srijeda, 26.10.2011.



Types Of Camera Lenses Explained

types of camera lenses explained

the vault: cold redux

the vault: cold redux

Pentacon six / 80mm ?2.8 / Portra 800
Location: Roppongi Hills, Tokyo, Japan
Notes: I like the below extract of Dave Beckerman's take on street photography and personally I prefer using prime lenses rather than zoom lenses for streetshots but each to their own.

Most types of photography can be easily defined by their subjects. A wedding photographer takes pictures of weddings. A portrait photographer poses someone and takes their picture. The nature photographer covers a wide area, but it is easy to categorize.

Street photography is difficult to define because it can encompass just about any subject.

If I were to ask you to name a few famous street photographers, you might pick, Garry Winnograd, Henri Cartier-Bresson, or maybe Robert Frank. But if I asked you to define street photography – that would be more difficult. You might say that street photography is candid pictures of strangers on the street. That might be a good start, but it doesn’t really describe street photography.

To start with, street photography doesn’t need to be done on “the street.” And it doesn’t need to be pictures of strangers. In fact, it doesn’t even need to be pictures of people, though it usually is. Although there are common subjects for street photography, it is not so much about the subject as it is the style of the photograph. I can easily imagine an astronaut orbiting the earth, using a street photography style.

Just as any object or scene can be painted with in a cubist style, just about any subject can be photographed in street-photography style. I say almost any subject, because the one thing that all street photos have in common are human beings, or human artifacts: things that were made by human beings. So what are the characteristics of this style which can be separated from the subjects of the image.

The most common and famous property of street-photography is the idea of capturing “the decisive moment.” The most well-known street moment may be the blurred image of a man trying to jump a puddle at the railway station by Cartier-Bresson. A moment sooner and you have the guy standing, looking at the large puddle. A moment later, and the man has fallen into the puddle, or cleared it somehow. You don’t really know. But capturing the moment, even if it is important, isn’t everything.

Suppose that photograph were taken with a long modern lens, and the figure was frozen at 1/8000th of a second in mid-air, and the background and foreground were blurred because the depth-of-field with a long lens is very narrow. Well, it might look very much that moment when a pitcher releases the ball in an important game. The foreground and background are blurred. Even the closest part of the pitching mound is out of focus. Can that be considered a street shot.

No. Why not? It’s the decisive moment alright – but without context – it isn’t street photography.

Since we’re imagining shots, let’s imagine that you are sitting in the dugout with a normal or wide angle lens, and you hear footsteps on top of the dugout. You wonder what is going on, and at the same time you prepare your camera, and the pitcher is taking his wind up in the background, and just as he let’s go of the ball, a naked streaker jumps from the top of the dugout onto the field. And you have snapped just as the figure was in mid-air, and the ball was coming to the plate, and the pitcher was finishing his follow-through. That’s a street shot. No street. No buildings. But you have caught two moments, and pretty much everything is in focus, and you can look at the picture and just be amazed. The viewer is as surprised as you were – though you had some idea that something was about to happen.

It’s that sort of moment, or juxtaposition of ideas, that street photographers are fascinated by. If you had a lot of money, you could dream up this still shot, and rent out the stadium and the team, and recreate this shot exactly as described – but that would not be street photography. And so long as nobody told about how the shot was set up and planned, it would be considered a great street shot. If everyone found out that they were duped, it might still be considered a great photograph – but not a great street shot.

The moment is not enough. To play by the rules, the shot really does need to be unplanned. It also needs to allow the eye to wander around and make it’s own conclusions about the meaning of the photograph. If street photography were a musical form – it might be jazz. It might be rock and roll. The style of music would have a measure of improvisation.

