Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Post Holiday Blue

Camera: Canon Eos 5d
Exposure: ISO 400 between f1.4 and 2@ 1/160
Lens: Nikon 50mm f1.4 + Vello Nikon to Canon adaptor
File size: Approximately 12 x 12 @240 dpi

Up to recently it’s been either rainy, bitter cold, or both; weather unsuited to staying out for hours far from one’s neighborhood. Still, if the tools are with with me, there always seem to be things that turn up, so I don’t leave the house without a camera. This time, the weather nastiness worked to my advantage. 

It was a rather drizzly Friday afternoon when I spotted the big Christmas tree that goes up in Rittenhouse Square every year. What had been a symbol of holiday cheer was forlorn and wan in the gray and rainy park. Soon it would be curb fodder.

Because there wasn't much light, selective focus was the way to go. I set the lens at or close to wide open, composed the shot, focused and simply waited-- it did not take long. I captured a few images with random people entering the frame, and then the person with the umbrella came along. Of course, I wanted to do a second similar one, but as it typically is, you get only one whack at it.  

The original black and white image just didn't have enough graphic impact; it needed color. I will defer printing this one. Crop and adjustments of tone and contrast in Lightroom and Photoshop were the extent of post processing. I’m gravitating towards square formats, which is interesting to me, since my first professional camera a Rolleiflex Automat, was a square but for years I didn’t think I liked that format.  This older Nikon 35mm lens, has a creaminess that is much like the Schneider Xenar which my Rollei has.  The Vello adaptor, which allows this lens to be used on the Canon, has no aperture or focus coupling, so the shooting is essentially manual—no autofocus, no anti-shake, and you stop down the lens while keeping an eye on the meter. Slower and more contemplative, it is a good fit for this kind of subject.

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