Cee’s Compose Yourself Challenge – Week 1, How your camera is not like your eye

Another new challenge, this is another weekly challenge based on Photographic Composition by Cee Neuner – Compose Yourself.

The Challenge

Post pictures of your comfort zone in terms of focal length from the subject. Then add photos the new ways that you’ve tried. Add comments and tell us how that change in perspective felt to you. What did you learn about yourself? About your vision of the world? About your camera?

This week, I was finally able to get out and about a little bit, I wanted to play with some different ideas for composition, as well as technique, for myself and a few various challenges, so it was a good time to try out some things, with no pressure. There was lovely pre-sunset light this afternoon, the golden hour; soft and warm with the last of the Spring Sunshine. So I grabbed my camera and headed into the back garden.

First things first I guess…..I usually shoot with my beloved Nikon 18-200mm lens; it’s is great for most situations, takes a lovely image. I can change from long distance to extreme closeup with the flick of a wrist, you’ve got to love that!

For this challenge I shot with only my 50mm Prime Lens. I am still trying to get used to this lens……..I cannot get really close up, I cannot shoot wide angles as such and if I want to alter the focal point (I can’t) or move closer, further away I physically have to move myself. I found this has forced me to really ‘look’ at my images. In every shot the focal length remained at 50mm, it was me who moved, occasionally I changed the f stop when I moved and at other times it remained a constant, even when I moved.

One thing I have noticed, that when I move for a shot, even if it is just a bit closer, I am framing slightly differently, not necessarily a bad thing, but something to be aware of. The other thing I REALLY have to watch, is WHERE my focus is, double check it, not just assume it is roughly where I want it, especially with a shallow depth of field [see first cat image not focused on eyes like the second one is]. Using a really shallow DoF means there is a smaller focus area, than F/4.5 or even F/9. Also I really love the bokeh from this lens on close ups……..F/1.8 – F/2 is lovely on 8 blade as opposed to 5 blade aperture! The more I use this lens the more I love it. I just wish I could get my camera down another ISO, 50 would be awesome.