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Getting closer – A day in Venice – part 2

My day in Venice was completely devoted to explore some limits of my photographic skills. The first study was about the gear I should carry around and as I wrote previously, it’s much better to focus on what you have rather on what you could have, switching camera or lens. This is also true when you want to buy some new stuff. Are you sure you are limited by the lack of gear rather than by your lack of skills?

The second test I wanted to perform was about my confidence taking close-ups of perfect strangers on the street. This time the lens mattered a lot because the smaller the focal length, the closer you have to get. Let’s start with a 85mm lens. The easiest lens of the ones I had.

Fully manual close-ups

My challenge was pretty tough because I was taking head shots with a Nikkor 85mm f1.8 fully manual. No light metering and no AF. It means that to perform a proper shot you really need to be prepared. No time for metering, just focusing, therefore the metering has to be done before. It requires a bit of experience but it’s not so difficult. Manual focusing is a bit trickier but the D90 has a manual focus assistant and a green light turns on when the AF point is focused. Unfortunately it’s not so easy to rely on a very small assistant like that when your subject is not posing for you and you have to catch the moment. The key for success is practice, practice, practice.


Venezia

Nikon D90 - 85mm - ISO 400 - f2.8 - 1/250



Venezia

Nikon D90 - 85mm - ISO 400 - f2.8 - 1/250



Venezia

Nikon D90 - 85mm - ISO 400 - f2.8 - 1/125

In the next blogposts I’ll show you the same kind of experience but with shorter lenses: 50mm and 23mm. I will also tell about my rules of engament, stay tuned!

The full set of pictures is available on Flickr and your feedback is more than welcome!

Jeff Jarvis, Alexia Tsotsis, Hanni Ross: portraits from SXSW

My SXSW 2011 is just finished and I want to wrap it up with three great portraits I took during my week in Austin TX: Jeff Jarvis, Alexia Tsotsis and Hanni Ross.

Jeff Jarvis

Jeff Jarvis

Jeff’s speech at SXSW was definitely the most interesting one of the many I attended. His vision about privacy and publicness is enlightening and he’s so good at public speaking. It was also a pleasure to get a personal inscription on his book.

Links: Buzz MachineTwitter

Alexia Tsotsis

Alexia Tsotsis

This picture was taken at the end of the Google and Bing Q&A session. This girl was typing on her laptop and I couldn’t resist to take a picture. Only after a brief chat I figured out that she was Alexia. That Alexia!

Alexia is writer at Techcrunch and during the last few days she has demonstrated to have character. Yeah!

Links: Alexia’s blogTwitterTechcrunch

Hanni Ross

Hanni Ross

Hanni is Happiness Engineer at WordPress and she has style. Definitely style! I took this portrait of Hanni while chilling out at WordPress’ booth.

Links: Hanni’s blogtwitter

More portraits

You can find more portraits from SXSW 2011 on my portrait gallery on Flickr. Check it out!

SXSW - Day 2 SXSW - Day 1 SXSW - Day 1 SXSW - Day 5 SXSW - Day 5 SXSW - Day 5