1.28.2014

Sometimes I like the backgrounds to go just a little bit out of focus.




By Austin Photographer, Kirk Tuck ©2014

I always laugh when I hear the arguments between various camera factions over such things as the relative differences in auto-focus speeds and the huge differences in the (mis-understood) "bokeh" between various digital camera formats. Cameras are so good and the functions are so capable that getting "good" pictures now is like shooting fish in a barrel. We did this image, above, old school: Hand-held Pentax 6x7 cm camera with a 150mm 2.8 lens and color negative film. Scanned the neg., printed it on water color paper and then scanned it again to share.

It's still all about the expression and the right time to hit the shutter button. That, and looking for those cool diagonal lines....








9 comments:

CKDexterHaven said...

Kirk,
Not sure what you're saying here. This particular image doesn't seem to meet your typical standards, nor does it represent anything to do with the argument you are making. And, it doesn't look anything like a Pentax 67 shot. Looks like a grainy, badly cropped 35mm picture. The arm is cut off at the joint/elbow (journalistic 'no-no'), and no context is shown — what's he doing? And, dismissing 'bokeh discussion' while showing a shot from the P67's 165mm lens — a fantastic lens for bokeh — doesn't seem to make sense.

What am i missing?

Eric said...

W.R.T. the heated discussions about camera brands, they always remind me of the Kissinger quote to the effect that arguments in academia are so bloody because there's so little at stake. Just think how rapidly these folks' skills would advance if they put as much energy into their photography as they do into flame wars...

shooter said...

That was a great camera an slr on "roids" and this is a charming picture, like you say Kirk the expression is perfect.

Kirk Tuck said...

CKDexterHaven, Since I know you were just being silly and you can't possibly believe what you wrote I'll presume you don't really want me to comment.

CKDexterHaven said...

No, Kirk — not being (intentionally) silly. I would sincerely appreciate your comments. As i said, i usually 'get' what you're saying/showing. Here, not so much.

Jeff said...

Re: @CKDexterHaven
Nothing a little Photoshop layering, background outlining and blending can't solve.

Anonymous said...

Ok, off the top of my head... The diagonal lines draw your eye across the frame but lead to the face and the arm (playing in a water pool at a sandpit?). The blue from the out of focus jeans forms a triangle which points to the expression and the background child adds useful context without being distracting.

But the whole point is the connection and the expression of the subject.

Great portrait Kirk. Personally I find this kind of work much more interesting than stuff that blindly follows the "rules". The point of medium format isn't just to throw stuff into dreamlike out of focus (that's an option, not a necessity) and sometimes, sometimes, it's what you hint at and don't show which improves the shot. Cropping tighter would have lost some context. Cropping broader would have lost emphasis on the kid's expression.

It's a balance, and people's tastes differ, but I really like this shot.

Mark

Anonymous said...

So, the whole point of this post is to say you're amused by the usual bokeh bickering and other enginerdy-nam-nam online?
Well, if that's really all it takes to get you amused, consider yourself lucky, for it is cheap, perpetual and always abundant entertainment. ;-)

There's another old saying (not by Kissinger, I believe:) that goes something like this; "It's different men who make corpses and who wash corpses."
I think it sort of applies here, too. Case in point, the first comment in this very thread.
Nothing personal, but it is sort of fitting, and pretty typical all over the internets. Even though it was probably (hopefully) said in jest, just to illustrate Kirk's comment.
My point being, life's too short to get worked up by things like that.

PS.
I've had the chance to shoot with the Pentax 67 a few times, and it was quite an experience, especially for the first time. The size, the weight, the controls, the "recoil," the sound... slightly intimidating and cool at the same time. :)

John Krumm said...

It looks like blogger has enlarged it from a smaller photo, unlike most of your shots. Not sure if that's what you wanted...