I’ve heard about the Irvington Halloween Festival and how many people go to it every year, but I did not know. People everywhere, packed into a street divided by a row of booths and vendors set up back to back in the middle of the road. Lots of kids. Lots of people dressed up.
I took my Canon AE-1 along because I figured this would be the perfect place to test it out. After spending an hour or so walking among the ghouls and goblins, I had had enough. Crowds of people make me feel anxious.
The lens I had on the camera was a 50mm 1.4. I thought it would be cloudy enough, to be able to shoot fairly wide open. I think the lowest I got was f8. Was still too bright.
In the photo above, I got lucky with the focus. I was walking with and bumping into people all the way. Then I see Michael Myers sticking out of the crowd. If you’re familiar with the AE-1, or really any film camera from this era, you know there’s no autofocus. The way you can tell a subject is in focus are by the two half moons in the viewfinder. When the subject inside of the top and bottom half moons align, the subject is in focus. Think of it like a stick in the water. The refraction breaks the stick into two, and the pieces don’t align. So by focusing, you bring those two pieces together. When they form one solid piece, the subject is in focus. Now picture that stick as a piece of fabric that doesn’t have a solid edge and is coming towards you. It’s much harder to tell when an object is in focus if you don’t have a solid line as a reference.
So that’s why I’m super excited that the above photo turned out as well as it did.