This week, the theme Amy has chosen is My Photography Journey.
I first picked up a camera when I was 11, I think, a Kodak instamatic, and it cost rather a lot to get the films processed, so I didn’t take many pictures. I later got my mother’s Retinette, which had quite a sturdy metal body, a decent Lens and controls for shutter speed and aperture, but you had to use a separate exposure meter so my father taught me the sunny 16 rule….which could be effective! It was a good grounding in understanding f stops and the relationship between Aperture and shutter speed. I have always used manual controls on the camera.
Later I got my first SLR, which was OK, but then I got a secondhand Canon FT, a very solid workhorse. In those days I would take images more as a record of what I saw, but did try to compose my shots…people would say I “had a good eye”.
I used to take monochrome images as well as colours slides, and spent happy hours in a makeshift darkroom, doing my own developing and printing. But for some reason, I didn’t study the work of great photographers or try to take my camera skills beyond taking ‘records’, and composing a shot reasonably well.
I did used to get frustrated when I couldn’t seem to get shots with atmosphere, especially with regard to derelict, abandoned or ruined buildings. When I had to retire early due to ill health, that’s when I started to think a bit more. And I did Otto Von Münchow’s online course “Finding Your Photographic Voice”…and that was the ‘aha’ trigger….really learning about the different elements that make up an image, and the emotional impact (or lack of it) of an image. Thinking about what you want to show your viewer with an image. From there I started to look more closely at the work of other photographers, and then came across a Canadian photographer called David du Chemin and did one of his online courses, and devoured his books.
The most significant aspect of all this was that I was becoming more attuned to light…. Well, light what photography is all about, yes? Except I hadn’t really ‘got’ that aspect. Now I could start injecting more atmosphere into some images.
Also ways of gaining more creativity with slow shutter speed, ICM, wide aperture, negative space, Contre jour.
And I’m still learning, albeit slowly, and will continue to do so.
Linked to Lens-artist’s at Amy’s here