Focal Planes & Focal Length

John G Evans c 2019

Through my honest attempt to comprehend the photographic focal planes within the camera lens I consulted a brilliant photography colleague of mine whose name I shall not reveal at this time having no consent to mention her name. However, she brought to light the mystery hidden within the complex world of photographic focal planes. Essentially speaking the higher the f/ number the more focal planes we come to know as being in focus. So, I encountered a PDF online entitled Basic Principles of Photography by David Capel.

While Capel explains illustratively that the Latin ‘Camera Obscura’ = “Dark Room” he explains also that “light passing through a small hole produces an inverted image on the opposite wall. Leonardo DaVinci and other artists during the 15th century made use of this creative technique to sharpen their artistic imaginings.

Creative refinements were designed were utilized by 18th century artists as Canaletto. The first original photograph was created by Joseph Niepce in 1825 upon light sensitive silver chloride plates. Thus, I suspect the originating feature whereas silver film became a useful tool for creating the image upon. I learned this factor working for a micrographics firm creating silver film and diazo film images we now call microfiche. I did this for 6 years working in a micrographics production facility. Looking back, I can now visualize what I was creating, how, and why.

Capel goes on to further demonstrate that the first production camera (Daguerreotype), designed by Louis Daguerre (1840’s) became the prototype we all benefit from in our world today. So, if we fast-forward 150 – years we discover that early photographers used silver halides on a mirrored – polished hard surface we call film. But as David goes on to explain present day fundamentals of photographic reception, we learn digital cameras employ electronic sensors consisting of large number of square cells or pixels.

A smaller aperture or opening means we receive little light or subject matter visibility. A larger aperture or opening means we receive more light rays or subject matter visibility. With the lens we add to the camera we receive rays of light on a singular point creating a sharper image.

Capel also demonstrates as I have aspired to explain as correctly as I am able as a somewhat novice/want-a-be-portrait-photographer a formula (that which I have discovered useful), that shows us 1/D’ + 1/D = 1/f. This formula translates to points at distance D are focused on D’ plane results in the subsequent turning of the focus ring to move the focal plane rendering us a more focused image (whether on film or a censor or even in a pinhole camera a wall). So, the field of view depends upon the focal length f that is a distance from the aperture to the censor (or film).

By doubling the focal length, we receive half the view. Essentially, a short focal length we see a wide field of view, but, a long focal length we see a narrow field of view. For a known or given film size s and focal length f plus the angular field of view the formula would look as such:

                                                a = 2 arctan s/2f

With a Perspective Convergence your short focal length (wide FoV), images tend to exhibit pronounced perspective effects. A wide FoV near to subject parallel lines converge, and with a narrow FoV far from subject parallel lines remain parallel. By increasing focal length and moving further from subject we can drastically change the composition.

The problems I encountered over a specific composition I was working with first at f/1.2 then f/5.6 and still being out of focus as I was told by a colleague was motion blur as opposed to focal planes, but in the process of discovering why my focus was not sharp, I thought more light was necessary on the subject to be able to focus clearly on her closest eye. Once in focus everything within that particular focal plane should be in focus. f/1.2 gave me a wider aperture opening to receive more light rays and subsequent image transferred TTL (through the lens), and when I modified the focal plane to f/5.6 I remained out of focus with the exception of the model’s face. So, my friend instructed me to photograph at f/4.0, 1/160 s, ISO 100, with a lamp power decrease to 1/64s. This was a super starting point.

With a determination to manipulate the camera and lens to work to my advantage I begin at this point. Adjustments are made until I am completely satisfied with the end result.

At this point I wish to thank David Capel for his photographic evaluation of focal planes and focal lengths through his valuable article in a PDF format. Without his research I never would have understood more clearly. All credit is and should be rendered to David Capel for assisting me to write out the measures he has taken to research, write, and illustrate this 44 – page PDF article I used to try and understand more about focal planes and focal length. Thank you, David Capel.

Military PTSD – Series 1

Intimidation by Military PTSD

So, the conflicts of war in ’71 and the issue of dog-tags depending on who you are become a kind of tattoo wrapped around your bloody neck like a hangman’s noose, well, it just sort of became my duty. Our flag was my heart and soul…still is. Onward into the scenario of combat zones, firefights, explosives, flares, and M-60 cartridges spent with their gutted shells heading for their targets. Thus, we are taught the art of war. My emptied blood vessels and organ tissues cry in anguished pain with fragments forced upon my nerve-damaged spine with blood and sweat snaking down my paralyzed form. Shit! I’m hit! I’m hit! I have been forced into this surrealistic combat zone where barbed wire spikes break the skin as derelict voices command me to keep moving with the stinging, burning sweat and dirt in a fevered pitch on a hot April day in ’72.

