There is a photo challenge up this week from the Digital Photography School site, and this week’s challenge is called “Zoom.” I have been enjoying all of the helpful tips from that site lately, and I have decided to start jumping into the challenges a bit, too. The details about the challenge and links to the submissions can be found at that link.
The first photo that came to mind after reading the topic was this one. I took it last year on a trip to Washington DC with my daughter during Cherry Blossom Festival. I honestly got the better end of the deal, since she was in a seminar much of the time while I was out and about with my camera having such a grand ol’ time. Maybe that’s a bit of payback for being in labor with her for 48 hours… 😉 You know, moms remember that kind of stuff.
Ok, enough of that… on to the photo.
The DC Metro is such a photographic place. Even though I didn’t have my tripod along for this shot, I really like how it came out. I love the contrast of the train in motion as compared to the rest of the picture, and I like the amount of motion that was captured, too. .. at 800 ISO and 1/10 sec. I also like how it captured the glow of the orange lights on the side of the train. This is such a fun shot, as well as a great trip souvenir, since we rode the Metro everywhere we went.
But when I think of “zoom,” I also think of “zooming in” with my 70-300mm zoom lens, too. I discovered early on after I purchased that lens that it is a great photographic tool, not to simply zoom in on the subject from a distance, but to get some great bokeh in the background of the main subject(s) as well. I jut love taking this lens along when I have the opportunity to photograph all of the little kids in our extended family, mostly during the holidays. Some of my family members have wondered about me backing off so far and using the zoom lens, instead of using my 18-55mm zoom lens and getting much closer when taking pictures, but after a couple of years and seeing the results, I don’t get questioned about it anymore. Besides, there are plenty of other family members around with point and shoots to cover the wider group shots that I don’t typically get with the zoom lens.
I don’t share my pictures of the little kids much online, but this one is a great example of the point I just made. This was taken last Easter at the full 300mm focal length, and I just adore the end result. It was a bright and sunny Easter afternoon at a nearby playground on one of the first warm days we had after a particularly cold winter last year. I took over 100 photos of all the little kids, and their parents (my nephews and their wives), were pretty thrilled with the results. Being so far away while shooting kept the kids from “posing” for the pictures too much, although I did shout out to them a few times to “hold still” to make sure I captured a great smile from them. 😉 You know, little kids at the playground are more interested in having fun than posing, and that is what is so great about using a zoom lens for times like this. Nothing is fake, including the smiles, and the “zoom” helps to focus in on them and not so much on what all is around them.
Thanks to DPS for the fun topic. Can’t wait to see all the submissions by others!