Sunday, January 2, 2011

Food and Family, Together

My family sends each other Christmas Lists.  We all want what we get and get what we want.  Instead of the uneasy sense of wonder before Christmas, we're filled with anticipation of the fulfillment of our lists.  This year, I looked forward all of December to a new lens for my Nikon D90.

I bought the D90 because I have several lenses from my Nikon FG which I inherited from close family friends right before I studied abroad.  That solid piece of workmanship saw me through 5 countries at the bottom of a rucksack and I have pretty awesome pictures to prove it.  Well, the pictures are prints in a photo album.  So last century of me.

While the manual lenses fit my new body, it's a lot of work to take photographs.  There's constant adjusting and focusing.  It makes action shots near impossible, though I managed a few decent shots at the rodeo in July.  So I was pretty stoked to unwrap my new 50mm 1.8.  I spent the rest of vacation playing around with it - taking lots of portraits and food shots.
Old manual 50 mm lens - portrait of my Dad on his iphone.  A little out of focus.
New lens, no flash, little dark, but more focused!
Taken by Mr. Palindrome with the flash - not too bad for artificial light in doors at night.
Indoors, light from windows and overhead kitchen lighting.
Indoors, only light from the window,using S mode with shutter speed set around 200.
Same settings as above, but more natural light is streaming in from the french doors to the deck.
I call this one: Sage Watching the Flocks by Day
S mode, shutter speed still pretty low to account for indoor setting, but my dad is sitting in the seat closest to the window.
Here I should have opened the blinds before taking the shot - not horrible, but also not the best it could have been given the indoor circumstances.
This spot in the kitchen is the same place that my Dad was a few shots ago.  With the large, glass french doors, it's one of the best places to get good, natural light in doors.
I experimented a little bit between A and S modes so that I could control depth of field.  However, due to the overcast day and since I didn't have my tripod, I didn't have as much flexibility as I would have liked.
I didn't quite achieve the depth of field I was going for here in that her should is quite clear, but her snout is starting to fade a bit and then the grass in the background is pretty much just grass bokeh.  

Dad, so proud of his turkey fryer.
I didn't really notice the shadows until I saw this image on the computer.  That's something that I need to be more aware of when shooting. I like the crop on this one a lot though.
Could have used a tripod for these as the sun had gone down and the only light was from the overhead kitchen lights.

Again, I should have pulled the curtains for the maximum amount of natural light and I should have shot it from the other side so it wasn't back lit. 
When editing the images, I really liked the square crop to focus on the face.  However, when I was testing out the lens in different lighting situations, I wasn't focusing too much on the composition and could have done a better job.  By this point, everyone was pretty sick of my taking their picture, so i couldn't really get anyone to go out of their way for a better back drop.

I call this one: Too Many Cooks
The range light definitely brightened these photographs.

As smart as the auto focus is, sometimes it just gets confused.  Compared to manually focusing for each picture though, it definitely helps the majority of the time.

Here, Dad is on the side of the light while below, Jason is right in front - I've learned my lesson about back lighting I think.

I've found there really aren't that many options if you're shooting in doors without a tripod - you've got to set the camera to get as much light in as possible which results in a very shallow depth of field.  I would have loved to have more tiles from the Bananas game in focus, but alas.

Did you get any camera equipment this holiday?  Have you been practicing?  Show me your links!

1 comment:

  1. GREAT photos - I absolutely love that lens! So compact too :)