15 August 2011

My 40-150mm and Fort George

Last year, my husband bought a camera for me for Mothering Sunday. Isn't he sweet? Because it was a gift, there was no discussion about what type or what lenses or anything. In fact, honestly, I'd never even taken one picture with a DSLR before he gave me that sweet gift in March 2010.
I immediately fell in love with the quality of photos so far beyond the old digital point and shoot we had from 2004 (which, by the way, was also a gift - from his parents: Clearly the "making memories last" kind of family. I love them.)

The camera came with 2 lenses, a 14 - 42mm, and a 40 - 150mm. Until this year, I never used the 40-150mm for anything except landscapes. I always felt like I had to step out of the action to capture the action, so I just put it aside and stayed with the handy 14-42mm - almost all the time. In addition to the fact that I was able to capture more area without backing up, I also loved the fact that the aperture setting went lower. Down to 3.5, whereas my 40-150mm only goes down to 4. In all of my early reading, it seemed like the aperture setting was the key to getting those great shots where the stuff in front is in focus, and the back is blurry. And yes, I now know what bokeh is but I still feel uncomfortable using it. Is it a noun? an adjective? I'm definitely not fluent in photography.

picture I took of the "Y" family earlier this year with my 14-42mm

Well, the more I took pictures and read forums and blogs and articles and my camera's manual, the more I came to realize that the look I desire is actually a really complex relationship between your distance from the subject, the subject's distance from its background, how much your lense compresses that area, and then, finally, how precise your lens' focus is within that range. There are crazy algorithms and lots of confusing diagrams to explain this, if you're willing to figure it out. I should be: but I'm not yet. I decided on the trial/error route, at least for now.

So, (after fixing a broken lens mount flange all by myself. thank you. That's another story.), I attached the 40-150mm, leaving the 14-42 at home so I wouldn't be tempted to return to it, and enjoyed a gorgeous day in the sunny Scotland summertime at Fort George. They were having a Celebration of the Centuries. Which is a strange title because, actually, the focus was on the different soldiers/warriors from this land, from the Pictish people to Jacobites, to the modern day. It was an exciting day with people dressed up from all the time periods and lots of activities for all ages.

Here are a few of my favourite shots from the day - all with my 40-150mm:

As always, any constructive criticism is much appreciated!
Post a Comment