My self imposed LMMM challenge is over as of yesterday Feb 16.
I was looking back and I made approximately 600 or so images over a span of 8 weeks. Not great, but not lousy either. And most of them are photos of my daughter! The other ‘topic’ I photographed the most, if I can call that is what I see on my commute. I have been intentionally intently looking around when driving, especially when stopped at traffic lights – and now I am amazed that what I thought was a dead subject where I could not make any photos at all – now there are some very nice photos I can see. It is still very very tough to try to make a lyrical, beautiful image out of a bunch of cars waiting in front of me…but sometimes, the way the evening sun falls partially on yellow bins in the middle of the road (what are they? I never saw them before!) making some of their yellows so bright and beautiful juxtaposed with the dark somber almost grey, but sometimes chocolatey asphalt, beautiful!
I was supposed to be shooting in black and white only for the past 8 weeks, and that is what I did – except for two occasions where I had to take color photographs. I think this exercise is supposed to help with seeing luminosity. Now I do seem to see light, glorious light almost all the time, a split second before evaluating the subject – because of Black and White or because I am trying hard to make this into a habit…I am not sure. And I see beautiful color, subtle pastels, glowing bright amazing colors. I wonder how I will fare for one year of no color. I used to think I loved black and white – now I know that I love color too!
I was supposed to use only one lens throughout this 8 week period. And I mostly did – for 6 weeks. I have fallen even more in love with my Konica Hexanon 50mm f1.7 – and I cannot express in words wht I like about the pictures that lens draws…it just talks to me (like my EP5). However I switched my lens out to a newly acquired Leica M Summilux 35mm f1.4 for Week 7 and Week 8. I bought this lens in preparation for my Leica year. I am getting better at using manual lenses. Somewhere halfway, I came across the idea of “zone focusing” manual lenses – link from Ming Thein. And this is what I am practicing now. A method to how to focus manually – without having to look at the focus ring!
During this challenge, I did not use the light meter on the camera, and I tried to manually calculate the correct exposure (in my head). This is still very very hard for me. I wa sinitially almost randomly bracketing – but then over the last two weeks, I have been using the ‘Sunny 16″ rule and its variants. This is still a project for the future, and I have this link on – learning ‘GSOTPANWASTOTZSS’ to help me out.
Over this time, I have come to enjoy using my Olympus E-P5 even more. Thsi is teh first camera I have ever owned which feels special. The fact that I had to use the EVF which was bulky was annoying. And the olympus menu system is annoying (sometimes). But overall, I look upon this cameras flaws fondly! And despite its flaws and issues, I really love using it and cant think of using any other camera. I made a purse insert for it and now my camera is with me almost always, incognito in my purse..
Overall, a successful challenge for me – for it served its purpose. I learnt a lot – and am learning a lot. What next? Well, just take more photos and get ready for the Leica year.