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...Mitch- I always enjoy your night street life images and I have been practicing your “shoot at ISO 640 and push in post”. I also like to see your wide-angle photos as I contemplate which lens I will add one day...
salvaz, thanks for the kind words. Yes, I like the 21mm lens and am using it more and more, particularly when I want to shoot very close to the subject, which gives a very different feeling than shooting from further away with a 50mm or even a 28mm lens.
I've been thinking about the use of the 21mm: basically, it seems to me there are two ways to use it: one is to give the photo a real super-wide angle depth by let the perspective go deep in the image; the other way is to close off the back plane of the image, so that the wide angle feeling is minimized. I'll repeat a few pictures posted earlier to illustrate the second point. In No. 1 the depth is cut off by the darkness; also, it's taken from a distance of about 1.75m at 1/45 sec (f/2.8) while walking toward the subject, which accounts for the motion blur, and there is some bokeh as well. This is a "no finder shot": I held the camera at chest level without bringing it up to my eye to frame because I didn't want the subject suddenly to look at me. Incidentally, this picture got a lot of views on flickr: 3,000 in 24 hours, compared to the 120-150 views that I usually get.
In No. 2, the back plane is closed off so that one can see the background is simply the other side of the street, which doesn't have a super-wide feel to it, while in No. 3, because it's framed not parallel to the other side of the street, looks like it's taken in a square and does have a wide angle feel to it.
Similarly, in No. 4, the boat in the back cuts off the back plane so that I feel the picture essentially does not have a "lensy" feeling of space, despite the sharp angle of the opposite bank of the river.
On shoot street photography at night: I mentioned earlier that I was surprised how good the colors are when shooting with fluorescent lighting. On another forum, Charles Peterson, a photographer whose work I like, wrote, " I love shooting under fluorescent tubes! Not so much the spiral fluorescents made to replace household bulbs. But tubes are real nice. It's why the film industry uses them so much (Kino-flos). And I love un or under correcting the wb when the subject suits it. Check out Jonas Bendikson's work on the ex-Soviet Union satellite countries. Most shot on slide film, and it makes you really see how to use un-corrected light sources to the benefit of the image's storytelling. Like I've always said, shoot the M9 like it's full of slide film.." Sometimes, I even like how the fluorescent tubes themselves look, as in No 5:
No. 1 | Elmarit-21 ASPH
No. 2 | Elmarit-21 ASPH
Pak Nam Pran
No. 3 | Elmarit-21 ASPH
Pak Nam Pran
No. 4 | Elmarit-21 ASPH
Pak Nam Pran
No. 5 | Elmarit-21 ASPH
Edited on Aug 11, 2013 at 07:37 AM · View previous versions