Re-learning The Trade

Way back last December I was fortunate to land myself this deal and to say I was a happy  chappy would’ve been a major understatement. Well in any trade it’s true that every now and then you must re-invent yourself in order to attract some business and what not. Nothing is more true of this than with photography. After I moved from an APS-C camera (cropped sensor) and got a full frame body I found that I had to completely re-learn everything I knew about photography! All of a sudden focusing distances made more of a difference, depth of field, vignetting and a whole field of jargon that once made sense to me suddenly caught me unawares! It was as if somebody had said “Right, here’s a football pitch. Now go play hokey…“. The rule book and gone out the window and been re-written.

There’s more to full frame than there seems you know? For instance. A focal length of 50mm on a full frame body is…you guessed it, 50mm…but the same focal length on a standard APS-C sensor is actually more likely to be around 75-80mm! This also means that aperture and focal length cause varying differences in depth of field compared to the equivelant settings used on cropped camera bodies. And before you know you’ve forgotten how to photograph everything! It means re-learning focal lengths, distances, aperture values, shutter speeds and sometimes even subject matter! I’ll tell you one thing though. Full frame is unforgiving. Make a mistake on a full frame camera and it’s obvious. Any dust spots become twice as visible as before and the same goes for slight miss-focusing. Everything becomes insanely hard! So hard in fact that only now around 7 months later I think I’m getting my mojo back. Sure I’ve taken decent photos in that time. But I’ve had to work and sweat at them a lot longer at the same time too.

Compare the above photo to this more recent photo. The first one is alright. It’s a close up, almost macro, photo of a milkshake bottle composed on a third however the shallow aperture meant that I slightly miss-focused for the image. Only slightly mind, but it’s enough to distract the eye. Compare that against the sharp image I took yesterday where after I’ve had time to learn how to effectively use the camera I can now not only compose a shot, use an effective depth of field but also introduce more complex elements  such as using longer shutter speeds to create movement in the sky. I think what I’m trying to say is it’s not all down the camera…and neither is it all down to the photographer. They say a car is worth more than the some of it’s parts…I think the same applies toward photography…


About this entry