Big Aperture in Little China

I don’t know how many people have seen the Kurt Russel classic from the eighties but I went out to Chinatown with the sole purpose to shoot wide open. With my nifty fifty ( which I reviewed here) set at f1.8 I walked around the crowded market through people shopping in preparation for Lunar New Year. Shooting with a large aperture leads to a very shallow depth of field meaning only a small part of the image is in focus.


This musician was playing a traditional instrument and seemed quite happy doing it. I raised my camera and made eye contact asking non-verbally if it was okay to take a portrait and quickly took two shots. Because I was standing in a crowded market I shot quickly and because I was shooting wide open I missed the focus on his eyes. The number one rule I have always heard about portrait photography is to make sure the eyes are sharp.. A persons eyes are the windows to his soul, gateway to the innerbeing, the unwashed mirror gazing deep into the demons of insecurity and shame roaming inside of its human host. Wait, I think I missed the point. I agree with the rule that the eyes should be sharp, unless you want to emphasize other body parts, but then its becomes less of a portrait I would say.

To dismiss the point I just finished making: the number one rule in overall photography is the paradoxical ; there are no rules in photography. But I think I will list the rules of photography in another post.

vintage duck

I did a quick Google search on dried Chinese duck and came back with Wind-dried duck and pressed-salted-duck. I don’t know which one the above picture is of but if you know please leave a note in the comment section.

shopping vintage

The atmosphere in Chinatown during the preparation of Lunar New year is pleasantly chaotic. I enjoy the sensory overload of people crowed together and stall owners presenting their wares. Most of the food items are foreign to me and for the most part I am happy to keep that relationship like that.

Shooting wide open with the nifty fifty is tricky and I lost quite some shot due to missed focus because of the very shallow depth of field. The effect is pleasant, but in such a fast paced environment it would be easier to shoot a bit more stopped down.

vintage trinkits


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