And, just nights before in his concupiscent rage a rogue Marine fed his hunger for salted flesh with forced penetration of mouth and core, thrust his moistened lips around me as I kicked and thrashed in my slumbered daze yelling, “What the fuck are you doing?” – John G Evans

My Techniques for a Fine Art Portrait through Digital Imagery & Photography

My most intimate passion is helping others who suffer and struggle with the hardship of Military PTSD and I like to aspire through a successful photographic dialogue with individuals who must confront this horrendous demon.

The mood of Military PTSD is dark and lacks hope. US Veterans & Military Service Members struggling with this disorder may be lost to such delusional thinking as suicidal ideation. I did for nearing thirty years. I slept with a knife next to me to end the life I knew as pain during the worst of the nightmares encountered from night to night. I even placed a loaded weapon against my chin but did not pull the trigger. Often, I ask myself why? And, I suspect I know the answer why. No matter how much doom and gloom we face, hope will always shed her confidence through our courage facing our ruminating thoughts. It is not easy and has taken me since 1972 to figure this out, but I was fortunate, I had a small child to help raise. Gratefully, she became the often time cliched wind beneath my wings. Miraculously, and with the very distant hopes life would get better I rode these tsunami, congested thoughts of dread by being dead believing life does become worth living.

My technique for creating in a color-grading format depends upon several variables, i.e. software, exposure, applying light just right, compositions, and poses. I am skilled by my camera and lighting. At times I will use a natural light but thus far have become proficient with artificial lighting with my 36” modified deep dish octabox. I use this setup to bring out the color, shadow, and light with every scene I produce. I enjoy my results.

My husband, photographer, author and poet John Evans, has lived with the trauma of this military memory for nearly 50 years. During the 10 years that we have been married, we have walked together through the storm of PTSD. The healing power of John’s fine art photography inspires me every day — and will inspire you too as you look through this website.

John seeks to tell a story with every image he captures. Whether it’s fine art portraits or photojournalism, his goal is to communicate a bit of the truth behind the image. He approaches every subject matter with courage and clarity, even if it means looking traumatic memories squarely in the eye. John’s creativity in turn helps to heal the still fresh worlds from the “surrealistic combat zone” of half a century ago. Additionally, his goal is to inspire others to heal through creativity and photography.

John Evans offers high quality, fine art photographs for purchase. He is also available as a portrait photographer, to help you tell your story. Contact us if you would like to discuss a portrait session. We look forward to hearing from you. – Judith C Evans

Today I am Reading:

The Dramatic Portrait: The Art of Crafting Light and Shadow by Chris Knight. By the time I complete the history of portraits, art, the Masters, and light & shadow, I should have a very clear sensibility for creating my own style of portraits. Though, I have colleagues in the field who have taught me much, I have a drive to create my own style and not simply create what someone else has created. This is good. Stay with me and we shall see the photographic magic begin to come forth in a benevolent force of creativity.

Preoccupied

Acquiring New Photographic Skills

Today is a day to celebrate the assets of receiving additional skills and gear. I ordered a new backdrop (black), for the moments I wish to convey throughout my grief stricken days. But, it is more than this. To me black is class. I like the way color, lighting, composition, the pose, all come together to create a visual-storyteller’s artistry and story.

Of course, my favorite model Judith C Evans (my lovely adoring wife), always assists however possible. Today, I am desiring her to model as I fire up the camera, lighting with a Godox parabolic deep dish modifier, Godox lamp head flash, 85mm f/1.2 lens, and a wardrobe we can rely on for some very soft, subtle images of a beautiful lady who has captured my heart.

I will learn much today. I shall review the results later this afternoon and post as quickly as I am able post the post production.

Thank you for joining us.

Military PTSD – Series 2

© John G Evans 2017

I am a created man with empty words spoken upon my dialect that spills the blood of warriors, martyrs, too within a biased land. I am the emptiness so deep and so truly damned. I am the illusive firing squad that bears no name. I am the hosting flame for salted flesh that melds a steely night of swollen blood, of swollen veins. I am the silence that penetrates the darkness. I am a loud noise for this world of regime. I am a cultivating shape of things to come. I am the indigenous in exile on my way to annihilation. I am the blood of the family of man. I am the vapors of death upon Golgotha as any other man. I am the accretion of silvery smoke of ’48 attempting to occupy your land, as well as your mind. I have become ethnically cleansed. I am biting this expended round regarding massacres never found. I am on a trail of rock and sand with family in hand. I am every man. I am within your heart for I have no where else to hide from this contempt of man. I am silence that speaks with the awe of thunder. I am the child that walks aside his mother. I am woman. I am man. I am cautious of regimes and political, or military establishments. I am a world of refugees. I am patriotic with no sense of home. I am the wandering traveler. I am the Bedouin who has no camels. I am, for the sake of man, Savior.

