The Heat of Maxed Aperture

You’ve seen his stunning photography in the Metroblogging DC Flickr Group, and we often use his photos in our stories, but do you know the story behind the man behind the photos? Recently, I interviewed the amazing maxedaperture, aka Max C, about his photography, which on a hot day like today, is so apropos.

Surprisingly, Max just recently picked up photography as a hobby in the last year and a half. A natural? Maybe. Dedicated? That’s for sure. To quote him:

What draws me to photography is that it’s a combination of art and technology. The artist in me likes to find the best composition of a shot as well as what I think would make for an interesting photo, while the geek in me likes to say, “I should probably shoot this at f/2 or bump up the ISO since it’s dark and I need a faster shutter speed.” As time goes on, both of those aspects are becoming more and more second nature to me.

I think his geek might be taking over, for when we talked cameras, he went all millimeter on me about lenses for his Canon 20D:

I use all Canon “L” lenses (17-40mm, 135mm, and 180mm). I also have a cheap 50mm lens (the “nifty fifty”) for taking shots in low light, as well as a slew of other gear (camera bag, flash, hot shoe cord, battery grip, filters, tripod, etc) totaling roughly $5,000. This isn’t a cheap hobby!

That’s for sure, especially when his dream camera is the $7,000 Canon 1Ds Mark II that he covets with megapixel lust:

It’s a professional DSLR, 16 megapixels, weather sealed, and you have full control over anything and everything you can imagine. At 16 megapixels it’s basically the equivalent of film.

It’s only too bad that Max isn’t close to supporting himself through his photos. While National Geographic, the Washington Post or the New York Times are his dreams, Max isn’t ditching his day job yet. He makes bank as an IT consultant, enough to live in Dupont Circle, where I was priced out of three years ago.

But enough about him. You’re probably interested more in how he took that amazing “Last Flight” shot above and if it torched his camera optics.

First, its volume. Since he purchased his fancy Cannon 20D last fall, he’s taken over 10,000 photos. Practice has made him perfect. Then he shoots in RAW, whatever that means, so he can touch up the photos in Photoshop. Still, this shot was a little different than usual, Max says:

I used my most powerful lens (180mm) along with a 1.4x converter and shot a few test photos to get the shutter speed where I wanted it. As soon as I saw the shot come up on the LCD of my camera, I knew it was going to be something special.

I love the color, the relative size of the sun to the airplane, and the fact that you can see the jet exhaust streaking across the sun. It makes me wonder who was on that plane and where they were headed, and also makes me want to jump on a plane and take a vacation somewhere.

I couldn’t agree with you more Max. On a day like today, with a sun that feels that close, I’m all for a vacation too. Iceland perhaps?

1 Comment so far

  1. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on August 3rd, 2006 @ 2:13 pm

    Shooting in RAW means that you’re shooting in the uncompressed native image capture mode of the camera. Most pro DSLR cameras have this option which many consumer handhelds just immediate compress the image into .jpg files for you. You need special software that can handle RAW files for the camera that you’re shooting with. Notable examples are Adobe’s Bridge, Photoshop and Lightroom, and Apple’s Aperture and iPhoto.

    The nice thing about shooting is RAW is that you’re not going to pay an image penalty for changing the white balance or exposure that you would pay with .jpg options. RAW is the best way to shoot if you have the software to handle it.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.