Great Vacation, Bad Photo Choices

In the previous post, I laid out my bold vision for our trip to Chicago. I would carry only one prime lens, which I would choose virtually at random on my way out the door, and I would shoot in black and white.

I am a fool.

One of my first shots when we got to town. Had I shot in color and converted to black and white, I would have gained more flexibility in tonal adjustments, such as darkening the sky. This is the only acceptable image from my original plan.

This was not to be a photography trip, so these were absolutely the wrong choices. To shoot with one lens (I chose the 50mm f1.8) in black and white is absolutely fine if you devote time to explore subjects and angles and light. But this was a vacation for the purpose of showing Chicago to my wife, not for her to stand around waiting while I crawled about juxtaposing flowers and buildings. Besides, I don’t even like to shoot landscapes/architecture.

I thought it would be interesting to record people looking at art. It was, for one or two images.

Within a few hours, I switched to RAW + JPEG so I would get color as well as B/W images. In retrospect, I see I should have brought my 17-55 f2.8 and just shot in color from start to finish. This would have given me more flexibility to catch street scenes on the fly. I wanted to make snapshots rather than photographs, and equipped myself poorly for either.

This might be a nice monochrome image with some tweaking. But I really like it in color. Lots of interesting light and colors in the city.

Fortunately, along the way, I found a subject interesting to me and recordable with what I carried, but I’ll save that for another post.

The Secret Hat Society does not exist, but a surprising number of pieces at the Art Institute of Chicago feature fascinating headwear. I suspect the artists were creating a diversion: casting suspicion on the Secret Hat Society and away from the ....ach, arrrrgh...

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Filed under Camera Gear, Motivation, Post Processing, Professional vs. Amateur, Travel and Vacation

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