Have you ever driven a Moped on the Autobon? Neither have I, but that illustration shows how I felt about my camera lens, the 18-55mm that I use normally on my Canon. The lens is adequate for most images, but I was outgrowing it. I would read tutorials like this one and be frustrated I couldn't do the things the pros were doing. For instance, I couldn't get the depth of field created by a wide open aperture that makes the background fuzzy (bocha) in portraits. If you want a very shallow depth of field (background blurry), you’d choose a very large aperture opening, which would be a very low number, like f2.8. My other lens didn't go anywhere near that. Needless to say I was ready for a new lens and easy prey for the friendly salesman at Focal Point when he said, "Everyone needs a fixed 50mm for their camera." It was a good price, so I bought it.
The thing about the "fixed" lenses is that they don't zoom in or out at all -- the photographer does all the walking. That might seem like a huge downside, but the benefit is that you can get a VERY high quality lens for a lot less. I wasn't quite ready to spend $3,000 on a lens, so I bought a Canon 50mm f/1.8 II, if anyone cares. I wanted to try it out desperately, so I asked Emma to be my model. Lucky girl. It is such a hardship for her when I say, "Do you want to dress up like a princess and let me take pictures of you?"
Emma is always eager. She is also always silly and goofing off for the camera. My main goal was to use my new lens, not to capture Emma looking perfect.
As you can see, always the silly girl. I asked her how Cinderella looks and she calmed down a little.
On the technical side of things, I am really happy with the lens. It is very crisp and clear, lets in a lot of light, focuses fast on auto and easily on manual.
Here's a good example of the wide aperature. See how her shoulder is out of focus, but her eyes and nose and sharp? I would never be able to achieve this look with my other lens.
And another example of shallow depth of field. Princess chapstick. An essential for every lady in waiting.
Here's a sweet one of Emma. I call her "Beauty" sometimes and she just loves that she is like Belle from Beauty and the Beast. She was showing me all her different princess faces for the pictures. I've never encouraged the princess thing, but Emma is quite taken with the lovely Disney princesses all on her own. Instead of discouraging it, I try and show her the characteristics that make someone beautiful like kindness and gentleness. A good punishment for her these days is having to take off her princess dress for bad behavior. I say, "That is not how a princess acts." I also try and make a coorilation with following Christ. I hope my method is working and I don't end up with a spoiled little girl who thinks she DESERVES the best because she is a princess! Heaven help me if my daughter is ever on "Sweet 16" that horrible MTV reality show where bratty kids have their dream birthday parties. Anyway, I regress. Back to pictures of my sweet 4 year old who will not get a new Mercedes for her 16th birthday.
Check out her crown. Grandma (my mom) gave her the headband and the dress for Christmas. We saw the dress second hand and it was a little much, $7 I think. Considering how much she wears it, it was a good deal.
She's sleeping beauty in case you couldn't tell. She has just a bit of a flare for the dramatic.