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Reinvention

dudler

Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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Reinvention

29 Oct 2020 9:22AM   Views : 286 Unique : 162

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We all need to reinvent ourselves from time to time. It doesnít make us inconstant or flighty, itís just that a slow and perfectly steady improvement is usually difficult. Itís simply not the way that (most) people are wired.

In my work life, I was quite lucky, in some senses Ė the last decade of my career was spent doing interim work for a succession of employers, and with each new start (as well as butterflies in the tummy) there was the chance to be someone slightly different. Each job taught me something, and improved and rounded my abilities, and I could take the new, improved John to the next gig.

And we often need something similar in our photography, when weíve lost our mojo, got stuck in a rut, run out of ideas. The most common response, I suppose, is to go out and buy a new lens, a new camera or a new accessory: or get a different set of digital filters.

A cheaper alternative Ė which a lot of us have necessarily followed over the last six or eight months Ėis to change genre. There must have been more people trying still life, or flower pictures, or scouring their local roads and lanes for images than ever before. And self-portraits: never forget those!

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A course can be a real source of new ideas: I found that a day with Dave Butcher and two other students in the Lake District ten or more years ago taught me new tricks: not so much in terms of telling me things I hadnít heard, but impressing on me the reasons for some of the dogma. A tripod and a hand-held spot meter are not necessary for landscape, but they can be very, very useful. Since then, Iíve used them, some of the time.

Much more recently, a Thomas Holm online tutorial inspired new ideas for lighting and processing Ė though the former will now have to wait until the new year and a relaxation of lockdown. Iím practising on old files, and thinking a good bit.

Now could be the time to get an old body converted to shoot infrared, if you fancy that: or learn more about how your camera and lenses operate. Try a new mode, or see if you can pan with a car coming off a roundabout.

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Comments


dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1739 England
29 Oct 2020 9:24AM
Pictures are of Roswell Ivory, from a joint shoot with Chrism8 at Breedon Hall.

The middle image has gone through a Nik filter to give an analogue-ish look: the final image involved an infrared-converted camera and Nik Silver Efex.
Lontano Plus
10 8 2 United Kingdom
29 Oct 2020 10:01AM
Unfortunately there are a lot of daily distractions, of one's own choosing, that prevent one having the time for proper photographic re-invention.

There are inclinations to do so, just as there are inclinations in other fields, in my case horticulturally and culinary. To pursue them all would would result in "spreading oneself a bit thin".
dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1739 England
29 Oct 2020 10:12AM
We don't have to do it all, of course! For some, reinvention may involve jettisoning some of the 'must do' tasks, or letting a few things leak out of the dreaded 'bucket list'!
29 Oct 2020 10:12AM
I really love the lighting, pose, and atmosphere in the last photo in this set.

As for infrared, I struck lucky a couple of years ago. There's a UK guy who has an ebay shop who buys in cameras and converts them cheaply. I bought a newly converted mint condition Nikon 1 body for just £120. One thing to be aware of is that cameras with pentaprisms don't focus on the film and the way infrared refracts they are invariably slightly out of focus unless your camera can adjust for lens back focussing etc. Important, as you might end up shooting at around f5.6 if your lens suffers from a hot spot.

dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1739 England
29 Oct 2020 11:01AM
One of the advantages of the professional conversions for IR is that they include adjustment of the AF module, I believe.

Otherwise, live view will be a necessary part of life: except in the cases where an old camera (like my Alpha 900) don't have live view.
chase Plus
15 1.9k 481 England
29 Oct 2020 1:09PM
Yesterday, I thought I would try something very different for me...landscapes...hmmmm
Off I popped to the nature Reserve next door, there is a lovely bird hide with a thatched roof, a couple of lakes, a pretty bridge over the beck, light was ok. Did I get anything...nope, failed miserably but, I tried at least and enjoyed myself whilst failing Wink
dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1739 England
29 Oct 2020 4:50PM
I'm getting closer to having that still life space in the garage. It's still cold and dirty, but there is some working room.
29 Oct 2020 6:44PM

Quote:One of the advantages of the professional conversions for IR is that they include adjustment of the AF module, I believe.

Otherwise, live view will be a necessary part of life: except in the cases where an old camera (like my Alpha 900) don't have live view.



That's very true John. I believe that this guy does that. But I assume that, as IR will focus differently with different focal length lenses, there will always be issues. But I'd forgotten about live view. That's effectively what I do with the Nikon 1. But it took me a while to realise that it needs to focus on the brightest bits, rather than focussing on areas with lots of detail (that don't have much IR light hitting the film plane). At first I couldn't work out why the camera wasn't focussing where I wanted it to. Clearly it had been 'hunting'. Then I changed to multi segment focussing instead of spot focussing and all was then well!
29 Oct 2020 6:51PM

Quote:I'm getting closer to having that still life space in the garage. It's still cold and dirty, but there is some working room.


A cold and dirty garage sounds like the perfect shooting environment - for me at least! 😈
dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1739 England
29 Oct 2020 9:59PM
'Nuff said, Paul. 'Nuff said.
Robert51 12 7 108 United Kingdom
30 Oct 2020 8:46AM
There is one aspect you have not talked about here John is why do some many people feel they need to change so often. Is this because the modern camera can produce top images right out of the box without any work. There are a few very simple things that will make your photograpthy a lot harder and make you feel as it you have done something really special when it comes off. First revert back to manual as this gives you so much control but you have to think about it. Second put down the zoom and pick up a prime lens. The ressults will be better and you have to use your feet. It also makes you work harder at your composition. These two things will make you feel you have had a workout every trip you go on, but your photography will become much better and your enjoy it more.
Just a few ideas...
dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1739 England
30 Oct 2020 11:05AM
Consumer society breeds discontent, I reckon.

I entirely endorse a prime lens as a way of doing something different: and for many people, manual exposure will provide a similar gear-change in how they work. Good thoughts, Robert!
30 Oct 2020 11:55AM

Quote:Consumer society breeds discontent, I reckon.

I entirely endorse a prime lens as a way of doing something different: and for many people, manual exposure will provide a similar gear-change in how they work. Good thoughts, Robert!



While I think that 95% of photographers need no more than a 6 megapixel sensor, without all the naieve people flocking out to buy the latest kit, camera and lens manufacturers would go bust and nobody would get what they needed!

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