Same shot as above, but cropped and processed.

50mm Practice

I recently got the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM back in working order.  I’m so happy to have it working after it being broken the better part of a year, but boy am I out of practice using it, even though the roses have grown in and I harvested a half-dozen to make room for more.  Sadly, today really wasn’t the day for shooting:

[blackbirdpie id=”97032448117972992″]

That said, I kept after it, because I figure any day I shoot is a day I learn something.  ((I hear Will and Nick saying, “You could learn to light, dumbass.”))  So, here are the three that I’m not too embarrassed to share:

This is the same shot you'll see below, straight out of the camera.
Same shot as above, but cropped and processed.

Here’s what was going on: I was seated and shooting about eight inches above and ten away from the flowers.  The blue backdrop is my 2010-11 UAH Blue Line Club polo.  The roses are held in a half-litre Mexican Coke bottle.  ((TACO BUUUUUUUUUS!))  The original shot is ISO 4000, f/2.2, 1/25sec.  I was shooting full auto-focus because, again, I couldn’t frickin’ see straight.  I would have been very happy if anything was really in focus, but the only one that seemed close to it was the bloom at left.

The below is obviously cropped to that bloom, and here are the adjustments: white balance skewed bluer to reflect the lighting1, kicked the black point up and brought up the brightness while dropping the exposure, desaturated it, and then processed much of the noisiness in Neat Image.  Now, if I’d had any kind of lighting kit, this could have come across as a much more interesting shot because there would have been plenty of light.  Instead, I’m lame.

I then switched to a shooting point on the landing of my staircase that used the ceiling as the backdrop:

Boy, I processed the hell out of this one.

I should be abused for what I did to that poor image.  Or, well, maybe it looks good if you can see straight.  I’m not sure, and I’ve looked at it on my large monitor.  Just think: that’s the best of those.  Cringe-worthy.

I’ll be honest: a lot of this is self-shaming, even if I kinda like the second shot.  I’ve got a 430 EX II and no clue what I’m doing with it—other than using it on a cable because on-camera flash is for chumps.


  1. I’ve got that set to 5200K and was too in my head to think about it.