The Front Porch Swing

A Beautiful Day

Laura sits in the front porch swing on a beautiful spring afternoon

Laura sits in the front porch swing on a beautiful spring afternoon. Technically, it was still late winter by the calendar, but the weather was very much spring-like.

In the background, you might be able to tell that some of the trees were starting to bud, and some of the plants in front of the porch were starting to come up. And then a week later, we got around 5 inches of snow. Hopefully, that did not kill all that fresh growth. But there is a chance that it won’t be that colorful of a spring. Oh well, we shall see.

One lesson to learn would be to enjoy nice days when you have them because you never know when the weather might change to something less desirable. So on this particular day, Laura was taking full advantage of the warmer temperatures, which were much warmer than what we had been having in the days and weeks prior to this. Plus, it was the first weekend of spring break. The spring temperatures would not last for all of her spring break, but at least they were there for a day or two.

A Distant View

A distant view of Laura in the front porch swing

Here is a more distant view of the same scene. For this one, I was at the far end of the porch from the porch swing. In case you were wondering.

And that brings up the real reason for these photos. I was testing out my new Rokinon 35mm f/1.8 prime lens, which had just arrived the previous day. As you might guess from the name, or from the Steve’s Photography Tips post about focal length, the prime lens is fixed, meaning that it does not zoom. So the zoom effect from the first photo to the second photo was accomplished the old-fashioned way, which was by moving my feet. That, of course, also moved the rest of my body, which also moved the camera in my hands. So I zoomed myself from the middle of the porch to the end of the porch. And now, probably all of this zoom talk is making you think of online meetings instead of cameras. Whatever.

Up Close

A close-up view of Laura in the front porch swing

For this photo, I zoomed myself once more to get this close photo of Laura. One of the main attractions of this lens for me was the f/1.8 aperture. I love the depth of field look that a wide aperture such as that can give, such as what you see here. Laura is in focus, but the background behind her is blurred, bringing more of the focus onto her. You can read more about that in the Steve’s Photography Tips post on aperture, by the way.

Yes, I already have a prime lens, the Sony FE 50mm f/1.8 lens. You may remember that one from the 50with50 series, where I took 50 photos with that 50mm lens. I don’t anticipate a similar 35with35 series, but who knows?

I do like this new lens because of its wider field of view. How much difference is there between the 50mm and the 35mm lens? About 15mm. But that does not really tell you much, does it? If I had used the 50mm lens, I would have had to leave the front porch and stand in the front yard to get the same close-up view of Laura above. Or if I had stood in the same spot, she would have been much closer in the photo. I was able to use the 35mm lens to take a handheld selfie photo of us at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home, in which post I first mentioned this lens. With the 50mm lens, I would have only gotten one of us in the photo. And you would have been looking right up my nose. You’re welcome for not doing that.

Both lenses have their uses. The 50mm lens is great for portraits. And the 35mm lens is a good general-use lens when you want to get a little more in your frame.

I mentioned in that previous post that the Rokinon lens does have a little bit of color fringing, or chromatic aberration, where there is a red or green outline around some shapes. That can be corrected in processing, but there was not any of that present in any of these photos, mainly because there were not many dark elements right up next to bright elements.

About the Photos

You might think I told you plenty about the photos up above. But wait, there’s more!

These photos were also the first that I processed with the new Luminar Neo software. It does a lot of the same things that Luminar AI did, with some additional features. I did not use any of those new features for these photos, but I’m sure I will in the future. It is always interesting to see how photo software has evolved over time!

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Luminar Neo. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Rokinon 35mm f/1.8
Date: March 6, 2022
Location: Home, WillistonTennessee

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. - Romans 12:16

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.