There is always something new to learn with photography, always something to experiment with. While in Budapest recently on a writing retreat, I walked a lot and took many photographs and in doing so, experimented a lot with composition, technique, perspective, reflections, and focus. Two things came repeatedly to mind in my experimentations: 1. Changing lenses means changing perspectives: and 2. A blurry photograph is still a photograph. I like simple, mundane observations like this: obvious and almost philosophical. Sort of.
Experimenting in these ways helps me gain insight not just into my research and my art, but also into my thoughts both professional and personal. The simple act of changing the lens on my camera challenges me to see my surroundings in different ways, in new ways, and to think about the city, light, materials, and the world in new ways as well. And sometimes this new perspective is a bit blurry, or blurred. And why not? A blurry photograph is still a photograph. Sometimes a damn good photograph.
The following experimental photographs were taken with a vintage fixed focal length portrait lens given generously to me by a former colleague and wildlife biologist. Thanks to a $5 adapter, I can mount old lenses onto my digital SLR. The quality is of the image is different, often richer. The depth of focus is enhanced, and the blurriness that comes with the manual focus gives a dreamy, ethereal feel to the photographs; especially in low evening light.
Dohány utcai Zsinagóga, in reflection