What is 505050?

The idea is to use a 50mm lens to take one shot a day for 50 consecutive days. The images posted will be unmodified ... well, I'll convert them from RAW into JPEG, but that's all. Some images may benefit for a bit of a twiddle and they will appear either on my flickr pages or my blog. Have fun looking over my attempts and please make comments and offer encouragement to complete the 50 day project.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Shot #50

The end!  50 shots in 50 days with a 50mm lens.  All done!  Today's shot sees me next to a 50kmph road sign.  What a handsome chap eh?

I've found the exercise a challenge.  The main reasons have been conflicting activities, not having the camera available when required, the inspiration to see the shot and then, of course, the energy to get out there and do something!

I've learnt a lot about my 50mm lens and have to say I'm VERY pleased with it, in particular the sharpness of the resultant images and its shallow depth of field.  It's made me look with interest at other prime lenses with wide apertures.

Today's shot?  Tripod mounted, 50mm lens, f4, 1/640sec, ISO 200.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Shot #49

One thing I've found awkward through this project has been having the camera, the enthusiasm and a shot worth taking all available at the same time.  I had a lovely morning with the old ladies again and there were heaps of photo opportunities, but no time to get behind the camera.  Arggh.

The light has changed significantly as the day has progressed, yet coming home from the fruit shop presented this nice view of a railway crossing.  There was sunlight on the sign causing pleasing reflections and then the sky looked quite pleasant too.

I have found the areas around the rail crossings quite fascinating.  Lots of barriers, bells and lights at the crossing, but a few meters either side of it ... nothing!  You can probably get an idea of this from today's shot?

Hand held, 50mm lens, f4, 1/4000sec, ISO 200.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Shot #48

Not sure about this shot.  I took a few and this wasn't my first choice at all.  I visited an old church just down the road from my home and tried some shots, but the focal length (75mm in old money) was just too much for the space I had available.  Perhaps I'll go back with a wider lens and try again?

Today's shot was taken round the back of the church in the graveyard.  The light was well diffused and there were some nice clouds and effects on the gravestones, but this particular image appealed because of the "decay".  The rusting metal is part of the surround to a grave and the plants have gone to seed and are dying also.  The concurrent decay of both man made objects and nature was the "inspiration" I suppose behind the image.

Hand held, 50mm lens, f2.8, 1/100sec, ISO 200.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Shot #47

Getting late again and still no shot for the 50mm project.  Having said this, I've always liked the way the street light plays on the trees and road on nearby streets.  With this in mind I set off this evening with camera and tripod to see what I could capture.

Colour balance was set to automatic and as you can see it's perhaps not done as well as it might.  Perhaps a bit too yellow?  Let me know what you think?

Tripod mounted camera, 50mm lens, f8, 25secs, ISO 200

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Shot #46

A bit short of inspiration today after last night and a busy day at work. Nevertheless I've always been quite amused by the ceiling lights in the rumpus room. There's nothing particularly attractive about them, but the shadows and ceiling tile joins went together to make an interesting picture.

Hand held, 50mm lens, f6.3, 1/60sec, ISO 200.

The challenge was to get as much definition in the foreground light bulb whilst maintaining light on the ceiling and some of the shadow effects.

Shot #45

Anonymouz and the Hypnotics at the Ivory Lounge in Parnell, Auckland with Ross Devereux.  Great music and company.  Wonderful evening and I managed a 50mm shot to boot!

The light was subdued to say the least, but I still managed a few shots.  I've not downloaded them all yet, but needed to post one for my 505050 project, so Ross has come to the rescue.

Hand held, 50mm, f1.8, 1/25sec, ISO3200

This particular image was shot RAW and then converted to JPEG.  I'll post some more images on my blog when I manage to download them off the camera.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shot #44

Some rogue weed embedded in the wall of the house.  This'll have to go before it causes some damage.  Nevertheless, the parts of the image intrigue me.  There's contrasts here between the man made bricks, concrete and metal, and then the rather delicate little flower, which, left to its own devices, would probably cause the wall to fall down.

Still feeling rough today, so this is the best I can do.

Hand held, f2.8, 1/1000sec, ISO 200, spot metering on the flower.

Don't forget you can click on the image to get an enlarged view.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Shot #43

Feeling rough today and as I seem to feel worse as the day progresses I thought I'd better get a shot early on in my day.  The sun was rising and some of the colours as you looked through the leaves were quite lovely.  On this particular leaf I notices a spider.  What with the interesting lighting, the shapes in the leaves and then the spider I thought I couldn't lose.  What do you think?

