well well well. it has been about a year since my photography took a huge lunge forward. and it is all because of two marvelous creatures: the 50mm/f1.4 lens and the 50mm/f2.5 compact macro lens. yes it is.
i knew i was missing something in my photographs. something in the way i was able -- or more precisely, not able -- to translate what i was seeing into tangible results.
i saw it in other photographs. a serene beauty in having all but the smallest piece of the image softly out of focus. shapes. colors. hints of information. dreaminess.
so last october, i bought the 50mm/f1.4. then in june, i bought the 50mm/f2.5 compact macro.
you see, i used to be a photojournalist, and the pictures i made were all about spreading information. not that photojournalists' photos aren't artistic, they certainly can be. but the widest aperture i used as a photojournalist was f2.8.
aperture (also known as f-stop) controls depth of field. as in, how much of the photograph is in focus. the smaller the aperture number, the less depth of field ... the less depth of focus. this shallow depth of field allows whatever is in front of or behind the focus-point to become dreamily out of focus. this brings our eye right to the focus-point, while seeing the rest of the image as softer shapes and colors.
having put photography aside for many, many years, i returned with fresh perspective, less of a photojournalist's hat on.
and thanks to two very talented photographers, i found the two lenses that i now use almost exclusively:
via heidi swanson's 101cookbooks, i discovered the 50/1.4. she displays the most dreamy food (and travel!) photography and beautifully written stories to go with each photo. heidi's recipe index of natural, whole foods keeps it real and healthy, just the way i like it. thank you, heidi, for leading me in the right direction both food-wise and photography-wise. and for sharing your photo tips.
50mm/f2.5 compact macro
via tracey clark's personal site and the fantabulous shutter sisters she started, i found the compact macro. i knew i wanted a macro, and was leaving soon on a trip. i didn't even research the purchase. i saw that tracey used it, so figured it was good enough for me! and i love it. thank you tracey, for being such an inspiration, for your e-classes, for shutter sisters, for your generous ideas, words and images.
The photograph itself doesn't interest me. I want only to capture a minute part of reality.
~Henri Cartier Bresson