Opportunistic photoshoots are sometimes as enjoyable and successful as planned shoots. During this past week’s photo club meeting at the Indianapolis Art Center I saw a flier about the weekend’s 2011 Dia De Los Muertos at the Art Center. I thought that would be fun, but had other plans. On Saturday my schedule changed so I decided to check it out. As I was walking out the door I picked up my camera and headed out.
I didn’t even change the lens. I was toting my Nikon D300s sporting a Nikkor AF-S 35mm f/1.8G. This is the last lens I used. In my last blog post you might have read this is a sweet lens. What I like about the 35mm is that the extremely large aperture (f/1.8) allows extremely shallow DOF if wanted and is wide enough (53mm equivalent on a DX-format CMOS sensor) for most purposes. Therefore, I was able to get street portraits with excellent bokeh, wide shots of dancers and good speed in the shade. Probably, I could have had better reach and wider at the low end if the focal length if I had brought my AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II. This is the perfect walk around lens, but hey, you dance with the gal you bring to the party.
I was there for about an hour and saw some colorful Dia De Los Muertos art, temporary sculptures, watched glass blowing for a while, watched cultural dance, talked to another photographer, and listened to some Mexican music. Oh yes, took bunch of photos. Good times.
My after action tips:
· Keep a camera with you ALL THE TIME. Get yourself a point & shoot or have your smartphone handy. I keep a Nikon DSLR & 2 general purpose lenses in a camera bag in my trunk…just in case. In this case I did have my primary camera, but if not I was covered.
· Keep your “walking around lens” on your camera when it’s not being used. That way when you pick up your camera you have a general purpose lens always available. The problem with a general purpose lens like the Nikkor 18-200mm you get just that, general purpose
· There’s a photography opportunity everywhere. Every place you go is an opportunity to take photos. OK, the Dia De Los Muertos was a natural photo opportunity, but you get my point.