(I’m sure nobody has ever made that pun before…)
As my graduation gift to myself, I decided to get a new lens for my camera. Being a game designer, I’m all about balance. The lens of my life is a Nikkor 18-200mm zoom lens which has such a wide range that I can bring it anywhere I go and rest assured it’s the only lens I’ll really need. The problem with the zoom lens is that because it covers such a wide range, it’s pretty slow – if I want to take pictures with it in-doors without using flash and/or a tripod, it always feels like I have to kind of beat it into submission. Since I didn’t really feel like I needed a macro lens, it seemed like the best lens to complement my zoom lens would be a nice, fast prime lens.
After taking in advice from a few people, I ended up buying a Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G prime lens. With it, I can take pictures like these:
It happened to be a nice foggy weather outside tonight, so I took my new lens out for a spin to see if I could accurately capture the gloom, but like most times I try to photograph fog, it ended up looking like I’d smeared the lens with vaseline. Nevertheless I did get a few good photos.
Because I had nothing better to do this evening, I spent a few hours making my own bokeh shapes. Bokeh is what happens to any sufficiently out-of-focus light photographed with a small enough focal ratio. The light becomes a blurry smear in the shape of the lens (typically circular), and if you cut a shape out of a piece of black cardboard and put it in front of your lens, you can change that shape because optics are basically magic. Here are some before-and-after pictures to demonstrate. I’m aware they’re not great art, but I had fun messing around with it. In time maybe I’ll find a less silly use for these things.