The Torchbearers Far and Wide

The Torchbearers, University of Texas - Austin, Texas

The Torchbearers, University of Texas – Austin, Texas

I was attracted to this sculpture in front of the library on the University of Texas at Austin campus during a recent visit. With research I discovered that it’s called The Torchbearers by Charles Umlauf. I’m not sure how famous Umlauf is in the rest of the U.S., but in Austin, he is known for having a 168 piece sculpture garden in South Austin. Umlauf has works on display around the country but he was a professor at the University of Texas for over 40 years.

I made the first photo at a 100mm equivalent using the Canon G7X Mark II, which gives a moderately compressed close up. At a f9.52 equivalent, it’s not going to isolate the image very much. Potentially one of the downsides of a 1 inch sensor.

The Torchbearers, University of Texas - Austin, Texas

I then attempted to make a composition with the wide-angle, 24mm equivalent. I opted to get in much closer and use the library’s architecture as a background. I was doing a compositional exercise more than anything else, though inadvertently, I bookended the available focal lengths of this small camera. I find that 24mm to 100mm does a good job.

As an interesting aside, for some reason, I find it a lot easier to frame accurately on this small camera with the back LCD. Often, my compositions are very simple. I just center and try to shoot perfectly perpendicular (with the lens) to my subject. Though I find the actual execution, challenging, always being slightly off where the lens is not at a perfect 90 degrees. Luckily, Capture One has perspective corrections that somewhat compensate for my inaccuracy.

With the Canon G7X Mark II, I’m better nailing my compositions. When I need to perspective correct, I do less of it in post. Perhaps, I’m just lucky or maybe there is something to using a large rear LCD. I just happen to be shooing at night or on overcast days which makes it easy to see the rear LCD. The question is, in the bright Texas sun, how successful I’ll be without a viewfinder.


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