Creative limitations

by Helen Hooker December. 19, 2018 461 views
One man and his shadow

One man and his shadow

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!

Low winter sun catching the remembrance day poppies

Low winter sun catching the remembrance day poppies

The light in the church was beautiful

The light in the church was beautiful

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.

Ornamental carvings on the pulpit

Ornamental carvings on the pulpit

I just caught the last of the afternoon sun as it struck the lecturn, with the sparkling lights on the Christmas tree in the background

I just caught the last of the afternoon sun as it struck the lecturn, with the sparkling lights on the Christmas tree in the background

A warning to tall folks!

A warning to tall folks!

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.

Slow photography in action....

Slow photography in action....

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

Join the conversation
10
There are 10 comments , add yours!
Camellia Staab 1 year, 3 months ago

Beautiful shots and as always an interesting narrative to go along with the shots.

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Pete Fitzgetald 1 year, 3 months ago

great shots, and what a cool lesson, Thank you

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 1 year, 3 months ago

Love the Ondu camera. Looking forward to see the final result.

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Ram Ya 1 year, 3 months ago

Helen, I see old habits are not easy to get rid of! I hope you will continue to share your decade of experience with us 🙏
Thank you for all you do for all of us through your educational articles.

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Kay Hooker 1 year, 3 months ago

Helen,  the first is beutiful but  number 7, have you noticed the woodworm in the timber.  How long will this last?

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess 1 year, 3 months ago

Wonderful photo series and commentary!
Love the light/shadow play and bokeh in foreground & backgrounds.....

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 1 year, 3 months ago

Nice series,something I do often. Just take one lens and it is not a zoom. Makes you work harder,but the creativity is bigger

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Jim Hooker 1 year, 3 months ago

Lovely set, beautifully lit.  I can't help feeling that the person resposible for that very cobbled together, ill matched repair to the top of the column  in #8 would have been less than happy to see such a feature made of it - but then, I am a furniture maker, others might see it a "character".

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Russell Smith 1 year, 3 months ago

Lovely set of images. I find creative limits can be a great thing for me :)

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker Replied to Russell Smith 1 year, 3 months ago

Thanks Russ! I know what you mean - I usually take better photos with a prime lens than when I have the flexibility of a zoom at my disposal!

1 year, 3 months ago Edited
Up
Copyright @Photoblog.com