David Cleland (www.flixelpix.com) is a landscape and reportage photographer based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is best known for his landscape and documentary photography, which has been featured in a number of photographic exhibitions. David also teaches film and animation applying the rules of still photography to the art of moving image. David’s work has been accepted by Getty Images and been published in a number of national publications and used in numerous book covers. Today David shares an excerpt from his blog featuring a whimsical shoot he did with his Fuji X-E1.
I recently acquired two little, vintage dinky mini cars and normally would have reached for a 50mm lens and a sub f/2.0 aperture to create a miniature world effect. The Fujinon 35mm lens at f/1.4 is equivalent to a 53mm lens at f/2.0 on a full frame camera, so I began to wonder if I needed to turn to a 50mm to achieve the depth of field I was looking for.
Starting off with the Fujifilm X-E1 & 18-55mm zoom lens, I shot a number of photos of the car (setting the X-E1 on macro mode). You can see from the following two images that to get the scale right meant framing at 35mm-55mm.
At this focal length I was unable to get below an aperture of f/4, so much of the surrounding area is in focus. I was pleasantly surprised and pleased with the resultant DoF and scale.
Convinced there was no need for a full frame camera and 50mm, I moved to the Fujinon 35mm lens, which offers an aperture of f/1.4. I started shooting at the maximum aperture of f/1.4 as the car was face on.
I focused on the front grill and captured the images using the ultra bright LCD screen, which meant I didn’t need to get right down close to ground to see what I was shooting. This next shot is my favourite of the set, and as the car is at a slight angle, I wanted to get more of the body in focus, so I moved the aperture to f/2.
To add a little bit of adventure I decided to use a mix of flour and icing sugar to freeze the scene. I felt the flour was too thick and sat too heavy on the frame of the car. I should add that my attempts to make it look like it was actually snowing failed miserably. This next image is captured with an aperture of f/2.2.
You can see that moving between the 18-55 zoom and 35mm prime offered different focal lengths, and I could adjust the scale of the car. I think both the 18-55mm zoom and 35mm prime worked well to achieve a ‘slight’ sense of reality.
I am genuinely beginning to wonder if I really need to retain a full frame camera given the quality of photographs I can achieve with the fujinon lenses. I know there is an even finer DoF offered with f/1.4 on full frame, but I am just not sure how often I actually need it.
You can view the full set of Mini Adventure photographs on in the flickr set or 500px set. I am going to try and grow the Mini Adventure series and add photos of the cars in different locations. The next challenge is to incorporate Long Exposure Photography.