Friday, December 7, 2012

A New Lens!


A new lens -- that was my birthday present from Dave this year. For a few weeks now, it's been only a theoretical present, as we didn't have a chance to shop and I wasn't sure which lens I wanted. But yesterday I went to the camera store and finally chose one -- a 400mm zoom.

It's a huge thing, with its own carrying case. How I'm going to lug it around alongside my camera remains to be seen!


I immediately took it over to Covent Garden and experimented with photographing people there. As you can see, it's a nice sharp lens, though I overexposed the photo above just a bit. (What is it with Asian women and those paper face masks? I see that a lot.)


It was freezing cold, so everyone was huddled and bundled and trying to stay warm. Not the best day to stand outside with a camera. My hands got so cold they hurt!


Of course, this lens raises all those ethical questions about the fairness of photographing complete strangers unaware, and then posting their photos on the Internet. That's street photography, and it's perfectly legal -- but is it right? Do people have an expectation of privacy when they're standing in the middle of hundreds of other people on a public plaza?



The law says no, because otherwise there would be no journalism. You have to be able to photograph people in public, even if they're not aware.

I have a few personal rules. I don't take any photos specifically to embarrass people. I try to put myself in the position of the person being photographed, and I only use the picture if I think they would approve. And I always avoid kids.

I'm not sure how much people photography I'm going to do anyway. It's mostly experimentation at this point!

12 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Wow. Such clean photos -- the world seen through your eyes is quirky and interesting. I particularly like that last photo.

As for the Asian folks and the breathing masks -- the same thing here! Why don't we challenge one another to just ask?

Steve Reed said...

We should! I think maybe it has to do with fears of SARS. What's interesting, though, is that it's always women -- I never see men wearing masks.

Ms. Moon said...

These photos just pop. And I am not one who is fond of the overuse of that word but in this case, it is completely appropriate. I think you should definitely keep photographing people. They are endlessly fascinating and you are "catching" tiny stories with these street portraits.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

congrats on the new lens.... i'm curious about if you do take it around with you.

incredibly clear lens and you are doing an excellent job keeping still!

doesn't look like there's any light loss which is always my concern with long lens but that was in the old predigital days maybe it isn't a concern nowadays.

The Bug said...

I love that first shot - they look like fun :)

You know, that mask isn't going to help much if they don't cover their noses. Maybe they have bad breath?

utahDOG! said...

Dig the last one. "What IS that under my nail anyway?!?"

Sharon said...

Congrats on the new lens. I think you'll get a lot of use out of it and these photos prove it's a good one. I like mine so much that it is on my camera most of the time.

ellen abbott said...

yay! new toy. great pics. to answer your question about my camera and the pic of the wasp...I just have a little Canon point and shoot but it does have a macro setting.

Linda Sue said...

Incredible shots - so clear! Love the clarity of the couple taking their own photo- photo. I would like a zoom lens that shoots from the side pointing in a different direction from the subject- I think that they have been invented , if not should be. Candid shots are the best. Love the spotty coat girl.

Angella said...

Such fabulous clarity in these photos. I hope you keep photographing people on the street and posting the photos. This is your art. I hope you don't limit yourself because I love the way you see.

Lynne said...

Yeah for the new lens! The largest zoom I have is 300mm. It's heavy to lug around for sure.

Steve Reed said...

Thanks for the positive feedback, everybody! :)