Rambling Introduction – Part 1
This was a wonderful lesson for me: a true eye-opening experience. Unfortunately not a lesson learned within the marvellous realm of photographer, but rather a lesson learned about my highly developed aptitude for procrastination!
It’s almost embarrassing.
Ok, it IS embarrassing: I took maybe three months to do this exercise (while going ahead with other tasks/assignments/projects – so not so alarming!).
First impressions about part one of this exercise were not too positive: “Why?/What’s the point?/What am I supposedly going to learn from this?/Can I skip this one?/Shall I make a cup of tea?” Usually, when I get that is-this-really-worth-it feeling about an exercise from the course, I eventually discover (quite happily I might add) that there was indeed a method to the madness, a reason for the seemingly banal task… Erm, well, I have to say that that was not the case with this one.
Three months of thinking: Shall I have a go with that film camera thingy yet? Three months thinking: shall I pretend to forget about that silly exercise? Maybe it will go away with time?
With a hanging sense of guilt/dread the exercise simply didn’t go away, so I got down to it and tried it out.
Ok, it certainly wasn’t harmless, but at the same time, I didn’t feel that it was that enlightening either.
I used an old Pentax K1000 with a 50mm F/1.7 prime lens. At first, with the prime lens, I couldn’t really make anything out: the image seemed blurred, and, naturally, it was upside down! This was at 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, and the image is kind of visible, but not really what I would call “recognisable”, as the brief points out.
I took the lens off and then tried again and could obviously see the image the right way up and definitely got some better results. An image began to be recognisable – for me at least – from a shutter speed of 1/8, with 1/4 being quite clear (also for my 11-year-old boy!).
I then tried the other remaining shutter speeds being 1/2, and 1 sec of which, as we would expect, 1 sec was very clear.
I must be honest the best part of this exercise was picking up and using the Pentax K1000 again: that fully mechanical brick of a camera (I should imagine that it would be a fair doorstop, or bookend even!), and I have been out to get some film for it – it’s been too long.
Well, I am currently working on a few projects (Ex. 4.2) that includes a high view looking down on a cityscape, so I thought that would be a good enough view for part two of this exercise.
The brief, as can be seen above, goes into detail as to how we are supposedly meant to ‘feel’ the shot, and to take in all the details before us (and the camera).
It felt a little over the top for me – as well as slightly condescending: “…you can move your eyes…” (EYV course notes, p70) – Oh yeah? Really? Well thanks.
I also found this sentence ambiguous:
“Include the sky in your observation and try to see the whole visual field together all in movement (there is always some movement).”
So, taking the view in, we have to try to see it all as a whole, fair enough, but then see it all together in movement? What does that actually mean? See it all as a harmonious/unified whole? Am I being too picky here? Too negative? Are the course notes often purposefully ambiguous to get us thinking, questioning, and experimenting?
Anyway, after faffing about a bit, I got a shot (which I swear I took in as a whole, and I saw it all together in movement. Coz that’s how I roll.)
View from flats, 1/640 sec at F/6,3, ISO 200, 14mm