Thursday, December 27, 2012

Street Portraits at 55mm

Shooting at the long end of the Fuji 18-55mm zoom lens has some advantages and some drawbacks. Both of these shots were at an f-stop of 5.6 and a focal length of 55mm (82mm equivalent for a full frame sensor). If I had taken them at a wider focal length with that aperture, the depth-of-field ratio would have made the background elements seem more in focus which then would have made isolating the main subject from the background more difficult. The downside of shooting at that focal length is that I know (and I see it in the images) that I was farther away from the subjects than I like to be, and there's a feeling of immediacy missing from the images. 

I like very much the blurry background of this shot. The focal length works well here because there's really only two planes - the subject's front and the background.

The planes in the next image are a bit more complex. The background and the subject form two planes as in the above image, but the trombone slide extending out appears a bit flattened because of the 55mm focal length. If I had shot this next image at 18mm, the slide of the trombone would have much more of an extended effect. 

And then there is always my favorite - 18mm -  which gives both of these images a real feeling of presence in the foreground with a deep falling off in the distance.