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Street Shooting in Chicago with the A7CII and two lenses...


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I grew up in The Windy City on the Lake.  Chicago is home to an mazing survey of architecture and the city is filled with jewels waiting to be exposed.  I spend about a week a month up there and travel from Tennessee to visit my Mom and Dad who are both now in assisted living.  I fly up there, using both Midway (Orange Line) and O'Hare (Blue Line) and always take the "L" to and from downtown.  It's the best $5 you could spend!

Yesterday, I had just an hour in between catching the L from the train and I spent some time walking around about a four block radius and made some pictures that I'm sharing with you now.  I always take the A7CII with me on these trips because it is so small.  This trip, I chose the 50G and 24G compact primes to accompany me.  No regrets!  When I go with just one lens for street photography, it's usually the FE40mm f/2.5 compact prime.  All three of these lenses are really sharp at any aperture, they have flawless AF performance, and they are just as tiny and lightweight as the body.  I'm hoping that Sony will produce more of these in the future, like an 85 and 20mm.

This first image I was a little loose for what I wanted, so I used the "punch-in" (on sensor APS-C crop) to get the 75mm frame I wanted. 

Could contain: Architecture, Building, Office Building, Urban, City

Because the file is so large at 33mp on the A7CII, I never worry about cropping on sensor to get the framing I want.  Also, by doing this I can have four different fields of view instead of just two in carrying just two lenses: 24mm (36mm), and 50mm (75mm).  My kit is tiny with one lens in my pocket and the other around my neck attached to the camera.  The A7CII is retro looking enough to the point where it doesn't look like an expensive camera, so I feel a little safer walking around in cities too.

The next image I shot with the 50mm also, but this time in full-frame mode at f/4.  I knew it would convert well to b&w.

Could contain: City, Urban, Architecture, Building, High Rise, Office Building, Apartment Building, Condo, Housing, Tower

Next, I moved a block or so to capture two different images of Calder's Flamingo, both in color.  I chose the 24mm f/2.8G compact prime to be able to capture as much of the sculpture as possible from under it and using the buildings and sky behind it as a contrast:

Could contain: Architecture, Building, Office Building, City, Metropolis, Urban, Arch

Could contain: Architecture, Building, Office Building, City, Metropolis, Urban, Arch, Tower

The A7CII and A7IV's killer sensor allows for so much dynamic range that I typically shoot in jpeg or HIF file, and almost never in RAW.  I just get everything I need without the hassle of RAW and my post production is faster too.

For the last image I chose the 50mm f/2.5 again, at 80 ISO and 1/500th at f/4 for my exposure.  I loved how the reflecting glass on the modern building was distorting the other one.  Very cool!

Could contain: Architecture, Building, Office Building, City, Urban, Condo, Housing, High Rise, Apartment Building

As my time grew short, I noticed another reflection that looked interesting, with American flag blowing in the "Windy City."  Stayed with the 50mm there too:

Could contain: Architecture, Building, Office Building, City, Urban, Flag

Street photography is really not really challenging.  If you just walk into any big city and start looking around with a camera, opportunities will jump out at you from everywhere you look.  So, six images, shot in about 45 minutes, all while waiting to catch the next public transportation...  And Chicago is an architectural playground, worthy of your time, but please, give it more than an hour like I did...  pm-r 🙂

Edited by pm-r
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