Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hoy Americanos

While Bob hangs out with the boys, Mary watches the kids.  At times, they just looked everywhere - trying to find something.  Where have all the cowboys gone?

Photo tip of the Day:  It pays to know your camera and lens well.  On this one, I knew f5.6 was the sweet spot on the lens mounted to the camera that I was using.  At that aperture, I know I can get reasonably sharp focus on the subject - in this case, the mom and the children next to her - and still get a nice bokeh on the background.  (Actually, the focus was locked at the kid wearing the baseball cap.)  Any aperture higher would result in a sharper background, which is not a bad thing - but I wanted to project some depth in the picture.  I wanted to distance the children from behind.  I think a slightly blurry background worked well on this one because it fools the eyes in to thinking the picture was 3D.  This is the way we normally see.  Sometimes a totally blurred background works better if one wants to isolate the subject.  It gets tricky at wider aperture as the focus on the subject has to be dead on.  Missed it by a few inches and the focus will be somewhere else.  Hate when that happens.

Assignment:  Shoot at different apertures of the same subject and notice how the background changes.  Make mental notes of the results.  Next time you take a picture, recall which aperture you think is appropriate for the shot.  YMMB.

Hope your day goes well. - R

We finally sold the Chevy
When we had another baby
And you took the job in Tennessee
You made friends at the farm
And you joined them at the bar
Almost every single day of the week
I will wash the dishes while you go have a beer

[Paula Cole, Where Have All The Cowboys Gone]


Rachael said...

Oh, aperture, my teacher failed me on this. I didn't understand it, still don't. Thanks for the tips. Like the black and white, look at those eyes.

Vianne said...

I remember setting my aperture to 5.6 most of the time. 2.3 for up close & personal, and higher for taking pic of scenery. That's for my Canon AE1 manual camera, my first camera I bought before I came to United States.

Rob Castro said...

The AE1 is a classic. I couldn't afford one when I started shooting pictures. I was so dirt poor back then that I have to borrow my former girl friend's camera, which was a Diana. It's entirely made of plastic. Even the optics were plastic. The images look like it was shot with a lens wrapped in saran wrap. I thought they were cool as the blemishes on all my portraits were gone. My shots made women look glamorous.

Then I got the Ricoh, which is I think a Russian made camera. Half of the parts were also made of plastic. It probably would float on water. I love that camera. Then when I was in Germany, it got stolen. This shocked me for I never thought anyone would want it. The guy who stole it obviously did not know what it's worth, which is worthless.

F5.6 is the safest setting for most 35mm film camera. Same with digital SLR and point and shoots. Mostly anybody can shoot decent shots with this aperture. For this reason , it's also the most boring in my opinion. I mean it's hard to make a really killer shot with it because we are so exposed to a lot of images using this aperture.