Above the Madding Crowd

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Either this panorama was so big or Yvonne and Clyde were simply so smoldering that my laptop couldn’t handle it and I had to wait to get home from California to put it together. A rare moment alone in the High Line.

I’ve put together a collection of Brenizer method example photos in nice large size on Google plus, for those who want to wrap their head around it or just like looking at them. Depth-of-feeling matters, not depth-of-field, but it’s nice to be able to turn the dial to f/0.4 when you want to.

I’m digging google plus quite a bit. As some others have found, even though it’s a lot like Facebook and not so much like Twitter, Twitter is what I’m losing enthusiasm for as I delve more into G+. This tweet from Ken Kienow shows the strange folly of a service popular with photographers without, well, photos.

Also, I’m currently one of the only people with a G+ address that makes sense: ryanbrenizer.com/googleplus

Camera: Nikon D3s
Lens: 64-image “Brenizer method” panorama with the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 (equivalent of 27mm f/0.5 according to Brett’s calculator)

Jungle ex nihilo

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One of the defining traits of photography is that whatever is outside the frame doesn’t exist. Not only is the High Line a very urban park, but every little last bit of greenery is roped off so you can’t get near it. But with a little creative framing, you’d never know.

Camera: Nikon D3s
Lens: Sigma 85mm f/1.4

Equipment isn’t Everything (It’s the Vision Thing)

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You hang around photographers enough, and you hear the same debates and tropes and ideas pop up over and over again. Probably the most common is a variation of “It’s the photographer, not the equipment.” But of course, it’s the photographers who are saying this. If you asked a camera, they’d probably say something different. A modern version of Aesop’s Lion and the Statue.

Of course, it all comes down to “that vision thing.” A good photographer out to be able to take decent images with just about anything, because the basic technical rules of photography and composition don’t change. I took plenty of photos I like on vacation yesterday with Wendy’s pocket-sized Powershot. But what an experienced photographer does when they pick up a piece of equipment is say “How does this see? What are the range of things I can do with it?” When I pick up a pocket camera, I know that shallow depth-of-field is out and I have to be tricky if I want it to expose the way that I want. When I grab my D3s, I know that pretty much anything my eye can see can be fairly easily photographed, but also that I have to change my attitude if I don’t want to intimidate people with it. In fact, one of the great joys of interchangeable-lens cameras is that changing a lens feels like putting on a new set of eyes. When I put on a fast 85mm, I’m seeing the world in narrow pockets, looking for backgrounds that will look good when out-of-focus. When I throw on a 35mm, I see through those eyes, etc.

I tend to prefer certain sorts of eyes. Light-sensitive, not extremely wide and not extremely telephoto … so I decided to mix it up. The Sigma 12-24mm is wacky wide and, as essentially an f/5.6 lens, extra-slow. But it was a great set of eyes for Esteban and his groomsmen and their socks.