View of the Drew | Andrew Halpern Photography




1/320sec / F5.6 /iso 160/ 194mm



ƒ/13.0 / 100.0 mm (160mm equiv) / 10s / iso100

Macro shot of a slightly rotten strawberry.

Here’s a shot of a strawberry I took using my Aunt’s macro lens. I was lucky enough to get to borrow it for a weekend.  Take a look at the settings, there’s a 10 second exposure! Obviously I had to do this with a tripod. Why such a long exposure time? Well, here’s the issue with macro. As you get very close to the subject, your depth of field gets extremely shallow.  Normally, that effect can look nice (for example a portrait). However, with macro shots, it gets to be a bother as a few milimetres will start getting blurry. Notice the blur towards the bottom of the strawberry.

The fix for this is to stop down the aperture (ie use a larger f number). That will help you get most of the subject in focus.  Since the aperture is so narrow here, you’ll need a long shutter speed and plenty of light. Sometimes this isn’t enough. There is a problem with using extremely high aperture values. The problem is that past a certain aperture value, the light will start to diffract and lower the resolution of your shot. This is the case no matter how many megapixels your camera might have. In addition to that, it’s possible that there is too much depth variation in the subject itself, and no matter what aperture value one uses, it is impossible to get everything satisfactorily in focus.

There’s an option for this issue as well, but it requires post-processing. The idea is to use the sharpest aperture value, (usually f/8 or so), and then focus on different areas of the subject. Obviously this only works on still objects. After taking different shots, one can combine the sharpest parts of each image by using photoshop or another post-processing tool. This is called focus-stacking and it’s a high-level technique.

Strolling through DUMBO

Strolling through DUMBO

1/125 . f/8 . ISO 200 . 25 mm

I like this image because I managed to catch this woman in mid-stride. I think it helps to have people in these kinds of scenic shots because it gives the eye something to focus on as opposed to just a picture of the Manhattan Bridge.

We’ve got a situation here

Halal Meat

1/500 . f/5.6 . ISO 800 . 250 mm

…more chicken!

It looks like dirty water hot dogs are becoming passé. The new trend in street meat are these halal carts. I recommend white sauce and hot sauce if you get it. Most of these carts are fine, but if you are trying a new cart, perhaps you should do it on a day when you know you’ll be near a toilet.

Car Wash

1/800s . f/5.6 . ISO 200 . 250 mm

Here’s one I really like. I took this shot in Queens. This shot is at 400mm in 35mm equivalent terms. By using the long-end of my telephoto lens, I was able to get a telephoto compression effect where the signs are all squeezed together.

Back of Liberty

Back of Liberty

Here is one of my favorite black and whites, because nobody ever takes a picture of the BACK.  I mean we could go our whole lives without knowing what the back of the Statue of Liberty looks like.  Luckily, now you won’t have this issue.

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