According to Mr. Webster, estranged can mean…
1 : to remove from customary environment or associations, or
2 : to arouse especially mutual enmity or indifference in where there had formerly been love, affection, or friendliness .
So, there you have it. I have been estranged. Estranged from my camera. Estranged from this blog (actually, estranged from the internet period). “Life” happens and sometimes we have to walk away from the things we love. The good news is, that as I recover over the next couple of weeks, I should have some down time and be able to make some headway on all the things I’ve had to put on the back burner.
I did manage to make time today to process some shots I took a few weeks ago. I’m still doing a lot of experimentation with the camera and Phototshop. Taking a cue from my friend Mark Hobbs, I walked around Liuzhou and shot all day at a wide angle, “on the fly”. I didn’t take a lot of time to compose shots nor did I spend a lot of time trying to make sure they were sharp. I was more interested in attempting to catch a mood or a moment and forced myself to not worry so much about the “process”. After talking with Mark and looking closely at his work I became convinced I had been missing some opportunities and wanted to give his “shoot from the hip” approach a go.
The results for the day are somewhat mixed. The exposure is often off and there were definitely times I wish I had been in a different spot . Still, I do like the spontaneity. Had I stood in front of these folks trying to “compose” the shot, fiddling with the camera, I know I would have gotten different results. For example, I am certain the ubiquitous Asian peace sign would have made an appearance below!
As I said, the focus is not what I would like it to be in many of these but it turns out it may be the lens as much as anything. I am sure now that my 17 – 40 f/4 L lens is “off”. I tested it against a friend’s lens last month and his was noticeably sharper when comparing identical shots taken using the same settings on a tripod. I also tested it against the 17 – 85 f/4 – 5.6 IS kit lens and aside from some noticeable barrel distortion at 17mm, couldn’t see much difference. Hopefully, I can get it looked at and repaired or replaced one day.
So, I look forward to getting caught up with everyone over the next few days and then I’ll be taking another short break before finally settling back into a normal routine. In the meantime, I hope to be getting out with the camera tomorrow!