Switch on the Lights

Light Switch © 2011 Mufidah Kassalias

On a cold autumn evening it’s always good to get back home, pull down the blinds and switch on the lights, leaving the mad dash of the world to carry on outside while we snuggle down and enjoy an evening ensconced at home.

I took this photograph on our recent visit to Lewes Castle. As there wasn’t an abundance of available light I opened up the aperture, which gave me a shallow depth of field. Looking at the image now I’d like to go back and take it again, but with a tripod, as I think it would be better for having the peeling paint in sharper focus. That said, there’s still something about this photograph that I like.

18 responses

  1. I like the shallow depth of field. It brings out the fascinating detail on the light switch and I wonder if there might be too much detail altogether if the background was sharp. But it’d be interesting to see the alternative view. Roz x

  2. Jeez, how old is that light switch? My favorite kind of photography is still life and the symmetry here is nice with the off center composition.

    • I guess it could be up to 90 years old. Electric lights were being used at the end of the 19th century, but the toggle switch didn’t come into use until much later, circa 1920. Glad you like the composition :-)

  3. I think the shallow depth of field is fine for this photo. I also think you could have raised the ISO to 400 or 800 and tried a larger aperture. The noise shouldn’t be too bad and if it were you could work with a RAW and reduce it in post processing.

    I often resort to ISO 1600 indoors and even that doesn’t come out too grainy on a screen. I haven’t tried printing yet. My tripod is too bulky to take it anywhere. What kind of tripod are you using?

    • I keep oscillating in my feeling about the image—right now I rather like the shallow depth of field. Yes, a higher ISO would have helped, but I was also with people at the time and therefore giving less thought to everything. My tripod is a lightweight and portable (with a neat bag that goes over the shoulder), which makes it less of a hassle to take with me. That said, I rarely do take it with me!

  4. I really hate when that happens! I come back and wish I had used a smaller aperture to get a larger DOF. Hate that!!! But that being said, i think often times, we may be too hard on ourselves. I like this image. I think the smaller DOF makes it more of an abstract image, which I love! :) Happy Thanksgiving, Mufidah! Give my best to Sean also! :)

  5. I’m coming round to thinking this too—that the shallow DOF actually works well in this case, putting the light switch in the spotlight so to speak. (Excuse the terrible pun, couldn’t resist!) I’ll pass on your well wishes to Sean, thank you :-)

    • Thanks David. I’ve come around to that feeling myself now too, much helped by those, like you and Roz, who’ve said they like the less focused background as it highlights (another bad pun) the light switch itself. Happy to know you like the textures and composition :-)