Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Rimless spectacles

click photo to enlarge
I'm sure that there are many photographers who have wonderful digital archives that can be searched by every conceivable parameter including subject, geographical location and photographic data, allowing them to easily locate an image. I am not one of those people. Like, I suspect, the majority of photographers, I have an archival system that is better than nothing, but not good enough to allow images to be retrieved without the expenditure of time and effort. However, the occasions on which I need to retrieve an image quickly are relatively few, so I'm never motivated to expend the energy to improve matters.

Today I searched for a photograph of a wooden screen in a Norfolk church on which were painted, in the 1400s, various saints, one of whom wore spectacles (glasses). These aids to vision were invented much earlier than many people realise. The earliest pictorial representation of spectacles with converging lenses for the long-sighted dates from c.1286, as I was reminded in a book about the medieval industrial revolution that I'm currently reading. Consequently it should come as no surprise to see them represented in a painting of the fifteenth century. However, it did jolt me. In the light of what I wrote above you won't be surprised to hear that I was unable to find my photograph after ten minutes search.

Perhaps it was reading my book that caused me to notice my rimless spectacles that I'd put down on a cupboard in my darkened study. I liked the glowing colour, the way the light of the lamp illuminated them, emphasising the delicate metalwork, and I liked the contrast of the light and dark areas. The simple subject called for a shallow depth of field and so I used a long lens in my relatively small room.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo Title: Rimless Spectacles
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 150mm (300mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/200 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On