The Super Whites The ordinary life of a Super Mum

The Super Whites
A poor craftsman blames his tools

Three weeks into the photography course and I am alive with inspiration and motivation. However I am also slightly despondant at the amount of work I need to do if I have any intention of launching myself as a professional.

Manual mode focal length 28mm f4.5 1/25sec ISO400
Our homework assignment from the first week was to make an environmental portrait utilising a set-the-scene photo and a close-up showing more detail. Our lecturer was concerned that I was falling into the trap of the “coffin box” shot or the over-cropped photo and he wanted me to explore a wider-angle but using a ‘normal’ focal length.
Manual mode Focal length 17mm f4 1/200sec ISO400

And so the harsh realisation that I rely too heavily on my equipment. Not in terms of using my camera in Auto mode, but rather using the lens I have to get the shot rather than getting down on my knees and ‘making’ the photo. My standard lens is an EFS 17-85mm f4-5.6 lens which allows me to get the photo without getting into my subjects face. However I have come to rely quite heavily on the zoom function and so end up with a lot of distortion in my images. For case-in-point check out the image below:

Manual mode focal length 17mm f4 1/200sec. ISO400

I should have been using a focal length of 50mm or 55mm to make this photo. This is the ‘normal’ focal length that accurately reflects what we see without any distortion. (In a very simplified explanation!)

Manual mode focal length 85mm f8 1/200sec. ISO400

The good news is that I am absolutely loving the chance to get out and talk photography with other people who are equally as passionate. The standard of photographer in the class is incredibly high and some of the images they are making are quite remarkable. I feel challenged and inspired and excited.

Manual mode focal length 17mm f7.1 1/400sec ISO400

It was only after our second class that I had a mini-revelation about my style of photography and my weaknesses. I could blame my lens and bad habits but I could also remember that I learnt how to use a camera years ago and have no excuses for forgetting the basics of the science behind cameras and lenses.

Manual mode focal length 38mm f7.1 1/200sec ISO400
So I am spending a lot of time thinking about what kind of photographer I want to be, not so much what kind of photographs I want to make, but how I want to approach this stylisticly. I am facing up to the fact that I do need to upgrade some equipment and spend the time and money to build a brand of sorts so that when I start to market myself that people will take me seriously.
And of course this all starts with taking MYSELF seriously. And I am. More and more each day.
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