Focus, DOF, The X100S, 35mm Vs. 50mm, Etc.

Before I get back into the swing of things I wanted to sort out my thoughts on the DC excursion. I have let things settle a bit and have a ton of things that a lot of you might find interesting and even useful that came out of my little trip. This is as much a note to myself as well as a preview for some of those topics.

As you might know I went down there with way too much stuff as usual. I ended up shooting just two cameras and two lenses. One a 35mm equivalent and one a 50mm. I had no specific plans when I left but that doesn't mean that nothing was on my mind. What happened when I started shooting is that a lot of the things on my mind ended up coming out while shooting without even thinking about it too much - this happens and is as much of something to discuss as some of the more concrete things.

Since I didn't have a specific list of stuff I also tried things that I usually do not do. Simple things that I can see from a mile away but you might not unless I point them out. In a lot of cases I did things "wrong" on purpose just to see if I could make things that are against the rules actually work for me or in some cases merely be okay.

Here are a few of thing things you can expect this week - maybe even into next week. I am not putting them all in one post as that would be far far too long a read and I would get completely lost in too many little side topics.

  • I am a 50mm guy. One of the things that has kept me from using the little Fuji X100S as seriously as I should, as a universal camera, is the fact that I am at home with a 50mm for just about anything - not so much a 35mm. Knowing this I really set out just to see if I could use it like I use a 50mm or more specifically to make shots where it wouldn't matter. To really understand if my bias was based in reality or not. Were there images I wanted to make that I just couldn't with the Fuji? As usual the answer is yes and no but this is a topic that will be a dedicated post - maybe two to really lay that out in terms of what I found. In fact this may be the beginning of a series of very specific Fuji X100S usage related posts.
  • I shot 99% of every image I made wide open. Again something I almost never do. I know what that does and I talked a little bit about what I was doing when I did it in the last update - why and what feel I wanted. Interestingly just my tiny little mention of feel and using lenses wide open generated quite a few discussions - some public and some private - on the topic. This deserves a post as well. It might not be what you think it's going to be. The image at the top is a tidbit - a note to self regarding situational circumstances, mentality, feel, etc when shooting with less depth of field than you usually do. You guys know who you are - take the image above and think about a few of the things we were chatting about.
  • Planning or lack of planning. I learned a couple of things about the balance of the two extremes. Maybe even a strategy to strive for no matter if you are coming at this from either end - too much or too little. Possibly even a sprinkling of preparedness vs. planning. I had no intention of making any images that could possibly be used in any of my personal (serious) projects. The image at the top (again killing two birds with one stone) if not one of those is part of a series I did on the fly that looks like there are a couple candidates. It's my version of street photography and it's actually more like street photography than it is different from my perspective. I may discuss that - at least how I approach things like that philosophically, mentally, etc. For those of you out there that do street photography it might just have a couple of things for you to contemplate.

Okay way too many words for a what's up next preview. Hopefully some good stuff. Gear - we all love gear but hopefully a bit more useful than some run of the mill resolution, dynamic range, blah, blah, blah discussion. Some photo project stuff, some philosophical and mental discussion on the photography endeavor. Even some technique related things. What more could you want?

If any of this seems remotely interesting, entertaining, or something that's been on your mind please let me know in the comments and I will do my best to attempt to cover anything I am not thinking about in those topics…


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