Fuji Velvia 50, 06 January 2010


Having worked an 11 hour day, I’m not really in the mood for any serious thinking, so here’s another photo for your viewing pleasure.


Photo Information:

Camera: Nikon N80
Lens: Nikon Nikkor 70-210mm f/3.5-5.6
Film: Fuji Velvia 50 Slide Film (35mm)
Metering: TTL

The subject of this photo is a statue of Jesus Christ outside of Christ the King Catholic Church in Norfolk, Virginia. [1] I shot this photo from a low angle – roughly 3 feet from the ground – looking up at the statue. As you can see, I also captured the bell tower of the church in the background. Despite the rather poor wide aperture setting on this particular zoom lens, [2] the distance from the camera to the statue relative to the bell tower was sufficient to render the latter mostly out of focus, as I had intended. Upon later reflection, had I used my 85mm f/1.8 lens, this would’ve been a little easier, since that lens has a much wider maximum aperture setting, and I shot this photo at roughly the 80-90mm setting on the zoom lens, anyways. [3]

Apart from the specifics of the shot, I converted this scan to black and white in post-processing; the day was overcast, so there wasn’t any worthwhile color to be had in the sky, and the statue and bell tower are grey stone and brown brick, respectively, so not much good color there, either. I’m also rather fond of black-and-white shots of statues and sculpture, [4] so it all worked out better in black and white, in this case.



[1]: In case this name sounds familiar, I’ve mentioned it before in a previous post. My Mom is an active member of this church community, and once upon a time, so was I. Again, if you’re interested in learning more about the church and community themselves, feel free to wander on over to their website. Note that you’ll also see a (much smaller, lower resolution) shot of this very same statue in the upper right-hand corner of the website’s splash page. And before you ask, no, I didn’t have anything to do with this; it is entirely coincidental. OTOH, the statue has been with the church for quite awhile, so it is only natural that they’d use it as part of their promotional materials.

[2]: Any time you see an aperture mark that says something like “f/3.5-5.6,” that means that the lens has a variable maximum aperture, i.e. at certain zoom settings, the maximum aperture is f/3.5, while at other settings (usually the more distant settings), its f/5.6. Obviously, this can adversely affect your shooting, as it severely limits the available aperture settings you can use. Of course, on the whole, telephoto lenses usually have rather small maximum apertures, and those that have wider settings (like the 85mm lens I mentioned) are far more expensive than their lesser endowed brethren.

[3]: Just goes to show that you can’t always plan for how things will play out. I originally considered bringing along the 85mm lens, but I had some other telephoto shots in mind that required the use of the longer zoom lens, so I left the former at home. Later, as I was shooting this photo, I wanted to kick myself when I noticed that I had set the zoom lens at approximately 90mm for the shot. Oh sure, you could lug around every single lens you’ve got for your system camera, but 1) that gets heavy quickly, and more importantly, 2) you may not always need every lens you’ve got. For example, I only rarely shoot with the macro lens I have for this camera, and while I love using it, I just don’t need it around on a regular basis, so I don’t normally carry it, unless I know I’ll be visiting an area where it’ll be worthwhile to have it along. Conversely, I rarely carry the zoom lens when I’m shooting in the evening, since the rather poor maximum aperture settings are not conducive to low-light handheld shots; the 85mm lens is far more useful in such situations. The tradeoff, of course, is that occasionally, you’ll find yourself unprepared for certain situations, in which case, you just have to do the best you can and hope it works out.

[4]: Yes, I am well aware that ancient sculptures used to be vividly painted in bright, lifelike colors. I don’t care; I’m more interested in what they look like now. Lifelike color isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but there’s also something to be said for the interplay of light and shadow on a color-neutral object. Or maybe that’s just me…


One Response to “Fuji Velvia 50, 06 January 2010”

  1. […] of y’all who’ve read some of my previous posts (last year, that is) know just how much I like shooting Fuji’s Velvia color-reversal film. If you haven’t, go ahead […]

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