Project 13: A standard view

Project brief

To concentrate on shooting with one focal length of 40-50mm, (full frame).

P13-A: 50mm, ISO 3200, 1/60@f4

I made all of these images in one session, late in the afternoon and early evening.  As I was using my 50mm f1.8 lens, I also decided to push the boundaries of my low light capabilities.  In this first image I sought to capture the attention of the little boy on the street drummer.  It was very crowded and I had to gain the best vantage point that I could.  I like the way the two main figures compete for attention,  There are distractions though such as the red jacket.  I added a post crop vignette darkening to try to bring greater attention to the two main figures.

P13-B: 50mm, ISO 3200, 1/15@f1.8

This chap had gone to great lengths to conceal his identify and so there seemed to be little point in trying to capture his face.  Ironically, just as I photographed him ‘unaware’, he was drawing CCTV cameras within his artwork.  I hope that I have managed to portray his work as ‘performance’, details such as the large silver amplifier show that this was far more than a furtive graffiti artist at work. Despite the very slow shutter speed I managed to obtain an acceptably sharp photograph in the circumstances.

P13-C: 50mm, ISO 3200, 1/100@f8

Made after dark, I like the way that the 50mm gives a realistic view of this stall.  The people in the queue are normally proportioned and the camera’s ‘gaze’ through the gap in the crowd gives a very normal view of the female cook who seems happy with the way things are going.

P13-D: 50mm, ISO 3200, 1/160@f8

I made quite a few shots before I fully got into the swing of picking out ‘moments’ within this concert crowd.  I could see that the beer drinker, (just left of centre), was watching what I was doing and I waited until his direct gaze stood out from the crowd before making this image.


During this assignment I found that I valued the 50mm viewpoint for its simplicity.  I deliberately chose to use a fixed length lens so that I would be forced to move about to frame shots – this was a valuable discipline.  Similarly, the lack of optical distortion meant that I felt that the images depended upon content rather than, for example, optical effects, for their impact.  Another useful discipline – I’ll be sure to periodically restrict myself to a fixed 50mm lens just to see what I can do.  Lastly, although not part of the brief, I enjoyed the speed and unobtrusiveness of this lens – it extended the lighting conditions in which I could shoot and proved to be relatively unobtrusive in a crowd.

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