- Christmas, my child, is love in action. ~ Dale Evans
Apparently, I’m in the “prime” of my life…
A prime lens has just one focal length (in contrast to a zoom lens that covers a wider range of lengths).
Back in the day I used prime lenses while shooting with medium format film cameras, but the digital world has found me using zoom lenses exclusively for several years.
Why would I want a prime lens when I could have a zoom that covers a variety of lengths? Easy answer – money. In the midst of downsizing equipment, I’ve found myself in need of an affordable lens to go on an older body. Quality and price are both factors and the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM seemed to fit the bill. My other lenses open to 2.8, so having a faster lens at 1.8 could be interesting. Maybe I’ll reinvent myself as a low light street photographer – you never know.
So, at sunset I took my new little lens to our nearby slough to try it out… pretty much straight out of camera except for tweaking exposure.
Used this 50mm lens while trying out a DIY beauty dish, of sorts, with equipment I already had on hand – cheap $37 slave that screws into a regular light socket inside a silver chick warmer. Not much for catch lights, but kind of worked.
Price for this handy little lens? $125 – much less than the $1600 price tag for a new 24-70 Canon 2.8 zoom. While I like the lens for stationary subjects, I did find the autofocus slow when trying to capture moving subjects.
Following is one of many reviews: Digital-Picture Review of Canon 50 mm EF f/1.8 STM Lens
All images posted were taken by myself, Joyce Meyer, in Manfred Township, Lac qui Parle County, located in Southwest Minnesota.
Make your own kind of magic this holiday season.
(Click on image for a larger viewing window.)
‘Tis the season… to photograph children and holiday lights.
I had the opportunity to photograph this little tyke at a festive location: Santaland in Madison, Minnesota.
Available light gives such a “magical” look when photographing children with holiday lighting with the goal being a pleasantly lit face with glowing lights. So… shut off your flash.
Tips for photographing lights:
Basic camera settings:
1) Set a wide aperture (low f-stop number) like f2.8, or as wide as your lens will go.
2) Bump up your ISO to around 800-1250 (not an exact science) I topped out my ISO on some of these since it was such a dark area with no outside lighting.
3) Make sure your shutter speed is at least 1/100th to freeze the subject. I had an active 1 1/2 year old subject so I cranked the shutter up to around 200.
Now those numbers above aren’t a magic formula, but they give you a good starting point. If the Christmas lights aren’t bright enough, bump up the ISO or slow down your shutter speed (just not too slow unless you are going for a blurred motion look!!). It may help to have a little available light coming in through a window to light the subject, but not too much and no direct light since that would overpower the glowing holiday lights. Even lighting on the face is important.
Image color look pretty weird? Either set the white balance in your camera while taking photos or adjust it in the post process in Lightroom or Photoshop. I shoot in Raw so I worry about it during the post-process steps. More information can be found on white balance here: What about White Balance?
I’d highly recommend a trip to Santaland located upstairs above Heather Floral right on Main Street, Madison, Minnesota.
… and don’t forget your camera!!
At any moment, your whole life can change…
A simple encounter, a rare connection, a random act. Life is full of these moments that change our destiny forever.