Explorer: Len Saltiel ( WWW )
Research period: January 27th thru February 8th, 2015
Instruments: Fuji XT-1, Fuji 23mm f/1.4 lens, Gitzo Traveler Tripod Model 1242t, Really Right Stuff B-40 Ball Head and Rock Steady Hands (okay maybe a little hand shake).
Location: Venice, Sarasota, Siesta Key, Marco Island and St Petersburg, Florida
WE35 Explorations of Southwest Florida
Preparing for a February WE35 Field Report, this scientist considered his options of where to explore. Assessing the possible outcomes of a field report of his native New England, he realized that submitting numerous findings of very high snowdrifts would not suffice. The forecast of almost 70 inches of snowfall forced him to get out of town earlier than planned but no inconvenience was going to stop this 23mm explorer. So, at great expense, he boarded an airplane armed only with his XT-1, a 23mm (35mm equivalent) lens, a tripod, a toothbrush and a lot of summer clothes.
The planned exploration was for two weeks and the first stop was in Venice, Florida. Getting up before dawn, he headed to the Fishing Pier to capture it as the light illuminated the scene. The first observations were that, in order to get proper compositions, the zoom with your feet principle was in full force. This forced some shedding of shoes and getting the tripod wet, but these are small inconveniences when conducting research.
The next day, this explorer headed to Sarasota, Florida, to test the 35mm field of view indoors. The challenge was conducted in two museums, the Ringling Museum and the Sarasota Classic Car Museum. The challenges there were well beyond the normal–no tripods and shooting through glass. The new challenge that the 35mm brought was the number of museum visitors that kept getting into the composition. Some subtle pushing and an occasional trip, this scientist was able to further conduct his research.
After the indoor findings were complete, it was off to capture a classic seascape scene in Siesta Key. While the findings were successful, the 35mm was a bit restrictive when trying to capture the distant sails of the boats and the ever-present bird population. While not successful with the birds, the coastline experiment ended up well.
The next stop was Marco Island in order to capture the scenes that attract many winter visitors to its shores. Here the WE35 explorer began to really feel comfortable with this field of view. By then, his composition skills began to click and the 35mm became second nature.
Finally, the field report ended in St Petersburg. Here, the scientist applied all of his learning of the field of view to get some good results. Zooming with his feet, working composition from all angles and heights, the resulting images were in full force. All in all, this scientist ended up with improved appreciation of his craft and will be able to apply this knowledge to future WE35 Field Reports, as well as other fields of view.