One of the best things you can do to keep learning in photography is join a local camera club. I’m a member of Camera35 here in St John’s and there is always new stuff to learn and talk about at the regular meetings. One of the other things they do is organize monthly photo outings and unfortunately I rarely get to go to those, weekends are always busy. However this weekend they organized a photo scavenger hunt on a Sunday afternoon and I was free. It was fun, especially since I took along more lenses than just my 50mm and tried to use each lens depending on what the topic was. Some were wide angle, some were zoomed in and some were shallow depth of field. For example this topic was “Starts with the letter M” so I found a red “Muster Station” sign and used a shallow depth of field (f2.2) to focus on the M. I went a touch too shallow since all of the M isn’t in focus but it still my favourite of the images I took with the 50mm last week so I thought I’d post it as this weeks post in my #50WithA50 challenge.
Not sure how many rules of good photography I broke to get this photo. I was walking along Rennies River trying to find something to shoot when I saw the rocks with the river flowing over them. Perfect for a long exposure, except I didn’t have a tripod and it was the middle of the day so it was too bright, I had no filters and even if I did none of the ones I have fit the 50mm lens and it isn’t stabilized so hand holding at lower speeds is not going to work. I ended up using a very high f-stop (f22) and a low ISO, over exposing way too much to get the motion blur in the water and propping the camera up on a bridge railing and shooting between car passing that caused the bridge to vibrate. It actually turned out better than I expected. Or perhaps I should say it turned out not as awful as I expected. #50WithA50
On Sunday we had large icicles hanging from eves and window but the sun came out with blue skies and started a melt. There were drops falling from each point and bump on the icicles and the wind was blowing the drops against each other. I took my camera and 50mm and tried to capture a shot with as many drops as possible. I’m sure the neighbours must have thought I was crazy standing there clicking away and missing most of the drops. Eventually I got one with several drops in frame. #50WithA50
We had a very cold and windy yet relatively dry period where there ponds froze over and the snow that fell on them tended to blow around and off the ice. It created interesting patterns, like clouds. This is one shot I took of some branches frozen in the ice and being battered by the wind and snow. The whispy waves of snow were constantly moving and changing as gusts of wind blew them through the shot. One second the ice would be clear, the next a flurry of snow would blow across inches above the ice and then it would be clear again. #50WithA50
I was sick over the weekend so I didn’t get to go out and take photos as I planned. I was a bit worried because I didn’t have any photos at all for this weeks post. However today the weather gods stepped in and threw a winter storm at St John’s giving us the afternoon off for a snow day. I still couldn’t venture too far but our dog loves the snow and I decided to take some photos of him coming in after a roll in the garden. I think he is bored of me taking photos of him after all these years, you can see it in his eyes, which is why I like this photo even though it’s not technically great. The 50mm did ok, I think my problems with it today were all camera related, I didnt have it set up correctly for shooting a black dog surrounded by snow. Everything ends up being either too bright or too dark, still it’s about learning so situations like this are what I learn from.
I was doing some family kids portraits over the weekend so I decided when I had everything set up that I’d do some using the 50mm lens. I think it’s actually a pretty good lens for this. When opened up all the way to f1.8 the depth of field is so shallow that it’s pretty much impossible to get in focus shots of moving kids and when aren’t kids moving. At f2.5 it’s a little easier and I did get some decent shots. Times like this I wish I had one of the new mirror less cameras with decent eye tracking focus, but sure I wouldn’t learn anything if the camera did all the work for me. For this shot I also had lights and a dark grey backdrop so I cant say it was all the 50mm lens but it certainly didn’t get in the way.