I got fed up with sitting on my butt in front of my computer the other day. Just plain fed up. I decided that if I was ever going to make cool photographs that I wanted to make, I had to go out and actually make them. I grabbed my Leica. I also went digging in my old film stuff and grabbed a set of closeup filters. They were never super good on my old camera, but I figured that maybe the awesomeness of the Leica glass would make up for it a little bit. I went outside and felt a little blinded by the late afternoon sun. I started out really badly. My first ten pictures reminded me of the awful rolls of film I shot when I began photographing nine years ago. Bland. Uninteresting. Out of focus in uninteresting ways. Like I said, it was bad. But as I pushed on I really tried to think of how the camera was seeing my subject matter. I became more in tune with the relationship of my viewfinder to the lens and how that translated to the image. I began to see some images that I liked. Then I went and broke away from some habits that I have been addicted to like shooting things only in overcast/shady light. I am guilty of usually prefering to shoot things without dealing with harsh shadows. I must say, I think I am intimidated by shadows when shooting. I have no earthly idea why. Maybe it’s just that they are such a strong visual element in a photograph and if you don’t pay attention to them during composition, you can have some ghastly effects in the final product. I experienced this while doing some self portraits a while back. Sheer curtains have a strange tendency to look like prison bars when the sunlight shines through them onto a wall. Oops. So I jumped out of my own comfy photogging boundaries into the new and bold.
- I shot with the light behind my subject
- I took pictures with random bits of sky in them
- I forgot to focus
- I used my shutter speed dial – something I haven’t done in about 7 years
- And I liked the results
I was happy with the outcome of my latest shoot. It felt like the beginning of my photographic career, when all I had was an old Minolta with some closeup filters. The only thing different was that this time, I didn’t have to cock the shutter and wind the film. :^)