Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Park Anonymous

A very recent picture, taken Sunday, January 15, 2006, at Yerba Buena Park, using a Leica M4-P, Summicron 50/2, Fuji NP400 film (processed in FX15). I submitted this to the RFF photo contest folder. I'm not big on photo contests, but this one intrigued me, because the rules stipulated the use of a "normal" lens for all submitted images (3/photographer), namely a 50mm. The rules also invoked the spirit of Henri Cartier Bresson (HCB), who reportedly shot exclusively with a 50mm. I'm not a big fan of HCB's work (blasphemy, I know), but many of his images made a big impression on me when I was a photography student.

On my first weekend out shooting "for the contest," I took my M4-P, the Summicron 50, 5 roles of film, and my CLE, with a CV 28/3.5 attached. I used the CLE once, to take an OBTW architectural shot. Shooting exclusively with the 50 was fun, and a challenge. Popular opinion states that the 50mm isn't really the normal lens for 35mm film, and that a 35 or a 40 is more what the human eye sees. I've heard the 50 referred to as a "short telephoto." I agree that the 35mm, or the 40mm, is closer to the field of view of the human eye, but I think the 50mm is closer to how the human eye sees and focuses. For some reason, the 50mm is the one lens that really forces me to compose. I find I move around a lot more while composing with the 50. I'm always trying to fit a composition.

If you've never intentionally limited your shooting, try it out. It's really been a lot of fun. I can't wait for the next outing.