Web Lesson
Portrait Mode--For Floral Photography

Scene modes are pre-programmed "suggestions" for setting up your digital camera for specific subjects. Many digital cameras have Scene modes located in their screen menus, while others have them on the command dial of the camera itself. Scene modes include Sports (also known as Action, for making pictures with as fast a shutter speed as the light and camera allow) and Night Scene (which slows down the shutter speed and often adds a flash for illuminating close-up subjects). But not every Scene mode need be used for the specific subject the instruction book might recommend. Here's an example when I used Portrait mode for some close-up shots of flowers. Basically, Portrait mode is set up for fairly close subjects and sets the aperture fairly wide (so that the background is out of focus.) I modified the mode with some other menu items.

Camera: Casio EXP-600, zoom lens set at 28mm
Setting: Portrait mode
Menu Modifications: High Color Saturation, Soft Sharpness, Normal Contrast
Software: Adobe Elements 2

1) Here's the photo right out of the camera. The softness is a result of setting the Scene mode at Portrait (which softened the background) and the image characteristic in the Sharpness menu to Soft.



2) I used an Adjustment Layer to darken the overall photo (2). I chose Levels (3) with a Multiply Blending mode (4) and then moved the midpoint levels adjustment slider in toward the black point. Multiply Blending mode, in essence, doubles the exposure on the picture.



3) I liked the effect but wanted to add another graphic element to the scene, so in Filters I chose Add Noise (5) and moved the slider until I liked the effect.

4) Here's the final. (6)



Want to work on this image yourself? Just right click to copy it and paste it.

Want to try out Elements? Check the Adobe website (www.adobe.com) for a trial.

Want to learn more about the Casio EXP-600? Check out our full report in our archives (http://www.shutterbug.net/features/0904sb_firstlook) or visit the Casio web site at www.casio.com.