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.

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

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

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!





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