pretty when they’re here.

  10. Rebecca Latson Photography
    Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    Not knowing what brand you use, I can tell you on my Canon, there is a little button in the back that looks like a little square with dots in it. It’s the AF (auto focus) point display button, and every time you push on it while looking at the top LCD screen on your camera, you will see those dots change. Whichever “dot” you choose, that is where your camera is going to focus. If you push the button to select *all* those focus points (my camera has 9 of ’em), then your camera will focus on whatever is closer and that may not always be the subject you see in the middle of your view finder. When you look through the viewfinder and hold down on your shutter button halfway, you should see that focus point light up when the object is in focus. And naturally, there are more ways to do this than just that little button, so it could be you accidentally “flicked a switch” to get the wrong focus setting. You do have a user’s manual, don’t you? Ahem.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

      Thanks, this is helpful. I do use these features, but one thing I didn’t mention when I emailed you that may be the root of some of the bad shots is the fact that sometimes I lose the halfway hold of the button and even though I think I am careful to never shoot without checking where the red dot is, I bet sometimes the second press yields a different auto focus point and I just don’t notice. I don’t think it’s all user error though, because sometimes the wrong thing is in focus even when I lock the auto focus point. I need to make sure I stay vigilant and probably also have the camera checked out.

  11. Chibi Jeebs
    Monday, March 26, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    ADORE cherry blossoms! I hope we’ll see some out here, or that will be one more thing to add to my homesick list. 😉

    • logyexpress
      Friday, April 6, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

      The double pink variety that blooms a couple of weeks later is in peak now and they are gorgeous. Where are you from?

      • Chibi Jeebs
        Saturday, April 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

        We moved from the BC coast to Edmonton, AB at the end of January. :)

  12. Sandra Nachlinger
    Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    I just found the Not Mommy hop and I’m following it.
    Regardless of the focus, your cherry blossom photos are lovely. I take pictures of the blooms in my yard every spring (daffodils, tulips, crocus, pink dogwood), as if I hadn’t seen them every single year before. They still seem new to me after the Pacific Northwest’s dark gray winter.

    • logyexpress
      Friday, April 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

      I do the same thing–I have so many cherry blossom pictures it’s ridiculous. But there’s always a new angle, right?

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