July 26, 1998

Another Morning with Lilly (Rainbowhaven Beach, Nova Scotia)

4"x5" film
A week after our first early-morning session, Lilly and I got up at sunrise, and again ventured to the beach to work with the early light. I was still very excited about the images from the previous week, and hoped to build upon the strengths of those.
4"x5" film
One of the biggest risks I have taken in the last year was purchasing a top-of-the-line wide-angle lens for my 4"x5" view camera. Previously I had two - a 90mm lens and a 65mm lens; but both lenses were limiting - they were slow (f/8) and did not have a broad range of movements. The new lens, a 75mm f/4.5, was both fast and flexible. The risk was that I was not convinced that I would use the lens enough to justify the investment; I now know the decision was a good one.
4"x5" film
It takes time to learn how to see with a new lens (one of reasons why I dislike zooms - too many focal lengths to learn), but I am finally becoming comfortable with the 75mm. Since buying the lens, an increasing number of successes have come from it - to the point that over the last two sessions, it has been the lens of choice! The inherent difficulties of a wide angle lens (size and shape distortion, extreme perspective angles etc) have slowly become controllable, and more and more, the images I am producing with the lens are simply successful images, not "wide angle" images which succeed. The look of an extreme wide angle image can be impressive, but this is more often due to the novelty of the angle of view than the image itself. The more I use the 75mm lens, the easier it becomes to use well.

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