One A Day – 495

Incognito with Helmet
Incognito with Helmet

Lifting
Lifting

Happiness
Happiness

Winding Down
Winding Down

Movin' Too Fast
Movin’ Too Fast

  • Amati Cafe
  • Chris Sanchez Blues Band. Chris Sanchez – guitar, Charles Sanchez – Base, Charly Blues – Harmonica & Drums
  • Centro Histórico, Morelia, Michoacán, México
  • August 1, 2014
  • Copyright, all rights reserved

I have been told that the “portraits” from the new lens I used during this evening (Sigma 10-20 zoom) are great. Nice to hear – and I have to admit that the point of view it has gives an “intimacy” that is quite interesting. It gives a closeness to the subjects but it also surrounds them with context. I love the feeling of atmosphere it brings to photos. It requires some comfort with the people in the photo – I am actually getting quite close to them – but if you have that it is a contradiction of traditional ideas about both candid and posed portraits. The classic portrait lens is has a point of view that is about 2/3 of a normal. So, for a 35mm film camera, the normal was 50mm and a standard portrait lens would be 90mm. Shooting at 10mm on my camera, where the normal would be a 43mm lens, is just the opposite. Mind-bending for a photographer, and actually that is the point.

The idea of a normal lens is that you can take your eye away from the viewfinder and see exactly the same relative view point of view that the lens provides. Your eyes will see a wider field, but the relative size of the subjects will be the same in the viewfinder as you see without it. And before you wonder how all this works – your brain “focuses” on the area of your point of view you want to see – leaving you with a mental picture of just the area of interest even though if you try for a moment you can easily see a much wider point of view to the sides. So, in a funny way, wide lenses like the one I am using have some of the elements of our natural vision- but without the brain’s ability to correct distortion. This is why in many ways – candid portraits made with this lens feel “natural.” A standard portrait lens would “flatten” the subject and prevents apparent distortion of elements in the picture. To some extent though, the result feels more formal and less candid.

But – really – it is just a lot of fun to use! 🙂

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