Photography

Stop and Think


“Don’t stop to think of the words when you do stop, just stop to think of the picture better-and let your mind off yourself in this work.” ― Jack Kerouac

 

It always seems that when you are in a hurry and running late, you hit nothing but stop signs. Although they might be annoying, they are there for our protection. We need stop lights throughout our day as well. Overwork and busy schedules need to be interrupted with time for leisure and reflection. Without this we can become seriously sick with stress induced illness. There are two ways of making it through our busy life. One way is to stop thinking. The second is to stop and think. Many people live the first way. They fill every hour with incessant activity. They dare not be alone. There is no time of quiet reflection in their lives. The second way, to stop and think, is to contemplate what life is for and to what end we are living. Take some time throughout your day to give yourself a “mini-vacation” – get alone, get quiet and rejuvenate your spirits!

This was shot in Rome using a medium length telephoto lens with its aperture wide open. Shooting wide open allows the maximum amount of light to pass through the lens and at the same time decreases the Depth of Field (depth of areas that are in focus in the foreground and background). You may notice that this stop light’s red signal is perfectly in focus and the busy street behind is gorgeously blurred, drawing all attention to the signal and allowing the imagination to create its own version of what is happening in the background. This technique is often used in portrait photography so as to lend a pleasant blurred background to the subject. Sometimes this is also referred to as “Bokeh” – you might recall seeing some images from, say, Christmas, where background Christmas lights were beautiful glowing blobs of color. This is achieved by shooting wide-open, allowing the focus to be only on the subject leaving the background out of focus and non-distracting. Some specialty Prime Lenses (Non-zoom, fixed focal length) have aperture settings down to f1.4 – this is ideal for great Bokeh and also allows shooting with natural light, (large aperture = more light to the sensor), which for portraits can often be very flattering!

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12 responses

  1. Nice image, Erik. And great description of how lens choice and bokeh work together.

    June 13, 2012 at 7:25 am

  2. Nice image and DOF

    June 13, 2012 at 8:28 am

  3. Il n’y en a pas beaucoup de feus où je roule avec ma Citroën… Les villages français…

    June 13, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    • Les feux que je vois se trouvent au coeur de la ville, ou s’il y a des travaux… Il faut que j’achete un nouvel ordinateur, les “S” et “X” ne sont plus visibles…

      June 13, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    • I hope your Citroen is not a lemon (American for unreliable car)…lots of lights in Rome! (Not that anyone obeys them)

      June 13, 2012 at 3:51 pm

  4. Cool shot Erik love the bokah

    June 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    • Thanks Chris, we do appreciate your kind visit and comments! Rome is a crazy fun place to visit and shoot!

      June 13, 2012 at 3:49 pm

  5. That is a very large Red Light!

    Thanks for the post!

    June 13, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    • Aah, trick of the lens! In Rome the light could be as big as an elephant and still people would not see it! :-)

      June 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm

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