From my second book of poetry entitled, I AM: The Tiny Mustard Seed, Create-space, Lexington. 2017. Print.

Having felt all too often overwhelmed by excessive worry, depression, anxiety, hyper-vigilance, and paranoia left me in a world of many wounds. I survived, but I had to have help. Struck down by the ruminating thought congestion of suicidal ideation I feared for my life from my own hand. A therapeutic environment was extremely helpful. Doctors were extremely helpful always providing support. If you feel you need support call the Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255.

Military PTSD – Series 1

Intimidation by Military PTSD

So, the conflicts of war in ’71 and the issue of dog-tags depending on who you are become a kind of tattoo wrapped around your bloody neck like a hangman’s noose, well, it just sort of became my duty. Our flag was my heart and soul…still is. Onward into the scenario of combat zones, firefights, explosives, flares, and M-60 cartridges spent with their gutted shells heading for their targets. Thus, we are taught the art of war. My emptied blood vessels and organ tissues cry in anguished pain with fragments forced upon my nerve-damaged spine with blood and sweat snaking down my paralyzed form. Shit! I’m hit! I’m hit! I have been forced into this surrealistic combat zone where barbed wire spikes break the skin as derelict voices command me to keep moving with the stinging, burning sweat and dirt in a fevered pitch on a hot April day in ’72.

And, just nights before in his concupiscent rage a rogue Marine fed his hunger for salted flesh with forced penetration of mouth and core, thrust his moistened lips around me as I kicked and thrashed in my slumbered daze yelling, “What the fuck are you doing?” – John G Evans

Should You Require Support Call the Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255.

My Techniques for a Fine Art Portrait through Digital Imagery & Photography

My most intimate passion is helping others who suffer and struggle with the hardship of Military PTSD and I like to aspire through a successful photographic dialogue with individuals who must confront this horrendous demon to assist in allowing the Veteran to understand they are not alone.

The mood of Military PTSD is dark and lacks hope. US Veterans & Military Service Members struggling with this disorder may be lost to such delusional thinking as suicidal ideation. I did for nearing thirty years. I slept with a knife next to me to end the life I knew as pain during the worst of the nightmares encountered from night to night. I even placed a loaded weapon against my chin but did not pull the trigger. Often, I ask myself why? And, I suspect I know the answer why. No matter how much doom and gloom we face, hope will always shed her confidence through our courage facing our ruminating thoughts. It is not easy and has taken me since 1972 to figure this out, but I was fortunate, I had a small child to help raise. Gratefully, she became the often time cliched wind beneath my wings. Miraculously, and with the very distant hopes life would get better I rode these tsunami, congested thoughts of dread by being dead believing life does become worth living.

My technique for creating in a color-grading format depends upon several variables, i.e. software, exposure, applying light just right, compositions, and poses. I am skilled by my camera and lighting. At times I will use a natural light but thus far have become proficient with artificial lighting with my 36” modified deep dish octabox. I use this setup to bring out the color, shadow, and light with every scene I produce. I enjoy my results.

A Brief Commentary by Judith C Evans

My husband, photographer, author and poet John Evans, has lived with the trauma of this military memory for nearly 50 years. During the 10 years that we have been married, we have walked together through the storm of PTSD. The healing power of John’s fine art photography inspires me every day — and will inspire you too as you look through this website.

John seeks to tell a story with every image he captures. Whether it’s fine art portraits or photojournalism, his goal is to communicate a bit of the truth behind the image. He approaches every subject matter with courage and clarity, even if it means looking traumatic memories squarely in the eye. John’s creativity in turn helps to heal the still fresh worlds from the “surrealistic combat zone” of half a century ago. Additionally, his goal is to inspire others to heal through creativity and photography.

John Evans offers high quality, fine art photographs for purchase. He is also available as a portrait photographer, to help you tell your story. Contact us if you would like to discuss a portrait session. We look forward to hearing from you. – Judith C Evans

Work to Do Today

So, today I will be receiving a part I require for my Godox strobe flash and modifier. I cannot wait. This will allow me to use the modifier for the first time. I need to construct a scrim to place in front of the octobox to soften light coming from the Godox lamp. I have lots of little details to work out just to photograph classic signature portraits. But, this is not difficult. I will order supplies for my scrim which basically will be 4 pieces of 4 foot 3/4″ PVC with four elbows and a light fabric, perhaps a sheet of white. So, I cannot complete a full session till I tidy up the area and some photographic gear loose ends. This is what I will be completing today.

Me working at 4:00 a.m.
Gotta do something constructive when you can’t sleep.
My gear minus the scrim.
Later gator.

About Me – Poet & Artist

“Artists—painters, sculptors, musicians—have long known that being attuned to the light, the ability to see deeply, connects us with the holy in a fresh and new way.” 