Tripod mounted camera, f8, 1/200sec, ISO 200

Some more shots from this morning.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Shot #42

Full of a cold today and no desire to go anywhere or do anything, so it was back into the garage for inspiration again.  I've noticed the way the light hits this old radiator from an Austin A40 Devon.  The shot is of the bottom of the radiator and shows the tap used to drain off the water.  It's quite a rusty piece of equipment, but I suppose quite rare these days?  I suppose I was just playing with shapes and angles rather than specific objects.

Tripod mounted camera, 50mm lens, f1.8, 1/60second, ISO 200

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Shot #41

Shot of a very pretty girl at Manukau City's Vaisakhi Day celebrations.  Sadly the image isn't as sharp as I'd have liked, but does that matter?  I can recall quickly switching subjects to capture this girl and I suspect either the autofocus didn't function fast enough or I hadn't stopped moving the camera when I pressed the shutter release.  Either way I still really like the spontaneity of the image.

I'd been down to Auckland City earlier yet failed to take my 50mm lens.  This meant I was stuck again without a 50mm lens shot for the blog.  Fortunately, my daughter wanted some running shoes, so a quick trip into Manukau City, with the 50mm lens of course, was an opportunity for a shot.

A few folk have been talking about Street Photography and at an organised event people seem very happy to let you take a photograph or two.  More often than not they tend to pose and look rather stilted.  I suppose that's why I like the lack of a pose in this shot.  Let me know what you think.

Hand held, 50mm lens, f2.8, 1/160sec, ISO 200

There's a few more shots from the street here taken with an 18-200mm zoom and the 50mm lens.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Shot #40

A bit of a change from the usual more natural images I've been taking.  We needed some shots for a webpage so I thought a few close-ups of equipment may be of interest.  It's not the best illuminated of places in the back of a server rack, so a high ISO was selected.  Spot focus and exposure on the metalwork rather than the lights.  I was happy for these to blow out if that's what happened.

I used a diagonal again to get a bit more interest into the shot.  To be honest, I can't see a lot of visual excitement in a piece of computer hardware, so shooting from different angles other than straight on often helps.  Shallow depth of field with a range of focussed and out of focus objects in the frame also helps creater a bit of interest, then, of course, there's the colour.  I needed the lights to be on of course!

Hand held, 50mm, f2.8, 1/80sec, ISO 1600

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Shot #39

Autumn here in New Zealand and we've just knocked the clock back an hour.  The sun is lower in the sky and there's this warm glow to many things around you as you head towards 6pm.  I've always liked to look through leaves into the sun and today's shot shows the bright setting sun, some rather nice flare and the autumnal leaves of a silver birch in my front garden.

Focus and exposure was on the leaves to the bottom of the frame.  I suppose I could have used a slightly higher f-stop, but I really didn't want the camelia behind the silver birch leaves to be discernable as anything other than shadows.

Hand held, 50mm lens, f2.8, 1/500sec, ISO 200.

Any good?  Make you think of autumn perhaps?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Shot #38

Always a pretty subject, the iris on the driveway.  This evening the light was both diffused and even, and there was no wind to speak of.  This lack of wind enabled me to use a longish exposure and not get much in the way of movement blur.  I was intrigued by the idea of having two flowers in the shot, but with one out of focus.  I wasn't sure about the diagonal leaf.  Part of me quite likes it as it give a bit of depth to the image, especially as the second bloom is behind it.

I tried different apertures, but really needed a shallow depth of field to keep the background from confusing the image too much.  There's a lot of leaves, stalks, twigs etc. that would take your eye away from the main subject.

Camera mounted on a tripod, 50mm, f2.8, 1/50sec, ISO 200 spot metering and focus on the centre of the iris flower.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Shot #37

Autumn and time to gather things for the Pre-School nature table.  We spent a lovely afternoon at Cornwall Park collecting leaves, acorns and "cheggies" (well, that's what we used to call them!  Most other folk seem to call them conkers).  I always thought a cheggy sounded better than a conker!

We arrived a little after 1pm and the light was quite lovely.  The clouds were glorious, but with the 50mm lens I just didn't seem to be able to get enough in the shot.  Perhaps when this project finishes I'll try something with a wide angle lens?

