intraordinary

vaperture, object photos, unexpected colors in photos

This object is extraordinary to my eyes, but only within the confines of this photograph…  “intraordinary”.

It’s a close-up with context image of a completely non-extraordinary hand railing next to the East River in Manhattan taken in the late evening hours of August with a Zeiss 25mm f2 manual focus lens, aperture wide open at f/2, shutter speed of 1/1600. The hand rail itself is anything but spectacular, but the image created here is just gorgeous. The dark and subdued drawing style of this lens, which is completely unique to this lens as far as I have seen, combined with the drama of the evening light and the beautiful bokeh that Zeiss lenses are famous for, created something extraordinary out of an ordinary object that has zero relevance outside of this photo.

If you don’t look, you’ll never see

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fallen

fall leaf pictures, zeiss 28mm f2 manual focus lens, fall leaf photos

This is one of the first fallen leaves I came across in early September on a neighborhood basketball court. The evening sun was hitting is just right to make it stand out and catch my eye.

I used a Zeiss 28mm f2 manual focus lens mounted on a Canon 5D Mark III with the aperture wide open and my lens right at the minimum focus distance for the lens. I love the close-up with context view that shooting very close with a wide angle lens provides, and ever since I experimented with this technique, the minimum focus distance is probably the first spec that I look at whenever I’m considering a new lens. The usual alternative of using a macro lens for close-up work can also yield really great photos, but they are completely different than a close up with a wide angle. There is no context with a macro lens… it’s all about the detail of the object being captured. A close-up with a wide angle creates a story though, and that’s what I love about the technique.

This image came out of the camera with a very 3D look at feel that I loved as soon as the shot appeared on my screen, and it’s the photo that started me down the path of trying to perfect the “close-up with context” view.

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wine

Vaperture 11/6/13: Wine. Zeiss 135mm f/2 MF: Long Island Wineries - 06

Beautiful wine grapes at Roanoke Vineyards in Long Island… one of my favorite East Coast wineries. They have a wonderful sitting area outside near the vines, and on a bright sunny day like this one, it’s the perfect opportunity to grab a few grape shots.

This photo was taken with a manual focus Zeiss 135mm f2 APO SONNAR lens, which is one of my absolute favorite lenses. The bokeh it produces is incredible, and the manual focus ring is so soft and precise, almost like a finely fashioned surgical instrument (which I am ironically  used to using in my professional life). My aperture was set to 2.5 with a shutter speed of 1/1600 and -0.7EV. As usual, there is zero retouching or post processing so this is straight out of the camera (Canon 5D Mark III).

All of the photos I shot this day were extremely difficult to get exposed correctly because the sun was so bright and the entire vineyard was essentially backlit. This taught me how important body positioning is for getting the right shot… using your body to block out, or create, shadows was the key here.

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where dreams come true

vaperture photography

On the brand new @Vaperture twitter account, I chose to post the first photo I ever took as my first tweet. For the Vaperture blog, I’m going to do just the opposite and show you the very last photo I took… where dreams come true.

This was taken from a Roosevelt Island rooftop at about 9pm. I used a Canon 5DIII with a Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 manual focus lens set to f/11. 30 second exposure on a tripod with a remote trigger. No post processing… straight from the camera. It took me a few tries to get the composition I wanted, but this is one of my favorite pictures so far, and it’s head and shoulders better than my first-ever photos taken a few months back when I started this journey teaching myself digital photography.

Now I’m going to have to figure out a way to keep shooting on rooftops when it gets cold, and also how to get access to more rooftops in this city.

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