There was a delightful night of eclectic music on Thursday at The Armory Cafe. Performing was The Boston Typewriter Orchestra:
And last, but certainly not least, Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys:
There are a couple more in the gallery.
Post-processing these was slightly challenging – it felt like there was twenty million different lights in each shot, each with a different and weird color temperatures. I could have made different choices but ultimately I decided to try and make sure everyone’s skin tones looked vaguely natural; getting that wrong was more jarring, in my opinion, than any other option.
This was taken before the special MA senate seat election, so the photo itself isn’t (conscious) commentary.
May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself. —Neil Gaiman
What a difference a few months makes.
When I had rented the 24mm f/1.4L II during the summer, my summary was “Nice lens, but I don’t think I’d use it enough”. After a little bit of time, a lot of shooting, and a bit of frustration after then sun went down with the 17-40mm f/4L, I started hunting for the 24mm, desperately hoping for it to be in stock somewhere long enough to order. Finally I got one in October and since then it’s barely left my camera for more than 5 minutes at a time.
After going out with it at dusk the first night, I fell utterly in love with the lens – it’s like it was crafted by elves and sprinkled with magic pixie dust. If you like the 24mm focal length, and especially if you like available darkness photography, just go out and buy one. You won’t be sorry. In the center it’s sharp even at f/1.4. And when you’re shooting wide open it just pulls photons out of the night and lovingly places them on your sensor:
It is however making me wish for more AF sensors on the 5D – working very close up and wide open your depth of field is small enough that focus-and-recompose probably won’t work. My eyesight isn’t good enough to critically focus a 24mm lens visually, so I’m depending on the AF sensors a bit more than I would with the 100mm macro. An example of close focus:
It has, rather obviously, taken the honor of being my very favorite lens (closely followed by the 100mm f/2.8 USM macro).
You can see more samples from back when I rented it. This is a lens that almost always stays on my camera and in my camera bag. It’s very deeply satisfying for night time shooting, which is when I’m usually out with my camera!
Next up: the 85mm f/1.2L II. (“Hi, my name is David, and I have an addiction to fast lenses.”)
Our planned programming is interrupted by the first real snowfall of the year. A few photos, taken in Davis Square and along the Grove-Cedar path in Somerville:
There’s a couple more in the gallery and all of them are licensed under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 license.
A while ago I had rented the Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8 lens. Why? I wanted something fun to play with, and had always been curious about the TS/E lenses. The 90mm also had a reputation for being very sharp (which it was!) and it had a high maximum magnification as well.
The tilting mechanism was what I was most interested in, and was also the weirdest thing about the lens. The plane of focus does *not* stay parallel to the lens as you tilt it. It also moves as you focus the lens in addition to as you tilt it. It’s still usable hand-held but when it’s absolutely critical you nail the plane of focus, a tripod is in your future. A good explanation of how tilt works can be found here from Northlight Images.
When you abuse the tilt, you can blur the heck out of an image like so:
Continue reading →