Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hand-held street shooting - with a tilt/shift lens?

Sometimes a "specialty" lens is not ideal for a casual walkabout in search of photos of local color. On the other hand, it can suggest interesting approaches. As a challenge to myself, I wandered with my 17mm TS-E (designed to allow tilt and shift for perspective and focus plane adjustments), and without a tripod.

Using the maximum amount of upward shift, I could keep the camera perfectly level, shoot from the street, and still show plenty of sky above the Second Empire tower of the Dodd-Hinsdale House, built in 1879 and now the home of the restaurant taking the name of its architectural style.

Not far away is a hotel that's a familiar sight to anyone living in the area.  A slight upward tilt of the camera, with the same lens shift set up as the previous photo, gave me the framing I wanted and let me show a little vignette of summer relaxation on this very warm day.

I short trip in the car brought me to a favorite pastoral setting where I could walk amid rather different surroundings. When I spotted this insect perched atop the thistle, I wished I'd brought a macro lens, but I really was trying to do a minimalist photo trek. I got as close as I could with the 17mm, and cropped the image later.

I had tossed a very compact and light 40mm "pancake" lens in my bag, and used that for a different view of the scene. I like the dreamy quality that resulted.


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