Street Photography is not the same as documentary photography

If you send our imaginary street photographer to photograph the President giving at a press conference, they return with pictures of the other photographers at the photo op. Journalistic images are a dime a dozen. Their style is about curiosity. They need find be surprised in order to press the shutter. And it’s not all based on juxtaposition, or th

Selective Background – Move Your Plant – Try Adding Elements

Selective Background – Move Your Plant – Try Adding Elements

The majority of flower shots I take are in backyard gardens and mostly in my wife’s garden. Each week something new appears and presents another subject to explore. The flower in this example was a potted plant on our porch. Since it was portable, I moved it. Since I was supposed to be cooking dinner on the patio grill I decided to grab my camera and enjoy the late afternoon sun. I had to work fast – I had about 20 minutes before it was time to eat.

The desired result from moving the plant was the following:
1.Find a simple background. The immediate view from our porch was a little distracting and I wanted a simple composure
2.Create pleasing out of focus bokeh
3.Selective simple subject – there were many flowers in the pot and by moving the pot I was able to isolate one
4.Control the ambient light. The aim was a backlit image using the late afternoon sun

The first few exposures after placing the plant were pleasing. I had placed the flower pot far enough away from the green background (flower leaves in the garden) to get a decent bokeh. I was also pleased that the flower was diagonal and filled the frame. I felt the side and back sunlight was working. The camera was on a tripod and since I liked the composition at this point, I was free to layer in new components in a deliberate and incremental fashion. A quick check on the grill confirmed that there was a good 15 minutes of cooking time left.

Impressed with my ability to work with natures’ light, I decided to add some light elements to the darker portions of the flower. The late afternoon sun was positioned in the upper right corner of the photo. I felt the lower left portion of the flower could use some splash.

We had some laundry drying in the yard and I borrowed two fleece coats (one black and one pink) that were on the rack.

The black coat went over my head and back of the camera/bellows. This allowed me to compose and review the work in low afternoon sunlight. Composing and focusing into a late afternoon sun made it a little difficult to view and review the image without the improvised hood.

The pink coat was placed a foot away from the flower. I thought pink was bright enough to add some fill in light and would also balance with the purple in the flower. The coat was just out of the image on the lower left corner. I used a bucket from the shed to place and hold the pink coat. I suppose the clothing drying rack or a chair would have done the job as well. The bucket was easier to fetch and I made a calculated guess my wife was less emotionally attached to it.

There were still a few minutes before I needed to tend to the grill, and just enough time to add a final element. A hand held diffused flash was placed in the lower right portion of the photo in an attempt to better expose the green stem.

Throughout these steps I used my hand and contorted my body to block some of the direct sun in the upper right portion of the photo. A rather interesting pose of me and I find this type of photography lends itself to the private confines of a backyard. No need to draw extra attention from my neighbors; my hand push reel mower handles that task quite nicely.

The photo/experiment was done when it was time to take the food off of the grill. My attention turned towards straightening up and explaining to my wife why I had a black coat over my head and that it was okay to move her carefully placed porch plant. Somehow I got a pass on using my daughter’s pink coat to aid with the light.
If I were to try it again, I am tempted to add a gel over the flash, perhaps a green gel to bring out the stem color. I probably would have experimented with shielding the sun a little more, either with some transparent tissue paper or bubble wrap or even something non transparent, such as a newspaper or magazine.

The photo was exposed at F16 for 1.5 seconds. It was made with a Canon XSI mounted on a M42 Pentax AutoBellows. I used a Fujinon 135 EP enlarging lens and something in the 100mm range would have also worked. Magnification (controlled by length of the bellows) was set to the point where the flower filled the frame. I used a Nikon SB28 DX flash in manual mode and synced with an inexpensive eBay wireless slave.

The camera, bellows and lens were mounted on a tripod. The tripod takes time to setup, but it speeds up the process when layering in components. With a tripod, once I got composure and focus in place I move on to the other elements. With a tripod, I am able to set it and forget it. It freed up my hands to control the flash placement and shade the flower from the sun. It also allowed for ambient light to be the primary source at a 1.5 second exposure.

At a certain point there is no right or wrong exposure and by working in steps and reviewing the work I was able to add elements to this photo. It also provided some insight in working with light and provided a 20 minute diversion before dinner.

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types of camera lenses explained

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26.10.2011. u 13:01 • 0 KomentaraPrint#

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