Monday, 25 January 2010

Getting started

Sunday was the day I planned to get started working on the various projects which lead up to the first assignment. The weather was dull and less than inspiring - not a great help. Nevertheless, I set out to the locations I felt where I could make a good start with the exercises. Brightlingsea came first.

"Focus with a set aperture" - made an attempt at this using a line of beach huts. Just could not get this right. The same with "Focus at different apertures". In both cases I could not make a significant difference - I can distinguish some difference in the latter, but simply not enough. The issue, I think is that I'm using a lens with an aperture which is not wide enough. I will need to retry with my 1.8 lens - don't leave it at home.

Moved on to Clacton where I discovered another fact - a telephoto can take minutes to stabilise. so many photographs which looked promising have camera shake - I just did not give the lens / camera combination to settle down and get rid of the vibrations before trigerring the cable release. Amazing learning point. In the 2 years of ownership of the lens, I had never used it on a tripod in such circumstances. Some photos are just OK and will appear in the blog, soon.

All in all several learning points on an otherwise disappointing day.

1. Use the "fastest" lens possible for demonstrating focus
2. For the lens I used, a 28-300mm, allow at least 2 minutes before triggering the shutter
3. Don't try and do too many exercises at one time. This leads to a diluted attempt in each case - due to pressure on time caused by fading light.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Essex Libraries

Just had a great result with organising access to the recommended books. Four of the seven books were listed in the library, so duly reserved. Amazingly one has just been returned by a previous lender, so I will be collecting the book "An introduction to Photographic Lighting" on Saturday.

Monday, 18 January 2010

The start of my journey at OCA

OK, so the title isn't particularly original - there's "journeys" everywhere, but in some way I feel that I am embarking (another travel related word) on a journey which is going to lead to a major qualification. But I mustn't get ahead of myself, though I do need to aim high.

My materials arrived last Thursday - it appears that they were the mystery parcel which the courier had been trying to deliver for a week. I was attending the "Societies" annual convention on Thursday through to Sunday, so, apart from reading the various enclosures on the train journeys into London, I just did not have the time to get stuck in into to the coursework book.

Right now, I am feeling somewhat apprehensive. Throughout my life, all my learning has been based around science and technology - excepting one or two practical one day photography courses - now, I need to apply myself towards a more creative process. The exercises, projects and assignments seem difficult to achieve at this stage. I think that I am going to be really busy this weekend, getting stuck into them.

I went to the "Societies" convention as I felt this was a magnificent training opportunity - more on that later. One thing I can say is that Ansel Adams was mentioned at least once each day! I have now dusted down his book "The Negative" and it will be my companion on the train for the next week or so. Its been a long time since I last read it, so definitely time to read it again right now. It might seem strange to readers that I am reading about the negative in the digital age, but I believe that, aside technical aspects regarding the construction of film and its processing, the exposure of the negative, the zone system, filters, natural and artificial light, are all subjects which are valid when applied to the digital "negative".