I think I love reflections. Bit weird that maybe, but hey, I am always honest with my feelings!
The thing is you see, what I call “natural” reflections are never forever things. They come and go with the light, in puddles with the rain, and in shiny surfaces that move, like trains!
They’re special when you see them, because in the next second they maybe gone forever.
Today I wanted to shoot another landscape type shot, to see if I could overcome the issues I encountered yesterday. I had a gut feeling of what I’d done wrong, and today I proved my theory!
If you look back to my “Locomotion” blog from a couple of days ago, you’ll notice I recorded all my camera settings under the photographs. You’ll also notice I kept the aperture at f/16 for all the shots, because I was doing a little lens experimenting.
Nothing wrong with that, but again in yesterday’s “Distant Memory” post, I kept the aperture really narrow at f/16. That, was the mistake I made.
Wrongly, I thought my 70-300mm and my 18-55mm lenses that I used for the images yesterday, wold be fine with that size of aperture, but nope, seems not.
I’ve previous found that my Tamron 70-300mm lens works best at f/11, and I wrongly assumed it and my 18-55mm lens would both be fine at a higher setting of f/16. I thought given the distances I was shooting over yesterday, the narrower aperture would help improve the sharpness across the whole scene, but what actually happened was I took it too far, and introduced diffraction.
That diffraction, softened the images, and that is why I battled with the clarity, and sharpness. It didn’t help that the scene was super contrasty too, but normally I can deal with that.
Anyway, after a bit of research I learnt that it’s best to aim for the middle of your lenses aperture range, which makes sense. I have to say though, that isn’t going to happen with me all the time, especially when the 50mm prime comes out and teases me with its f/1.8 potential……..
That said, it is really nice to learn about my lenses, and their capabilities. Wrongly when I set out on this journey, I thought lenses and camera stuff would just work as you imagine it would. Like when you buy a mouse for your computer, you expect it to move your cursor and you expect left click to select and right click to bring up options (on a PC anyway).
However, what I’ve learnt with photography kit is that it’s more organic than that, and you have to get in tune with it to get the best out of it.
You have to get to know it, you have to get to know what it likes and then feed it more and more of what it thrives on; then in return it will start to reward you with more and more of what you want to capture.
The nearest thing I can compare it to is like riding a motorbike, where man and machine have to become one to really experience the feeling of flying round a bend lent over at seemingly impossible angles. When you nail it, it just works, and it feels like nothing else on earth!
Learnings – Photography and the kit around it, has that same organic, man and machine feeling about it that riding a motorbike has. I’m slowly but surely learning about my lenses capabilities and the areas they like to operate best in.