Testing Canon’s RF 50mm f1.2

I am testing Canon’s RF 50mm f.1.2 lens. Both photos below were shot at f / 1.2. The image above was shot at f / 4.5. I am impressed with the color, contrast and sharpness. Comments are welcome.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, DC – 1/2500 sec @ f / 1.2
Bronze statue of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk by the US artist Jeffrey L. Hall. Atatürk (1881-1938) was a Turkish field marshal, revolutionary statesman, author, and the founding father of the Republic of Turkey, serving as its first president from 1923 until his death in 1938.

Amazon Customer Service Has Spoiled Me

I recently ordered a backpack from Wandrd, an independent company that makes bags for travel and photography. Wandrd does not offer free shipping. I ended up paying $10 for shipping. The backpack arrived in about a week. Although it was a nice backpack, when I saw it in person I realized it wasn’t for me.

I checked the Wandrd return policy page, where I was prompted to fill out a form. Wandrd responded the next day asking me to fill out another form with substantially the same information I had already supplied. They said they would respond within 48 hours. The next day they sent me a shipping address in Utah and asked me to me email them the tracking information.

I put the backpack back in the box with the return authorization email and took it to the Post Office. The postage cost $43.30. I debated just keeping the backpack because of the high shipping cost but I decided to send it back because I didn’t like it. When I got home I emailed Wandrd the tracking information. This is a lot of steps and friction for a simple return.

© David H. Enzel, 2019

Had I purchased a backpack from Amazon, as a Prime member the backpack would probably have reached me in one or two days. To return the backpack, I could have immediately printed out a return label and taken the box to a UPS store or an Amazon locker at Whole Foods. I probably would not have paid return shipping and if I did have to pay return shipping it would not have cost more than $40.

Amazon’s obsession with customer service is hard to compete with. I think I had started taking Amazon’s customer service for granted.

No more.


Portraiture Is Different Than Other Photography

Austin photographer Kirk Tuck explains the difference between portraiture and other forms of photography:

[O]nly (good and great) portraiture requires the photographer to enter into a relationship, a rapport and a collaboration with the subject. No one walks in cold and, on meeting a portrait subject for the first time, fires off five or six frames, deludes themself that they have a perfect shot, and terminates the session. Unless your only goal it a clinical documentation of the person in front of the camera. 

In other words, you have to develop a connection and get to know another human being. That isn’t easy.


A Year of Covid

I made my first Covid image on March 14, 2020. It’s a photo of the beloved Avalon Theatre in Washington, DC. The Avalon, which opened in 1923, is the oldest operating movie house in the area. It remains closed but is offering movies for streaming during the pandemic.

Uptown Theater in Washington, DC closed during Covid-19 pandemic. © David H. Enzel, 2020.

A year later, I made this image on Capitol Hill. It shows the United States Capitol fenced off to protect our government from violent people while we all continue to wear masks to protect us from a deadly virus.

The U.S. Capitol is fenced off to prevent violence and people are masked to prevent Covid-19. © David H. Enzel, 2021

Where will we be a year from now?


Is There a Difference Between A Snapshot and a Photograph?

Peter Turnley is a great photographer. I admire his work. I have one his prints hanging in my home.

When I think of photographs of people, I think of posed versus unposed photographs. I prefer unposed photographs. Having said that, either posed or unposed photographs have the potential to reveal something precious and lasting about humanity.

Turnley accomplishes this way more than most photographers, whether or not his subject poses for the camera. That’s what makes his work special.


Lightroom Classic Reference Guide

Julieanne Kost of Adobe is the best Lightroom and Photoshop instructor I know. She’s just updated her free 33-page Lightroom Classic Tips, Shortcuts, and Quick Reference guide. It’s a concise PDF so it’s easy to search.

If you use Lightroom Classic this is a great resource. It’s amazing all that Lightroom can do. I don’t think any other photography software is better documented than Adobe Lightroom.