~ J. Brent Bill, Mind the Light: Learning to See with Spiritual Eyes, pp. 10-11

As a self-taught artist/photojournalist/portrait photographer/landscape photographer, I knew these were some of my goals from an early age and that to commit myself to this challenging, yet rewarding venue was definitively worthy. My artistic positioning may very well have begun with sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini lending his sojourning to the sacred and divine path during the Baroque Period, the white marble sculpture of Ecstasy of Teresa around 1652. I believe I had the same vision of intent  perhaps as Bernini’s sense of wonder in a spiritual and erotic pinnacle that highlights this captured moment in time; either caught in a white marble stone, or within the medium of a black & white matted photographic print, the moment lasting eternity a blessing the artist and viewer alike may come to be in deep gratitude for. It is thus with my image Pondering Judith.

I would describe my personal related experience of Teresa’s mystical and spiritual orgiastic ecstasy through a multi-time encounter with the Divine while in a silent state of awe upon interior prayer, and the holy gaze through love with a transparency of reciprocal love, where this ecstatic love led me navigating the divine path through a mystical relationship with the Divine. I would also describe another of personal related experiences hearing with the ears of my soul a woman’s voice as a teen, thus calling me by name within two successive moments.  It was during this era I began my journey for an artistic and mystical approach to my photographic Art. I sense all creatives share the mystical in some Universal and Omnipresent manner.

 As an artist one learns to be creative in so many ways. Consequently, I have discovered as an accomplished artist one may unearth the hidden treasures through a fervent dedication to the ecstatic moment, and how to weave the mystical into fine art and discover a whole new world of everlasting fire witnessed with every living breath. But before this may occur the novice must isolate him/herself to a point of cooperating with this spiritual amalgamation of the subject matter and coalesce this element with the emotional passion we become engaged by the parameters of the soul. We induce features the soul witnesses for us. Be a revolutionary mystic with art and shoot for that which we cannot see. Living in a land of gratitude may be required, as we search out a location to commune with. Art is the process of creativity, and I have once heard that to be creative is to be close to God. Let that time be near and stay creative!

Old Photography vs. New Photography

So – I have been toying around with photography since 1972, perhaps earlier. I know I was a teen. I have learned the difference from other photographers what is good photography and what is not. My photography, well…I keep pushing the envelope. So much to consider. But, it has become a new and perpetual love. Following are images I consider over-edited. I began with RAW files and diminished them to nothing with software. I shall not do this any longer since I have learned less is more. So images posted in this set are good compositions. But, I’ve got to learn to leave them alone. You see for yourself.

My Two Best Friends Serving in the USMC.
1972
A Ship I photographed Sailing into Port Corpus Christi, Texas
The Gulf of Mexico
2009
Along the San Antonio Mission Trail.
Beautiful. 2009
Lucky Peak Reservoir
Near Boise, Idaho, 2009
Won the Exposure Award 2015 Animal Collection
Digital Library in the Louvre, Paris, France
San Antonio Riverwalk Church
2012?
Old Post Office Building
San Antonio, Texas
2012
Morning Sunrise Over Stadium
San Antonio, Texas
2012
Judith
Veterans Park
Boise, Idaho
2016
Lucky
Our Beloved Deceased Best Friend
Lucky – 2

A Change of Thought – [heart]…

Often time, I conclude that my mind always is anxious and worried with my past and/or the thoughts therein. I continue to think and discover what I am seeing are my thoughts always protruding into the vastness of my own human frailty.  Once I have the time to re-think my current lifestyle situation I can (upon true prayer where I pray for only God’s will to be), seeking only His Kingdom first, and then letting it be, can come to a realization my mind’s fixation with worry and the past is the cause of the delusion about an era from which my mind and the subsequent thought system shall suffer. The past is gone. The future is not here. Only the present moment can be among us. Truth may be obstructed in this terrible way of thinking.

Past thinking (and thoughts), is not an easy thing to rid of. I wrote a meditation in The Upper Room (2003), regarding to Let Go and Let God. In fact, this was my title. Even though I wrote this very brief devotional I have always had the trouble of re-thinking my past. I wrote with the notion revealed to me at the time to simply let go of the worry (and during these days I worried excessively), and to trust God. This requires practice and requires time of which we should have no avail of. Time is not our worry. We leave time in God’s hands and simply allow Him (through a personal trust), to engage in our lives as He will. Acceptance of God’s mercy, love, and strength within our own thought system generates positivity with the practice of the former beatitudes. This is and has become my way of thought. If we change our thoughts and try to understand God’s Holy Spirit manifests love, and if God is for us, then, who can be against us.

My own personal struggles have “in the end” set me free to give God who I am in prayer because prayer is all we have. God is all we have. We were created in “earth” and to “earth” we shall return, but our bodies only. Our minds will go with that and we shall continue in spirit and love only if we allow it. We have to render God control over our lives before we know and experience His beautiful peace.