Sunday, December 15, 2013

Art... From the Hip

EOS 5D, ISO 800, -0.5 EV, Sigma 50mm f1.4, 1/90 f6.7, DxO Optics Pro Ilford Delta-400 Emulation
I can't say much more about this picture than I already wrote about it in the Caption... except for one thing.... I wasn't looking through the viewfinder! And, oh yes - my ancient EOS 5D Mk-1 doesn't have Live View. But, it's certainly one of the best photos I've ever taken. This was at a community Christmas paty, I was sitting down in a chair with my camera switched on and hanging from my neck at waist level, so I simply took blind aim and clicked the shutter.

I took quite a few other shots at this party, and most of them really are not very good... I had the lens aperture open too wide. I thought I had to be at around f2.8, because everything was indoors, with no flash, so for all of the other shots, I was jogging about at between f2 and f3.5. People write reviews about these fantastic, and expensive lenses that'll open up to f1.4, but of course everyone knows that getting something in focus at such a huge aperture is next to impossible. So, how did it come about that I happened to have it set to f6.7, the lighting was ample, although indoors, and these two attractive girls would be right in front of me? And furthermore, my best guess at shooting blind from this low angle would be just about as good compositionally, as anyone could ever do???

But it's not the good providence of my aim that is so remarkable here. Instead, the question is, how is it that my Aperture got set to f6.7 when all afternoon I had been shooting at f2.8, and hoping the "quality" of the big Sigma lens would come through? How indeed? This shot would never have worked at f2.8. At least one of the girls would've been badly out of focus.

I really learned a lot with this party. First and foremost, no matter how good somebody says your lens is, f2.8 or bigger is still going to leave stuff out of focus - that's the whole idea - and if you're shooting into a group of people that requires some depth of focus, even f3.5 might not be enough. Second, I was forgetting how great the old original 5D is at suppressing noise, meaning I can safely push into under-exposure to get a decent shutter speed, because of it's low pixel density. I had written much about this, but for some reason, forgot all about it at this party, and ended up with a lot of badly focussed shots as a result - except for this one.

LIVE AND LEARN - and also, sometimes, a great photo is nothing more than dumb-ass luck!

Oh. By the way... I have no idea who the girls were, and they have no idea that I took their picture!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Reader's comments are welcome, and are subject to moderation by the author.