one day at a time

day 37: lost

lost © Verena Fischer 2011

lost © Verena Fischer 2011

Lately a lot of people start conversations with me because of my camera. In Düsseldorf a girl from Libya asked me whether I was a professional photographer. She told me that her family comes to Germany every year, but this year they had to come earlier, because of the situation down there. She also said that they will not be able to return until Gaddafi was gone. “He takes all our money. He cannot go on like this”. I walked around town with this girl for a while and showed her where an electronics shop is so that she could buy a webcam to talk to her sisters. They are still in the country, because they are married. She also told me about their customs and how she is not allowed to live on her own or drive a car, because her father forbids it. She was only a year younger than me.

Yesterday I went out quite late when it was already getting dark. I actually felt too tired to take pictures, but I did my best anyway. I only had my 55-250mm lens on me and realised that this was actually a problem in the dark. It just doesn’t have a wide enough aperture for light conditions like this. The autofocus also hardly worked with the little light that was there. I took a picture of some people walking down the street and a young guy stopped and asked me whether he was on the picture too. I showed him the picture, but it was too dark, so he wasn’t really recognisable. He told me that he had the same camera and that he cannot afford more than the kit lens. And he also recommended a nice spot to take pictures and I wonder whether I’ve been there before or not. One of these days I will check.

Just a few meters down the block the owner of a restaurant was asking me whether I would take pictures at his restaurant too. He was probably hoping for some free advertising. I told him that it pretty much depended on whether I see something interesting or not. He seemed like a nice enough guy. I didn’t see anything interesting though.

Just outside the grocery shop at the corner Turmstraße Beusselstraße there is a map. Two backpackers were looking at it, consulting a city guide, looking at the map again and trying to figure out where they were. I took some pictures of them before walking over and offering my help. As I suspected they were looking for one of the hostels in my street and I gave them directions. The picture of these backpackers was almost the only usable one I took yesterday. Most were too dark and only one or two pictures came out alright. Next time when I go out without my tripod at night it will be with the 18-55mm lens although it’s hardly better in those light conditions.

15 responses

  1. Sukanya Ramanujan

    Lovely Photograph

    September 18, 2011 at 6:02 pm

  2. nice shot..!
    http://rodposse.com/

    September 18, 2011 at 8:09 pm

  3. Low-light can be a real challenge… but it can produce some stunning images, too (as yours is, here)!
    I love the way these people’s faces are illuminated (they stand out so well against that low-key background)…
    very nicely done!

    September 18, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    • Thank you 🙂 In this sense low light is good, because you can have pictures full of contrast and subjects really standing out, but it’s obviously taxing when it comes to noise and it restricts composition.

      September 20, 2011 at 8:44 am

  4. some dramatic lighting here and a great story …

    September 19, 2011 at 4:25 am

    • Thanks 🙂 I especially like the shadows on her face due to the lighting. Makes the scene indeed more dramatic.

      September 20, 2011 at 8:45 am

  5. Great light on this couple, this makes me worry about them.

    September 19, 2011 at 6:13 am

    • Yes, the lighting makes the picture way more powerful! Thanks for stopping by!

      September 20, 2011 at 8:46 am

  6. Eganda

    this is a lovely picture. I hope you won´t mind if I recommend a lens that works well in low light situation. I also use a canon (600d) which comes with a double kit (15-55, 55-250) , & so far I am really having fun with it! I´m not a profi but I am so eager to improve on my shooting. so I researched a bit & found the Canon EF Objektiv – 50 mm – F/1.8 ….it´s a fixed lens so you have to let your legs do the zooming in & zooming out. 🙂 It has drastically improved my photos & I love to use it for portrait & indoor shooting. I hope this helps…..thanks!

    September 20, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    • Thanks! I think the kit lenses are a good start, indeed, but I’ve also been eying the fixed lenses. I think I might actually go with the 50mm F/1.4 USM though, because it has way better reviews for not that much more money. The F/1.8 has a real good price, but since I’m going to stick to available light I think the investment in the F/1.4 is justified! Thanks for reminding me of this 🙂

      October 2, 2011 at 3:29 pm

      • 🙂 you will surely enjoy shooting (more) with your prime lens!

        October 3, 2011 at 4:36 pm

  7. The light on the faces of the two backpackers makes this photo interesting. Well seen and well done! And as Eganda suggest if you like low light or free hand night photography a fixed lens is really indicated.
    robert

    September 23, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    • Indeed, free hand in available light situations really needs a fixed lens. However, I have to save up a little bit before I can get the prime lens I want 🙂

      October 2, 2011 at 3:31 pm

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