On The Street With A Rokinon 7.5mm

There are as many definitions of street photography as there are photographers purporting to be street photographers — even more if you include editors, gallery owners, agents … In fact, I have several definitions, just for me, depending on either the mood or vision I got out of bed with, that day.

Today’s goal was to test a new lens — the Rokinon 7.5mm, f3.5, manual focus, on a micro four-thirds body. As you can see, from the following images, I walked along Main Street, Huntington Beach, releasing the shutter whenever I saw someone who was interesting to me. One of the advantages of being retired — I can shoot what is interesting, to me. I don’t have to care about a creative director or other commercial client, and don’t have to care about the mother of the bride. Not that they aren’t, generally, nice people, but now I am shooting for me, and not because someone is signing a check, or giving me their credit card. 🙂

That applies to post-processing, as well. Personally, I like to oversaturate color images, on occasion. In black & white photos, I usually don’t mind a little grain (yes, I know, it’s really digital noise). In fact, I will sometimes add a little noise.

Back to the Rokinon (the same lens is branded/marketed as Samyang, Bower, Pro-Optic, and maybe more). It is a 7.5mm manual focus lens (equivalent to a 15mm focal length on a full-frame DSLR, or 35mm film camera). The field of view is 180 degrees and it is called a fish-eye lens — but it is not a circular fish-eye, so you don’t get the idea that you are looking through a peephole. It does start to distort the lines, at the edges, but that can be defished, or enjoyed, as-is. Anyway, at 7.5mm, depth-of-field, is not really a consideration, in most cases. At an aperture on f8, everything from the hair in your nose to infinity is in focus.

For much of today, I was walking toward the sun, but with a slightly overcast sky, so I didn’t expect harsh shadows, although some subjects would be in shade. I set the camera (Olympus OMD-EM5) on aperture priority at f5.6, ISO and White Balance on auto Since I planned to convert most of the images to B&W, the WB was not really an issue). Shutter speeds ranged from 1/160 to 1/2000. The camera was on a neck strap, adjusted to sit just below my sternum, so I could shoot anything I turned my chest towards. Recently, I have stopped shooting in RAW. The quality of the jpegs, from the OMD, is perfect for my purposes.

First, a self-portrait, as reflected in the bumper of a Ford Fairlane, as I waited to cross the street.

Huntington Beach

My Reflection in the Bumper

Downtown Huntington Beach

Downtown Huntington BeachDowntown Huntington BeachDowntown Huntington Beach

Downtown Huntington Beach

Downtown Huntington Beach

I should show this next girl in color. She is on this corner, everyday, handing out coupons for a local bar/restaurant. The cards are lime(?)green — and so is her hair.

Downtown Huntington Beach

Downtown Huntington BeachDowntown Huntington BeachDowntown Huntington BeachDowntown Huntington BeachDowntown Huntington Beach

Images were processed in Lightroom CC, converted to B&W in Silver Efex Pro 2 (except the Ford Fairlane), then fine-tuned in LR.

After a hard day, walking the streets, I felt a cold beer was in order. At short visit to The Irishman, a Blue Moon from the tap, and a 20 minute walk home, made it a pretty good Sunday.

Downtown Huntington Beach

The Irishman

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