Today's shot was of a wonderfully coloured and textured tree limb.  I've cheated slightly as what appears to be the trunk is in fact a horizontal branch.  I think the image works better in portrait rather than landscape though.  Twiddle about and let me know what you think.

Hand held, 50mm lens, f8, 1/125 sec, ISO 200.

Spot metering and focus on the central part of the tree and f8 to get a reasonable amount of stuff in focus.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Shot #36

Easter Monday and another day off work.  We decided to take a walk up and around Totara Park and then through Auckland's Botanic Gardens.  Today's shot is looking across one of the lakes in the botanic gardens.  The cheat, of there is one, is that a polarizing filter has been used to give a bit more detail to the clouds and perhaps a little more saturation to the greens.

Using the filter cuts out quite a bit of light as you may appreciate from the camera settings below.  It was quite a bright day, yet at f4 the shutter speed was only 1/100.  The sun, incidentally, was over to my right.

Hand held, 50mm lens, f4, 1/100second, ISO 200

Sunday, April 4, 2010


A day of celebrations for many people both young and old around the world today.  Easter Sunday.  For some it's the time to remember the sacrifice of their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  For others is a time to celebrate chocolate in the form of eggs, bunnies or anything else for that matter!

Today's shot is of some eggs.  A tradition in our household is to hide eggs in the garden for the children to find ... and then celebrate by eating them.  Well, perhaps not all of them, but certainly a large number of them!  This year we went for smaller eggs, but more of them.  Turned out to be a challenge for the chidren to find them and me to remember where I'd hidden them.

I placed the cylinder of eggs on the dining room table and looked down from above setting the wood grain at what I considered a pleasant diagonal.  Aperture set quite low to keep focus on the eggs.

Hand held, 50mm, f2.8, 1/80sec ISO 200

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Shot #34

Tidying up the workshop today and getting ready for winter.  Tonight summertime officially ends and we move the clocks back an hour.  The nights are drawing in, the mornings are dark and it won't be long before things start to feel rather cooler than they do right now.

We heat the house with a wood burner.  The wood was bought and stacked some time ago, but today's shot of the firewood seemed appropriate as a reminder of the changing seasons.

The wood has a lovely "warm" colouration to it and I wanted this to be seen in the final shot.  I used an incandescent bulb to illuminate the firewood and overexposed by one stop to make the scene just a little brighter.  I tried a speedlight, but the light from this just seemed too harsh.  The more mellow incandescent
bulb seemed more pleasing to me.  Let me know what you think.

Tripod mounted camera, 50mm lens, f8, 2.5 seconds, ISO 200 and auto white balance.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Shot #33

Not very inspired today I'm afraid.  For some reason I've been suffering from bad headaches again.  As such, looking at screens and squinting through viewfinders wasn't something I wanted to do.

I tried some shots by the front door where I noticed a vacated cicada "skin" on some grasses.  The 50mm lens doesn't let me get too close, but it's pretty sharp so I could crop to get closer ... but not in the 505050 project remember.

I'd decided this was the shot until just before my evening meal I noticed the sun on that hibiscus I shot previously.  The angles were a little different, the light wasn't as harsh and the angle of the light gave more texture to the petals.  Also the darker background really helped isolate the stamens.  There was also a rather nice highlight in the centre of the flower.  The light didn't last long as it happens, so I was pretty fortunate to catch it when I did.  Click in the image to get an enlarged view.

Hand held, 50mm lens, f4, 1/500sec, ISO 200

I've just added a new widget  - over there on the right ->  that'll allow you to get my daily 50mm shots in your email.  Please give it a try and let me know what you think.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Shot #32

Busy day at work again and no time to get a shot either before, during breaks or immediately after work.  At home I tried some shots in the garden but really wasn't that impressed.  As we'd run out of milk a quick trip up to the dairy was in order and I caught a glimpse of quite a lovely sunset.  The problem was that most of the foreground matter is not really the type of thing you want in a sunset.  I tried to find a good vantage point then stumbled upon some interesting weeds.  I thought if I focussed on the weeds and made them into a silhouette you'd get the colours of the sunset without noticing the warehouses and other general rubbish.  I'm reasonably pleased with the result; just a bit disappointed with the extra twigs to the left.  I never noticed these when I took the shot!  I was, remember, just popping out to the dairy for some milk!

Hand held, 50mm lens, f8, 1/800sec, ISO200