I’m often heard to lament “my eye saw so much more than my camera”- image files seeming to convey little of the atmosphere, or light or perspective I thought I’d seen. But I recently heard someone on the radio saying that a camera registers far more extraneous detail than the human eye ‘notices’.
And in my experience this is often true when it comes to the background or peripheries of a frame. The child’s excitement, as I open files in my faithful Lightroom, quickly ebbs when I start to notice the unseen compositional distractions – shapes, lines, marks, scuffs, blotches, dents, highlights, colours. A reminder, as if needed, that I often don’t look only peer through the viewfinder.
So a few weeks ago, it was a treat to be able to test-drive my first-ever wide-angle 24mm lens and enter the wondrous world of f/1.4 and f/1.2. Viewing the results, I was much taken by the way you can isolate a subject from their surroundings – the foreground and background melting away. I’ve always tended to swim in the shallower depths of field but this was a new visual playground.