Since I stopped shooting and posting new photos to my blog every day it’s felt a real luxury to have the odd day off. Today I wanted to get out of the house though, even if just for a short while, with my camera so I headed over to the village of Thaxted. With nothing specific in mind to shoot for, I gave myself some creative limitations. The first was to use my camera with just one lens – on this occasion my Olympus 75mm f1.8 lens. With an effective focal length of 150mm it’s not an obvious choice of walkabout lens, but that’s half the fun!
I had no particular subjects in mind, so I just looked for anything that caught my eye and found a way to make the lens work. Often this meant walking around a bit. I don’t use the 75mm lens very often, so I don’t instinctively have a feel for how far I need to be from my subjects. After a while I learnt the necessary working distance and I discovered more subjects to shoot, both around the village and in the church.
My second challenge for the afternoon was to use my Ondu pinhole camera. It’s been a few months since I shot with it, as it really requires a tripod and a much slower approach. I shot ten frames with it inside the church and gradually getting into a rhythm, albeit a slow one! First, I’d set the camera up to my chosen composition. Without a viewfinder, you have to use the guidelines etched onto the camera to judge whether things will be in the frame – only time and film developer will tell me if I got that right. I then took a meter reading with an app on my iPhone, using the exposure chart that comes with the camera to convert that into something suitable for a camera with an aperture of f125. Mostly this meant an exposure of one or two minutes, although one shot needed a full five minutes.
Of course, I won’t know how successful I’ve been until I get the film developed. I’m planning to use it a bit more in the coming weeks, so hopefully it won’t take me too long to finish the roll of film off. During one of the exposures I also took the opportunity to photograph my setup with my digital camera, still with the 75mm lens on so you can at least see what I’ve been up to. From tomorrow I’ll have another piece of gear to try out, which could bring limitations or additional freedom – but I’ll tell you more about that when it arrives tomorrow morning!
19 December 2018