The highlight of the week meanwhile was capturing the picture below at the Tower of London and their Bloodswept Lands and Seas of Red memorial that marks the 100th anniversary of the First World War.
The poppies are then being sold at £25 with the proceeds going to six charities and details of that can be found here:
I bought mine earlier today.
When I was at the north-west corner of the Tower I saw a Beefeater, one of the 'guardians of the Tower', enter the moat area. This was a bit far away even for the 200mm and I knew exactly the shot I wanted so I dashed through the crowds to get closer and hoped he was going to do what I thought he might. He did. The Beefeater, after a pause, walked through the field of poppies allowing me to grab the top shot of him, in full uniform, immersed in the field of poppies. Admittedly it is cropped a little but I am of the school that cropping never hurt anyone. I couldn't be more happy with the result.
It's interesting to contrast it with the shot below where I pulled back to 80mm. My personal taste is very much for the top shot however.
I did the first 'lap' of the Tower with the 70-200mm attached, then swapped lenses and covered the same ground again but now looking for the big wide shot. I love that in the wide shots the poppies seem to be spilling towards you, they have a very fluid feel to them keeping to the theme of a sea of blood.
All you do is fill in your camera data, subject distance, your lens focal length and f stop and it tells you the depth of field you will achieve. At 14mm on a Nikon D800 with the subject 50m away, the website tells me my near 'acceptable focus' point is just 1 metre in front of me while behind the subject, I have acceptable focus to infinity. Stopping down any further might reduce image quality due to diffraction. Lens tester DXOMark show a falloff in sharpness above f/11
I'll post on diffraction another time, but shooting that wide, around f/6.3 gives you all the sharpness you need, should reduce chromatic aberration and be at or close to maximum sharpness. A winner all round then it seems.
Once again however, while the photography was my purpose, it is always worth putting the camera down for just a moment and take in what you are actually looking at. Seeing all those poppies, each one a life lost, offers up a sobering experience, but also making me feel yet more grateful for the life I have.