New York, New York: A natural light portrait photographer had a scary moment when he accidentally bumped a dial on his camera, changing his lens’ aperture to f/5.6.
Ross Watkins, who dubs himself a natural light Instagram photographer, says the incident happened when he was out shooting portraits with an Instagram model:
We were out shooting some sick stuff for my Instagram — you know, natural light, golden hour, bokehlicious stuff. I think I might have bumped a dial or something, because all of a sudden, all my bokeh disappeared!
Watkins notes his first reaction was to call tech support:
I called support and told them my lens was completely broken. All my beautiful bokeh? Gone. Why was other stuff in focus besides my model? Why did my camera automatically slow the shutter speed way down? What kind of cheap lens is this? My followers don’t come to my page to see the buildings behind my models too!
Tech support specialist Jenny Potterweight picks up the story:
Some guy called saying his lens was broken, so we asked him what the symptoms were. He said that ‘the bokeh function’ was broken, which was a little confusing. We asked him to clarify, and he started ranting about how the images weren’t ‘hashtag worthy’ or ‘bokehlicious,’ which really didn’t clear things up. We finally asked him to email a sample image. After opening the file, which he not so subtly named ‘WHEREISTHEBOKEH!!!!?.JPEG,’ it looked like a completely normal shot — your typical Instagram model, golden hour in the city in some sort of ironic pose type of thing. Checking the EXIF data showed it was shot at f/5.6, so it wasn’t surprising to see a larger depth of field.
Watkins picks the story back up:
Tech support got back on the phone and asked me to switch the lens back to F slash 1.4 and see if the images looked as expected. I had no idea what they were talking about, but apparently, my camera has some sort of built-in bokeh control with weird numbers on it? Why would it have that? What’s with the numbers? They kept telling me about the ‘death of Field.’ I think they were drunk. Who is this Field guy? Why do I care about him dying? What does that have to do with my bokeh? Anyway, I changed the weird numbers and my bokeh came back.
Said Watkins of his experience with f/5.6:
I don’t like it. What’s the point? I taped down the dial so that won’t happen again. Sorry to hear about that Field guy.