Ted has run a number of photography assignments to encourage his community of viewers to push themselves and showcase their photography skills.
I didn’t get a chance to enter one of these assignments in the past as I didn’t have the time to participate or the assignment ended before I watched the video. Thankfully they are back and Ted is allowing people longer to create work based on the assignment.
Assignment 15 encourages you to use a basic set up where the outcome is beyond your control. Ted has labelled this the Holga style challenge but you can do this with any camera.
Set your camera as follows:
- Turn off Autofocus and no Viewfinder – you’ll use your eyes and zone focusing
- Aperture will be set to f/8 only
- Shutter speed can be either 1/30 or 1/60 sec
- ISO must be 100 or 400
I’ve set the manual settings on my Pentax Q10 and the Canon EOSM3 and set about seeing what I could capture.
I have to admit not looking at the screen (or viewfinder) is difficult and aiming the camera loosely towards a subject feels unnatural.
I was very surprised by how much light was required to get any type of photograph but I enjoy some of the darker shots than the lighter ones.
I also admit it was actually easier to complete this assignment with the Pentax than the Canon as the Pentax was a little less forgiving. The Canon insisted on helping with the focus which was a pain to override. The Pentax was much more traditional, if I got the shot out of focus then that was that!
I have enjoyed the assignment though as it has taken me out of my comfort zone and made me think about what I intended to shoot vs the restrictions of the setup. (All shots are straight out of the camera – all I have done is converted to monochrome in Lightroom (all were shot in monochrome RAW so Lightroom had full colour detail on import)).
Here is a selection of photographs that I wanted to share along with my opinion about these photos and this creative process.
The geometric patterns of the rug with the light coming from the sunny window work really well together.
If I had composed this shot I would have avoided the top of the rug cutting into the frame but I think it adds to the geometric pattern.
Shot with the Canon EOS M3.
This is a top-down shot of our solar lamp in the garden. I like the lines and the contrast in this image. Thankfully it’s pretty level.
The eagle-eyed of you will spot the top of my foot at the bottom of the shot but that adds to the ad hoc charm of the image I think!
I probably would have exposed to make this much sharper and added more contrast but I like the natural feel of the light and shadow in this image.
Again taken with the Canon EOS M3.
Another shot from the garden with the Canon EOS M3.
If I had composed this I would have been looking for a sharp reflection in the CD. This photograph has some motion on the CD as it spins in the wind. It detracts from the sharpness of the rest of the image which I probably would have tried to avoid had I shot this properly.
I like the small level of blur in the CD, it gives the image some life.
This is a very simple photograph but one I doubt I would have composed.
It’s shot with the Pentax Q10 and is the light coming into the bedroom window. The light and the lines of the window frame and the recess gives a nice selection of shade, form and composition. It feels like a memory of some description.
It also reminds me of a warm summers day.
This is a very dark, high contrast shot I took in the guest bedroom with the Canon EOS M3.
I love how the light has captured part of my face and glasses in the shadow of the window but the other side of the image has some symmetry to it.
I actually don’t know how the other side of the image was produced and think it might be the reflection in the monitor on my desk. It’s certainly not a shot I would have ever thought about or worked out how to capture.
I especially like the way my old teddy bear is staring at me, wondering what I am doing!
Another dark image and another I would not have shot. Why would I capture the power sockets by my bed? I guess the question should be, why not?
I was experimenting with how much light the Pentax Q10 would capture with the ISO and shutter speed restricted by the assignment and I like the details (or lack of detail) across this image.
Another major thing for me is that this photograph is not level – I always level my photos when I post-produce them and I find it interesting that I have left this image and believe the skewed socket adds to the charm of the image.
I like how this assignment has made me think about the art of the image captured over the technical or compositional ability of my photography.
Not the usual set of photographs I capture, nor share, but an eclectic mix nonetheless.
I plan to take the Canon with me this week and will try to capture some shots using the same technique when I am out and about. The weather is crisp and cold this week so I may get some interesting contrast in the shots – fingers crossed.
What do you think about this selection?
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