Cider Ian

Hey folks!


Only one day late with this week’s post so here it is for your viewing pleasure!


I can remember when I first started out at photography (approximately three years ago now!) running around with a point and shoot digital, taking shots of anything moving, breathing, sleeping, dead, setting, rising….you get the picture!


In my early days I used to look at my photos and then make comparisons with some of the fantastic shots that had been posted on the web. I just couldn’t believe how incredible some of these other photographers were, there had to be a secret for their success!


After studying various photographers and the equipment they used I quickly realised that the vast majority were using DSLRs and so I thought I had stumbled upon the secret to success and promptly invested in a new DSLR


So off I went and bought myself a DSLR, and guess what, my photos were still lame! Ensue major depression! However, as the DSLR in itself is a complex piece of kit, I ended up having to spend quite a bit of time studying the basics of how a camera works, in particular the often overlooked, but essential issue….light!


As a result of all this swotting my photography has steadily improved, and whilst it is absolutely nowhere near where I would like it to be…it is getting there, albeit slowly!


One interesting piece of advice, which I am slowly building up to and kind of relates to this week’s post, is the importance of good quality lenses. As I found out, buying a good camera doesn’t mean good photo’s, purchasing a good piece of “glass” certainly helps improve things…in particular how a good lens focuses light and can result in pin sharp images (of course only when used properly!)


In search of good glass, I bought a new prime lens recently, a Nikon 50mm, which you can grab for a couple of hundred pounds. Prime basically means that the lens has a fixed focal length…no zoom, which means on the downs side you have to walk backwards and forwards to frame the shot properly, but on the plus side when you do it properly, you get crystal clear shots!


The photo’s below were taken using my new lens, and as you all know as I struggle for models, I thought I would give the lens an outing on the unsuspecting folks in Bristol.


The subject in this shot is called Ian, and all I know about him is that he’s homeless and likes Cider. A lot of street photographers use long lenses with a focal range of at least 200mm so that they can get true candid shots…I on the other hand think it’s because they don’t like to have to engage with the subject, especially when it’s a homeless person. I may be wrong on this but hey, it’s my blog!


Anyway, as I was using a 50mm prime, there was no alternative to get up close and have a chat with the subject. Ian turned out to be a really nice guy, with a really interesting and in some cases dark story to tell, but at the end of the day I think he really appreciated having the opportunity to chat with someone.



Ian with his best friend!



 Ian up close and personal!

 Best viewed big on black HERE


Incidentally, whilst Ian was kind enough to offer me some of his cider, I had to politely decline!


Until next week….!!



~ by imagespike on September 8, 2008.

3 Responses to “Cider Ian”

  1. great shots……what kinda processing you do it?

  2. Hi Matt – stumbled across your site via stuckincustoms. Thanks for the advice re: prime lenses. Just curious… did you get the Nikkor 1.4 or 1.8?
    I am a new D90 shooter, and will invest in a 50mm in the next few months.
    Thanks, Andrew

  3. Hi Andrew,

    Many thanks for stopping by the blog! I’m currently using the Nikon 1.4 which is absolutely great, I love it!

    It gives incredibly sharp images (Check out the stubble on the shot above), and due to the speed of the lens can be stopped down in low light conditions, which basically means I don’t have to lug a softbox around when shooting on the street.

    One good tip to remember, is that if you stop the lens down low, remember it will give you an incredibly shallow depth of field. If this is the effect your after then fine, but sometime when I’ve been shooting portraits, after focusing on the eyes, I’ve subsequently noticed that the subjects ears and back of the head have been lost to the bokeh!

    The lens is great and can be picked up for a bargain! Good luck with it and should you have any other photography queires then don’t hesitate to stop by the blog and ask!



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