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!