Out-of-Focus Background

A few weeks ago when we were at Mystic Aquarium, Patrick was running around outside near the Beluga whales through the small tunnels. He decided to keep running towards the seals and other outdoor exhibits. I realized one of the barriers between the aquarium and parking lot was was some sort of hole-punched metal wall. Thrown out-of-focus, I thought it could be an interesting backdrop.

I was chasing Patrick, so didn’t have much hope of getting any shots, but he did cooperate a little. I had the 24 mm lens mounted (effectively 36 mm focal length on my crop-body camera) and would have preferred something longer, but speed dictated no lens change; the flash was mounted on the camera and I figured I could bounce it off of the ceiling of the building overhang. I was caught a little off guard because Patrick suddenly came at me, saying “I want to see Patricks!” (photos of himself; vain much?) so I told him we had to take some. I knew this wouldn’t be a good photo, but I really just wanted to see what the background would look like.

“Stand here and I’ll take your picture.” The trouble is that in the instant I get the camera to my eye, he thinks I’ve taken the photo and he comes running back to get a look at it. As I showed him where to stand and then rushed to back up and snap a photo quickly, the result was several failed attempts to even press the shutter before Patrick came running to me to “see Patricks.” I guess I was lucky to have a wider lens on the camera so I didn’t have to back up further.

The top photo was shot at f2.2, and the bottom at f2.0. In both shots, I like the area on the left side of the photo better. I suspect the way the sun hit the edge of the metal caused this interesting round highlight to appear. This is where the longer focal length lens would have been great — I would have been able to better focus on this detail. Of course, even with the wider lens if I had a little more time I could have probably captured it more to my liking!


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