Last weekend, I went back home to visit my dad, pick up the wedding rings, and take some photographs. I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to take pictures of I just knew I wanted to practice with my 50mm F1.8 prime lens and my Sony A7R2 camera. Then my cat, Pixel, came by and I decided that this is what the internet needed more of: images of cats.
Prime lenses, for those not in the know, are lenses that are fixed at its focal length. That is to say that you cannot adjust the focal length or, in laymen's terms, zoom in or out. Focal lengths are a bit more complicated than a simple "zoom" effect (B&H made a really great video covering the basics of focal lengths).
Being a videographer my usual go-to lens is a kit lens. Something that I can, if I need to, change the focal length of. However, often it is better to physically move than to simply "zoom" in on a subject. This is the case for photography.
Having to move instead of changing the focal point presented an interesting challenge for me. Although Pixel would move from one location to another quite often, he didn't seem to mind me getting my camera close to him. Some of these images were actually cropped in post (one of the reasons I love using the A7R2 is it's 35mm full-frame 42.4MP image sensor).
Honestly, I could have focused a little more on the, well, manual focus. In the settings I had focus peak turned on so I could see where the image was most sharp. Pixel would keep adjusting his pose thus making it difficult to keep the focus sharp. Staying at around f/5.6 helped keep the image sharp despite his slight movements.
As far as lighting was concerned I kept it simple. I used whatever light was whatever was available, no professional lighting or reflectors. This added another challenge to overcome. Without creative control of the light there were some things I needed to adjust the exposure a little in post. However, out of limitation strives creativity and creative problem solving.
Overall this was a fun challenge. I'm not entirely sure that I couldn't do something similar with my 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 lens. But while some of the images didn't turn out quite as well as I'd have liked, image to the right's depth of field is way too shallow, I am now feeling inspired to try new things. For the next challenge I'm thinking either of playing with lighting or focusing hard on composition and framing within the image.