30 thoughts on “Pine Tree

    • Sandra, I’m not sure the technique is covered in the D90 manual, but here’s how you set it up to program the AE-L/AF-L button on the back of the camera (thus the term “back button focusing”): To make the switch to BBF:

      1. Access your Menu Settings (from back of camera)
      2. Access/select your pencil/edit icon
      3. Access/select β€œf controls”
      4. Select f4 β€œAssign AE-L/EF-L Button”
      5. Highlight and select AF-ON
      And then be sure to change your autofocus settings to AF-C.

      Now you just have to grasp what the principle is all about to use it πŸ™‚


  1. Wonderful Stacy; an extremely beautiful image, very well done! I first thought in a bike wheel.
    Though, what you were trying to avoid is what precisely made the image more attractive and interesting; I mean, the motion effect the breeze produced. I thought it was another exercise on that subject. Then, my question is, what back bottom focusing for? What did you get with that technique? I’ve never used it for focusing, only for exposure!


    • Thanks, Jaime – you’re right, I could have used the photo solely as an exercise in motion – perhaps I’ll try that another day and compare the results πŸ™‚

      Karen commented right before you and asked about back button focusing. So as not to be redundant, have a look at my reply to Karen. The whole concept is aimed at getting tack sharp photos, especially of moving subjects. Because I had focused my camera in the center of the pine needles, that’s what stayed in focus even with a tiny bit of movement in the breeze. Had I focused it on the ends of a group of needles, those would have stayed in focus while the other parts of the image blurred. Had my depth of field been larger, I think the movement wouldn’t have been as noticeable even with focusing on the center. I’ll have to try that as well.

      As I said to Karen, I’m new to this and still trying to figure it all out.


  2. Nice one Stacy, This photo really appeals to me, the colour, the lines and the vignette? What did you use. and back button focusing… may need a post on that subject, I hadn’t heard of that before πŸ™‚


    • Thanks, Karen! I post-processed in Lightroom (of course :)) and set the highlight vignette to -35, and then tweaked the midpoint, roundness, and feathering. As for back button focusing, it’s something I’m just learning about and I’m still trying to grasp the concept (hence, the practice). With BBF, you uncouple the shutter button from the focus function. It replaces the practice of pressing the shutter halfway to focus and then recomposing your shot. Instead, you use the AF-ON button to focus (or in my case, I had to program one of my buttons to function as the AF-ON button as my D90 doesn’t have a dedicated one) and the shutter to take the picture. And you set your camera to AF-C (continuous Auto Focus). It’s a great method for capturing tack sharp images of moving subjects, but can also be used with a stationary object. I’ve googled and read quite a few articles on it. If you’re interested in learning more, let me know and I’ll send you the links πŸ™‚


  3. I have to go back and find out what a vignette is because I LOVE this photograph! And handheld, too! A starburst of green — like fireworks in the night sky.Thrilling!


    • I thought of fireworks too, Debby! I’m pretty excited about how this turned out, so thanks for that wonderful reaction πŸ™‚ Vignetting is the technique of darkening chosen areas of a photo to place more emphasis on the subject and help direct the viewer’s eye to where the photographer wants it to go. It’s done in post-processing. 98% of the time, I use some form of vignette in my photos, just changing the strength of it. Now you don’t have to go back and find out πŸ˜‰


  4. Love this shot Stacy, so creative! The colour is great and the vignette works perfectly. Despite the title I’m still not really sure exactly what I’m looking at, but it just draws you in. Fantastic effort πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Ben! It’s actually the end of a branch on a white pine tree πŸ™‚ It was a bit breezy, so I spent some time standing by the branch, eye to the viewfinder, waiting for any stillness whatsoever to try and get the shot (my neighbors probably think I’m a bit eccentric!). It was an experiment in back button focusing, so I didn’t use my tripod. Glad you like it, and thanks for commenting!


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