GETTING CLOSER by Toni Ahvenainen

Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen. Sony Nex-5N, ZEISS Touit 2.8/50M, ISO100, 1/500sec, f/5.6, Raw (focus stacked from 5 images). Flickr account

Photograph by Toni Ahvenainen.
Sony Nex-5N, ZEISS Touit 2.8/50M, ISO100, 1/500sec, f/5.6, Raw (focus stacked from 5 images).
Flickr account

Season of Touit - picture 15
Week 40, Wednesday

"If your photographs aren't good enough, you're not close enough" said Robert Capa. The Capa was, of course, redefining photojournalism's new approach at the early twentieth century, but I can't help but quote him when speaking about macro photography. Getting close is what macro photography is about and I am constantly surprised how even quite ordinary things transform when one approaches them closer than what naked eye would see. This picture shows a rather popular subject in photography (a sunflower), but getting closer transforms it to textures of yellow and green, creating a very different picture than 'the sunflower in the field' cliché. While I'm pretty sure Capa wasn't photographing with a macro lens, I still think that getting even closer than Capa can create interesting and visually original pictures. One thing I would love to try with same approach are portraits of people and getting very close subject. Unfortunately I haven't yet found a willing candidate for the job. My daughter Aura would be perfect model for this, but being 2 years old she would never hold still for anything beyond two seconds.

Time to continue about my experiences regarding the Zeiss Touit 2.8/12 & Touit 2.8/50M. With the last post I wrote tradition and Zeiss. Now I would like to tell you about another side of it, since when there is a tradition and culture, there also a community of people. For what I've understood the Zeiss community is spread across different manufacturers, camera models, their specific mounts and works in many different internet forums (I haven't been able to find any main place, but at Fred Miranda there are loads of Zeiss users). In digital age the communities that are build around specific products and brands, like Zeiss, are also a part of the 'user experience' and can be understood as a resource which might enhance your physical use of the product. From these resources I have personally enjoyed, for example, the FM'ers  quest to find the legendary 'Zeiss look'. While I'm not sure the 'Zeiss look' exists engineering/manufacturing wise since the term is originated from the cultural sphere, it is still an interesting discussion about certain visual effect which photographs can have. Another favorite of mine is the Zeiss staff scientist Dr Hubert Nasse who is very good at explaining contemporary lens design. For example, check out this excellent interview done by photographer Matt Granger. While not originally coming from Zeiss community, I should also mention the Zeiss's own Camera lens Blog, since it usually introduces very inspiring photographers and their work, shot with Zeiss naturally. There is of course more, but all in all, grubbing things from community is relevant part of the Zeiss experience because it can enhance your inspiration for photography – luckily there is loads of interesting stuff to find.