Thank you. No, I haven't tried that, but will. I converted this from color and then did contrast and brightness adjustments. It wasn't that hard to manually focus, at least for something like this. Now I don't think I could do it fast enough when trying to get pictures of the dogs.
I like the 1st and last ones the best. The middle ones look a little soft to me. You didn't say what your settings are, but I would increase either your SS or AV one stop. I would like to see more contrast in your wife's face.
Here are my first two productive attempts, taken on a tripod. The lighting wasn't perfect, but I used manual settings and got it to balance out. The focus thing was tough because it was a little windy at first.
Canon Rebel Xti, Manual Mode, SS 1/400, Aperture F/5.6, ISO 400, Focal Length 44 mm
Canon Rebel Xti, Manual Mode, SS 1/125, Aperture F/8.0, ISO 400, Focal Length 55 mm
Emyly - These are very nice. Watch centering your subjects. I think #1 could use about half the dead space to the left removed or you should shot it vertically. On #2 it's not so obvious that the flower is centered because the stem and plant are on the left side giving it a weighted feel. I still might take a little off the right and top of this picture.
The 1st shot looks a little out of focus. If the wind was blowning, it's probably camera shake. Remember the flower is the subject and the stamen should be in sharp focus. The focus on #2 is great.