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 Post subject: Re: My hometown in B&W
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:48 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:00 pm
Posts: 22
Location: Romania
Bjorn van Sinttruije wrote:
There's some nice shots in that album Radu! The magical appeal of bokeh works well in most of the pictures. However, take a look at the shot of the girl texting, with the guy and the Coca Cola vending machine in the background. Had you stopped down a bit, that guy would be sharper, and that interaction between the sexes is always an interesting moment to capture.

The picture of the elderly gentlemen on the bench (La déception) is great, really like that expression.

My biggest concern with these pictures is the focal length you are working at. Looking at your signature, I get the impression that an 85mm is all you have. For street photography, that's very long, even more so when used on an APS-C camera like your D300 (works out at roughly 128mm). I shoot 50mm (on full frame) and think even that is too long most of the time. Don't get me wrong, you can take great pictures out on the street with a longer lens, but you're very limited in your freedom to capture people's surroundings, which are often essential to good pictures. Longer lens shots like these have a high risk of being classified as street portraiture or something a paparazzi would take. The latter is clearly undesirable, and you will have to realize that the former is quite different from street photography.
If you ever get the chance to pick up a wider lens (28mm or wider, perhaps a 35mm), please give it a go. I shot with a 70-200mm, then a 50mm and finally a 35mm on my old Sony A700 (also APS-C) and with every step my pictures got more interesting. Most of the pictures I take that make the cut, as we say, to an album or my print wall, are taken at shorter focal lengths. Capa said, famously, "If your pictures are not good enough, you are not close enough", and the only way you can get closer to the action is by using a wider lens.

Hope that helps! Keep shooting street!

- Bjorn

Thanks for the kind advices, Bjorn. Things are a little more complicated than everybody expects them to be. Yes, for the time being my only lens is the 85mm. But that is because I wanted to make some changes in my lens line-up. It's only a temporary situation, hopefully. I owned the 35mm 2.0 FX Nikkor and loved it but felt that it was a little too soft wide open, had a lot of CA and a pretty nevous bokeh. Buying the 85mm couldn't give me any reason to keep the excellent 105mm 2.8 VR Micro as well. I seldom used it for macro work. Outdoor portraiture was it's best use. As I said before, your advices are precious and I couldn't agree with you more. Another big problem is that we Romanians seem to be rather "aggressive" when getting photographed. Suspicious, stressed or simply unwilling to be photographed... Don't really know the exact reason but a longer lens is usually a must for street photography, here. 85mm is maybe a little too long but everything is well planned ahead. I'm trying to get my hands on a Nikon FX body this spring - maybe a D700 which I very much like.

Nikon D300, Nikkor 85mm 1.4 AF-D, Giottos MT9371 & MH-5001

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