Today, I feature a street photograph that might be my favorite, that I shot on my recent trip to India. And, unlike my usual street photographs, it’s in color (if you haven’t noticed). In fact, the rich color, as well as the composition are the main reasons I like the image. I did test-convert this to a black and white and I didn’t like it nearly as much.
You might notice the grand structure in the background. It’s the Vidhana Soudha, which I featured yesterday. If fact, I purposely framed this photo with the building centered within the gap of people, giving me a strong foreground and background. Except, in my first photo, I shot at f2.5, which sufficiently blurred the background, even with a smaller micro 4/3 sensor. I didn’t want that.
I quickly changed my setting to f10, before the people realized that I was making a photo. And, here’s my point. There seems to be this notion that maximum shallow depth of field is some holy grail, and it must be practiced all the time. For me, in this case, I wanted the background to be in focus so it gives a better context to where I shot this.
So when someone says full frame is better because of shallow depth of field, they really don’t know what they are talking about. It all depends on the context and what kind of photograph you are trying to create.
Purely by luck, there were no vehicles in the background. I love it, because there’s a timelessness to the image. There’s nothing like cars that date a photo. Perhaps the only hint of modernity are the plastic gloves worn by the fruit cutter. So, it turns out, I created one of my favorite photos in India with a combination of intention, knowledge of craft and luck. I guess that’s the way it works.
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