Entries in 50mm (35)
Just a simple dandelion at the end of its flowering life ready for the wind or a young child to come by and send its parachuted seeds in flight. Do kids still even do such things on warm spring days out in open green spaces? I hope so.
I like to photograph motorcycles with a 50mm lens. I saw this Harley-Davidson parked in downtown St. Petersburg Florida. Using a 50mm f/1.8 lens lets me select only a part of the motorcycle to show in focus by using a large aperture creating a shallow DoF. I like this style for motorcycles where the bike is shown in ever increasing blur from front to back.
Using a 50mm lens up close also means the whole motorcycle cannot be fit into the frame, which I think is a plus. It is much easier to get creative with composition with focal length restrictions.
It has been nearly two years since I first had a 1-on-1 Photography Lesson with Jim. That one was out in Sawgrass Lake Park. Our second lesson was very different. We met in downtown St. Petersburg in the late evening for a specialized night photography lesson, focusing on handheld shots using a 50mm f/1.8 lens. Jim is a great fan of theme parks and often visits them at night when all the attractions are colorfully lit up. Downtown St. Pete makes for a passable substitute as many of the restaurants and buildings along beach drive use their fare share of vibrant LED lighting.
Once the sun went down and it was truly night, the settings used for hand holding such shots get pretty set in stone, though not without some room for tweaking. Basically I instructed Jim to use f/1.8 ISO 800 and 1/60th most of the night. As some buildings and signs had varying levels of brightness, he could sometimes use ISO 400 and even a few times ISO 200. Still, without a tripod, night photography even at f/1.8 is going to require high ISOs.
I look forward to seeing what colorful and creative night theme park shots Jim makes on his next trip over to Orlando.
I met Julianna this morning for our second of four 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lessons in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. Our first lesson last week was a general overview of how to use her Canon 7D with 18-55mm lens in manual mode and which settings needed to be changed when. Today we swapped lenses and used her 50mm f/1.8 lens the whole morning.
I am a big fan of 50mm lenses and how they can "create something out of nothing" because of their great ability to make very shallow DoF shots. When you can make the entire background become bokeh with ease, you can be very selective in how you portray your subject in frame. In the above shot Julianna modeled for a demonstration of using natural light and shallow DoF to make a fun portrait right on a plain city sidewalk.
Julianna also learned to be careful when creating such shallow DoF shots and that framing the shot first and then moving the single focus point on to the subject is safer than the usual set the focus point in the center on your subject, then recompose.
For our second 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson I met Quincy in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida on an overcast afternoon. This weather was very welcome as we were set to use only 50mm f/1.8 lenses during the lesson. The overcast skies made available light scarce even hours before sunset was to arrive. We took a route through the skyscrapers of downtown passing by a few favorite spots with a small fountain, a grimey alley and different kinds of lights that can be used to make a great background bokeh.
More than the first lesson, I gave composition advice and how to find a shot with a 50mm lens. With its large aperture of f/1.8, a 50mm lens can often make a shot out of nothing, which is of course much harder to see than shooting a landscape that is right there in front of you. Using a 50mm lens requires being able to see how a shallow depth of field shot is going to look with your naked eye. Background is often the key, though that is often the key for any type of photograph if you think about it!