Pedal to the Metal

This guy was pedaling so hard he was huffing and puffing. He did make the green light, though. Absolutely no way to be able to focus on him and still compose. That’s where GR’s snap mode saved the day. You just mash the button and take a picture without waiting.

My GR is set up for street shooting:
Aperture priority: f/8
ISO: 800/1600/3200 (800 is my default for sunny days)
Metering: Multi or Center
Effect: Hi Contrast B&W
Focus: Snap set to 2m

Using snap focus at aperture f/8 that makes all subjects between 1m in distance and infinity to be in reasonable focus whenever I smash that pill-shaped trigger without any pre-focusing.

You may ask why such high ISO and high aperture. Answer: speed. I need to be able to bet 1/250 of a second shutter speed or faster to avoid motion blur. I cannot open the aperture below f/8, because that would make the hyperfocal distance 2m at minimum (too far for a 18mm lens) and infinity would be blurry during snap focusing too. So, the only solution is to raise the ISO and keep the aperture stopped down. This is one of those “set it and forget it” things where I barely touch the settings. On my Pentax i’d constantly fiddle with the aperture, focus, then the exposure compensation and barely get any good shot. On a GR, the settings fade away into the back of your mind and you do what you actually intended to: keep shooting. Surprisingly, my retention ration of pictures taken with the GR is way higher than with a DSLR – where I lost so many shots because of missed focus, or people turning away, or simply being too afraid to take a shot with a paparazzi-sized monster camera.

If I take color pics, I push ISO up to 1600, if I do B&W, I have no reservations pushing it all the way to 3200. The B&W effect adds artificial film grain to the photo, so noise is not at all concern for me at this ISO. I’ve even tried 6400 and it was still very serviceable with B&W high contrast shots. I’ll give the GR a spin for few more weeks and perhaps will start writing a series on different topics and shooting styles. Need to think about it.

If you are an aspiring photographer and want to get into this hobby, whatever you do, don’t fall into the trap we all have and suffer of GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) where you need the “best” gear to take the “bes”t pictures.
You don’t need more gear.
You need to shoot more!
A heavy professional DSLR and a massive fast lens are not fun to lug around all day – they will in fact make you shoot less, collecting dust on a shelf.
Ask me how I know…


Categories: Daily Life, StreetTags: , , , , ,

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