Exposure and Perception

Yesterday I picked up a lens. In photography a good lens is an extension of your eyes. Every photographer has a favourite lens that does everything right for him or her. I like the 50mm focal length from the full frame and film realm. This preference influences my perception and how I expose myself to the environment. My 50mm lens on my camera starts at F2.8 and becomes sharper from F4 and enables me to create sharp and colourful images.

The lens I picked up was not my nifty fifty. Instead it was a humble 28-70mm F4 from the 35mm film era. It handles differently and  exposes differently thus my perception changes. The pictures above are two test shots and I like both. The flower is identical. The left picture was taken with more light and the right picture with less light.

When I turn the camera on to get ready I take in the light, set the aperture, guess the shutter speed and focus on the subject or composition and make the final settings before I press the shutter button. In some ways that is the same when I my day starts. I get up and my eyes adjust to the light. I adapt to the situation by acting in a matching speed and prioritise on what to do.

In life sometimes I wonder what comes first. Does exposure to the environment come first or does perception come first? In some ways you can call it a dilemma. I call it what it is: a situation on which you have to act. With or without camera in hand you encounter situations or they encounter you. What follows is your decision.

In the end though, preferences or no preferences there is an outcome of the previous situation. In photography when the outcome is good the picture is well exposed and the subject is in focus. Exposure and perception lead to an image that captures a moment. A decision captures a moment. As time flies, past decisions become reminders.

On Schiphol, a beautiful flower is a memory to cherish…

48. 28-70 F4 Good