Took a while

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It took a while to get round to processing the pictures from a shoot during which I wasn’t thinking all that clearly. (See Doofus) I did have a very high discard rate but there were a few decent pictures as well, thank goodness.

The one of Mieke, above, is one that pleases me a lot. It was pretty chilly and the poor girl’s hands were turning blue, so I did what every self-respecting photographer would have done; I converted to black and white.  😉

There are already more pictures from that shoot in my Model Shoot Set on Flickr, and I will be adding a few more in the near future.

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Fifi and the fast lens

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The quality of the kit lenses we get with our cameras these days is generally pretty good and so are most of the less expensive consumer zoom lenses available from the various manufacturers. These can all be used to used to produce great pictures but, as I’m discovering, they are all lacking in one particular way, which may or may not be important to you.

In the old days, when I devoured lots of how-to-do-it photography books, there was always a section which dealt with differential focus, and how you could take pictures with a narrow depth of field to draw extra attention to your subject. The idea was that the area of interest would be in focus and that everything else would be more or less out of focus.

Read moreFifi and the fast lens

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Hitting a luck

The photographic gods sometimes smile on your photographic efforts and everything goes right when you trip the shutter button.

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I was at the Battle of the Bands at Kearsney College on Friday night, and doing my thing photographing musicians. I looked up and noticed a beautiful projected pattern on the roof of the marquee and, at that very moment Xavier hove into view, sporting the most incredible head of hair.

I’m not usually quick at this sort of thinking, but even I put the head and the pattern together, and asked him if I could take the shot. I had been shooting with available light and the first couple of shots were nice sillhouttes and then, something made me pop up my built-in flash and take a shot with that.

Maybe it’s because I was down on one knee, but things came together perfectly. My D90 gave me a half-second exposure but it was dark enough so that Xavier didn’t register until the flash fired. Subject movement could have been a problem if there had been more ambient light kicking around.

Helping matters was that the roof of the tent was high enough so that the flash didn’t cast a shadow on it. As far as I can remember, the camera and flash were both dialled down to deliver about a stop less light light than the camera would have liked.

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Technically imperfect

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I’ve been thinking about imperfection just lately. We learn photography and are indoctrinated with the belief that pictures that are not perfectly composed and exposed are no good. That was me for for a long time but I’ve lately come round to believing that pictures can be good without needing to be perfect.

My picture of mother and baby, above, has a horrible background and I would have written it off, even a year ago. In the interim, I have come to see that the picture captures a nice moment and that I am allowed to to like it in spite of its imperfections. I’ve even become bold enough to hope that the bride might like it too.

You’ll be wondering a bride has to with anything. Well, it’s an ongoing joke in our circle, which started when a friend was visiting the photo lab and walked up behind a photographer known to all of us. This chap [dude, for you younger readers] was thumbing through a stack of jumbo pictures he had taken at a wedding and, every so often, he’d stop and say; “Oh yes, the bride will like this”.

Ever since then, whenever we comment on a picture among among ourselves, we’ll say “I wonder what the bride would say to this”, “The bride wouldn’t like this”, etc. etc.. And then laugh like schoolgirls.

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