A Year in Photos

Photography, fiction, and personal essays form my three primary creative outlets. For this blog's first 18 months, I used it primarily for photography. As I've returned to creative writing, I'll use this blog for fiction, too. Sometimes, when reality needs to be discussed more than truth, I write personal essays.

This blog will continue to showcase as many above-average photos as I can muster. Hopefully my written work will be as good or better than the visual. Whichever drew you here -- photographs or fiction, I hope you enjoy both.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Introductory Post

What is bokeh and what is this new blog?

Bokeh describes the shape of blurred photo regions. It provides on metric for testing a lens. Other key metrics exist, such as color loss, acutance, and distortion. This blog will examine lenses and photographic equipment and provide analytical reviews based on empirical metrics. The result: lens grades from A to F in each metric and an overall lens grade. The purpose: To help you avoid what I've done many time -- buy a lens that's just not as good as it could be.

But why. Really, why do this? Photography, since the advent of digital imaging, has lost much of its difficulty and inaccessibility. This unavoidable change makes photography more accessible to more people. So this blog aims to help new and veteran photographers alike choose lenses well.

Of the most common reasons photographs turn out poorly, lenses are the second most common reason. The photographer being the first. Not all of us can have Zeiss T* or Canon L-series glass. I don't. But I do have a number of surprisingly good lenses that were as little as $3 and never more than $100. This blog will help you make an informed lens-purchase decision and evaluate various lenses' technical capabilities.

Lenses will be evaluated on and graded for:

Resolution
Bokeh and Depth of Field
Light Falloff
Acutance and Modular Transfer Function
Color Quality and Chromatic Aberration
Distortion
Noise

Inasmuch as can be done, grades will be compensated for digital imaging or scanning equipment. The idea being to evaluate all lenses as though they were used on the same camera.

I hope you enjoy the coming posts and encourage comments, criticisms, and feedback so long as its kept civil and informative.

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