This summer the ePHOTOzine team gave me a “One-Lens Challenge” where I was asked to capture as many different types of shots as I could, in one day, using only one Tamron lens.
Completing a “One-Lens Challenge” is a great way to test the versatility of a particular lens, whilst also allowing you to acquire a greater understanding of its photographic capabilities. Testing your personal photographic skills by placing yourself outside of your comfort zone, photographing subjects you may not be as confident with, makes this activity an enjoyable and challenging experience.
Eager to complete this challenge successfully, I decided that I would travel to London in order for me to gain a wider range of photographic opportunities. Choosing to make the most of the day by travelling into London early in the morning, I was faced with a continuous change in weather meaning that I had to constantly adjust my camera settings to create images that were correctly exposed.
I also found that photographing subjects that I was less comfortable with was just the beginning of the challenge, and that the most difficult thing I had to overcome was adapting a pre-visualised image idea to capture with a lens I wouldn’t normally use for the shot.
This feature includes the variety of shots I captured with my chosen Tamron SP 10-24mm lens in my one-day time period.
When most people think of London, they think of the impressive city skyline and often imagine or wonder what the city would look like from above. Travelling up to the viewing platform of the Shard, this particular wide-angle lens allowed me to capture the vast expanse of the city below, creating a powerful aerial portrait that enables the viewer to feel a sense of great dominance over this never-ending city. Although these images were obviously taken through glass, the reflections of the interior of the Shard, found throughout these photos, add a slight feel of abstractness whilst also adding a depth to the photograph.
Although London is a very large city, it is also known for its variety of parks. As this is the case, I wanted to try and capture a landscape image within the city boundary. As landscape images tend to lack human presence it was not only difficult to find the perfect location for the shot, but once I was there it was difficult for me to position the camera due to the wide-angle lens capturing human subjects on the edges of the photographic frame. This landscape photograph also catches a glimpse of some of London’s famous city landmarks, which offers the viewer a sense of escapism from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Another famous feature of the city of London is its intertwining of historical and modern-day innovative architectural designs. Again, because I was using a wide-angle lens, it was difficult to capture the architecture without some form of human presence. However, the wide-angle lens did actually aid this type of photography as it allowed me to capture a larger expanse of the architecture at hand. Taking architectural images from a low angle tends to elicit a sense of dominance over the viewer, allowing them to relate to the realistic perspective of the image.
Although London offers a large number of street photography opportunities (see below), we don’t really think of people in London on a personal level. Choosing to create this portrait not only allowed me to challenge this idea, but it also allowed me to show you that the “One-Lens Challenge” is a great activity to undertake with friends and family. Using the wide-angle lens meant that more of the background could be seen within the portrait image so I not only had to focus on the subject’s expression, but I also had to think about what could be seen in the background. Including more of the background within a portrait photo also adds a reminiscent quality, allowing you to easily remember, at a later date, when and where the image was taken.
With London being famous for its architectural diversity (discussed above), photographers at all levels sometimes forget to explore the interior of the buildings. Using this wide-angle lens allowed me to capture more of the interior within one single shot. It also allowed me to capture the atmosphere of the place through the inclusion of human subjects at the edges of my photo, making them noticeable, but not the focus of the image. I also experimented with photographing the silhouette of one particular interior, as it was a successful yet creative way to express the structural design of the restaurant while also highlighting the impressive view that makes this particular restaurant so popular.
As stated above, London offers a variety of opportunities for street photography with different festivals, fairs, and performers constantly lining the city’s streets. This wide-angle lens not only allowed me to capture more of the street environment within my image (enhancing possible background stories about the subject), but it also allowed me to capture more naturalistic expressions by simply making the street subject think that I was photographing something else due to the positioning of the camera’s wide-angle lens. Street photography also tends to focus on the mystery surrounding the stranger within the image, and the fact that this particular subject has their face shielded from the camera means that this feeling of mystery is automatically intensified.
For more information on Holly, take a look at her blog.