Barrels of fun! (read: wine)

Yesterday I was lucky enough to check out some of the wineries near Mudgee, New South Wales.

One winery in particular, Pieter van Gent, had a very old and inviting feel to it. The bar had that antique look to it:

Waiting for a pour1/160 sec at f1.8, ISO 800
Cropped & Edited in Lightroom

All down the entrance to the bar area were a number of very large barrels to hold and age the wine. I wanted some close ups because of the texture or the old wood. The photos are a bit grainy as I had to bump up to ISO 800 to minimize any motion blur from having too slow a shutter speed. Luckily because my lens is a f1.8 lens, I could get away with using only ISO 800. On most consumer zoom lenses, you would have to bump it up to ISO 1600 or 3200 to get a fast enough shutter speed.

The benefit of the lighting was an atmosphere that just begged to be photographed. Ideally, I could have used a tripod and lowered the ISO for some of the shots, but I didn’t even bring it along.

Barrel 1361/80 sec at f1.8, ISO 800
Edited in Lightroom

Barrel Bar1/20 sec at f1.8, ISO 800
Edited in Lightroom

In the second medium sized picture above you can see that it is blurred. The general rule of thumb is to invert your focal length and that give you the minimum shutter speed you can handhold without blur due to camera shake becoming an issue (although it does depend on technique quite a bit as well). So for a 50mm lens, the minimum shutter speed you should have is 1/50. For a 200mm lens it is 1/200. As you can see I dropped below that for the third picture. Even though I like the composition and when I looked at it quickly on my LCD I thought it looked good, it is definitely out of focus because the shutter speed was too slow (and my technique clearly wasn’t up to snuff!).

Here’s a photo that shows you the large barrels in context. I included a person to give some context as to the size of the barrels:

Walking down Wine Lane1/40 sec at f1.8, ISO 800
Edited in Lightroom

The last two pictures show the difference between a 50mm angle of view and a 20mm angle of view. I show the exact same number of barrels in both pictures. The 50mm shot might even seem slightly wider, as you can see the door at the end of the hall, but this is not the case. 20mm gives a wider angle of view, and in doing so it allowed me to get closer to the barrels and still fit them all in. What getting closer does is change the perspective relationship between each barrel so that in the 20mm image, each barrel gets smaller in size as you look down the row while the 50mm keeps all of the barrels looking more-or-less the same size in comparison.

50mm Barrels50mm lens
1/50 at f 1.8, ISO 800
Edited in Lightroom

20mm Barrels20mm lens
1/20 at f2.8, ISO 800
Edited in Lightroom

You can see that this time, I was able to get away with a shutter speed slower than 1/50, because for the 20mm, 1/20 is the slowest recommended shutter speed to avoid blur due to camera shake!

Here’s one last photo I took of the barrels that I really liked – 20mm again this time:

Barrel 30320mm lens
1/20 sec at f2.8, ISO 800
Edited in Lightroom

So I’d say it was a pretty successful wine tasting day – both in terms of the tasting and the photography!

Tomorrow I will do another post with pictures from the Mudgee trip, as I also took some architectural photos (not my thing at all!) of some beautiful old buildings in the town itself.

Matt

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2 Comments on “Barrels of fun! (read: wine)”

  1. vk says:

    The pictures have a very nice ambiance, I hope the wine was smooth tasting! Reminds me of Europe…

  2. […] of you may have noticed that the shutter speed is slower than the suggested lowest shutter speed that I mentioned in a previous post. The reason I was able to get away with it was because I could use the table that the bottle was on […]


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