For my birthday, Mr. Mouse got together with my family and got me a new lens I’d been wanting. It’s different for me because it has no zoom. I have to move, can you imagine that? It’s a 50mm lens and Mr. Mouse was confused at my wanting that lens when I happen to have 18mm-55mm zoom lens. But see, my 18mm-55mm only opens as wide as 3.5. 5.6 if I’m zoomed out to 55mm. That can get me a decently blurry background but nowhere near what I want. My new baby can open as wide as 1.4!
Sunday morning, I set out to take portraits of the souricettes. The point not being to get the best or most original shots. Just getting to know the lens and the 1.4 opening (yes I can narrow the opening and get more depth of field but I had that with my other lens).
First try: I put up a crochet blanket that my grandmother made for souricette 2 and used that as a background.
It works especially well with souricette 2’s white T-shirt, doesn’t it? Notice how shallow the depth of field is? Her right eye is sharp but the left one is a teeny but out of focus…
Someone has been obsessed with the Nutcracker. She made herself this crown thingie because the dancer who plays Clara has one in the version she watches over and over and over again on Netflix.
Second try, or rather third because I didn’t keep any pictures from the second: I just hunted the girls down and took pictures where they were. In the living room. I did nothing to make the background less cluttered.
In the background, you can see the coffee table, the buffet way in the back and the bottom of some artwork on the wall. And there’s a crap ton of stuff on the buffet! But everything in the back is so blurry that you don’t see the clutter. I wouldn’t exactly call this a great backdrop but the 1.4 aperture really does a lot of work to make this a better image.
This one was cropped for better composition but the original wasn’t so bad.
See in the bottom right corner? That’s part of a vent. With my other lens, I would have had to photoshop or at least crop the image to get rid of that vent. Now, I have the choice as to what would create a better image.
I tried to get pictures of souricette 2 in front of the fireplace too. It’s whitish brick and a black gate. Once the details are all blurred, you just get some unobtrusive white and black blocks. I was trying to get souricette 2’s attention and she looked at me and told me that she didn’t want to smile for me. I told her that was fine with me and to just stay where she was. So she left. I should have pretended I was sad that she wouldn’t smile…
Fourth and last try: Souricette 2 was playing at the kitchen table. She was in front of a window with an, ummm, let’s say uninteresting view. There’s the neighbor’s fence that isn’t offensive but you can also see the neighbor’s shed and its roof as well as the side of the house. The whole thing is rather beige and I figured that it wouldn’t be too bad if properly blurred. Oh, here’s an old picture I took where you can see it :
It’s gone! Look…
Isn’t that awesome? The background is now perfectly acceptable!
One last note: make sure autofocus focuses on the eyes rather than the hair…