The Wrong Lens? Maybe Not

Today’s Post by Mildred Alpern

A blue-sky afternoon beckoned for a casual car ride north on Riverside Drive. The unplanned destination for the walkabout became Grant’s Tomb, an imposing neoclassical building along the Hudson River, rising 150 feet above ground level, in a perfect setting for a wide-angle lens. Alas, I had the Olympus M. Zuiko 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 lens mounted on my camera and no other in my bag.

What to do? I walked backwards as far as possible and realized I could not photograph the entire building with my lens. So I pondered and waited. As if on cue, a single stranger entered the scene, walked to the center of the plaza, and gazed at the memorial. Security bollards, bare trees, and Doric columns framed him, diminutive in size relative to the memorial. Afternoon light and shade streaked across the image dramatizing the scene.

Next, I walked forward close to the tomb to shoot a granite eagle statue flanking the entrance and then zoomed the lens for the allegorical figure of Victory high above, set upon the cornice next to the inscription of General Grant’s famous words “Let Us Have Peace.” Both images revealed the brilliant blue of the sky that had lured me for the drive. The lens had served me well, but next time, I’ll carry the wide angle.

All images were shot with the Olympus E-M5 Mark II and the Olympus M. Zuiko 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 lens. The figure, at 75mm with an exposure of 1/2500 sec at f/7.1 and ISO 400; the eagle at 75mm with an exposure of 1/500 sec at f/8, +2/3 EV and ISO 400; the allegory at 109mm with an exposure of 1/250 sec at f/8, +1 1/3EV and ISO 400.

New Podcast Tomorrow in Mirrorless Photo Tip: Click and Flash, the Snapit Brothers are back in Studio B and they’re answering reader questions, most of which in this episode are related to exposure.


Mildred’s book Haiku and Images is available on Amazon and is filled wit h beautifully reproduced color photographs along with original haiku underneath, embellishing the image and deepening its meaning. Pick up a copy to give as gift for yourself or a friend.