The Great Photographic Challenge

November 11, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Anyone who knows me or has ever read anything I have ever written even remotely related to photography will be very aware that very little annoys me more than those highly ignorant people who say all you need to be a good photographer is an expensive camera. Yep, just point that 5D Mk lll at the subject and voila!, you are now a photographic genius!

Every now and then anybody into photography has probably come across, online, a version of the Great Photographic Challenge.

This is when an experienced or professional photographer is asked to use the most basic of cameras and walk around an area for an hour or two and shoot. The idea is, is it in the eye, or in the camera?

I have seen some interesting challenges such as going out with one lens only with a very restricted zoom range and see what you come up with. Or, covering your LCD review screen with gaffer tape and having no idea what you shot until you download them to your PC.

The most challenging of these challenges is to go out and shoot with what is the most basic, useless, uninspiring, annoying, pathetic and un-camera like camera that you can find. Scary stuff.

I recently saw this online with a pro shooter using a paper camera, total rubbish, and he still got some great shots!

So, yes, I decided to do this myself. Now, I am not going to mention the brand of the camera involved, because, well, to be honest I found it not even really capable of doing what it was made to do. This camera is an insult to any other camera. I could make a better camera with a mirror, an old dog food can and two elastic bands. It sucked. So I don't get sued I shall refer to it as "Rupert".

Rupert has a fixed wide angle lens, there is no zoom, there is no ability to focus. There is no viewfinder so you can not look through anything and compose a shot, there is no LCD screen to review a shot. Rupert provides no ability to change the aperture, shutter speed or ISO. You have no idea of the shot you took until you see it on your PC. Essentially it has nothing apart from the ability to record, quite badly, a basic photograph.

So I went for stroll around the foreshore of Sans Souci where I live, the first shots I took where of a sandcastle that had somehow managed to survive through the night before.

No, I didn't place the feather there! As this was early morning this structure, and it's feather, had obviously survived a tide and an entire night. It fascinated me so I took a few shots as I was obviously not sure exactly what I was shooting. Here is the result.

I then left the beach and walked along the bike track/footpath. I had taken a shot of this tap once before with my Canon, so I thought I'd try again. I like this one.

We have a lot of locals walking and jogging at this time of the morning, so my next quest was to capture a couple of locals in true street style, they had no idea they were being shot.

Lastly, I was after some plant life..............

The inevitable question will be asked, "did you process these in Photoshop". Of course I did, but no more than any photo is processed that comes out of any camera, the same as when I shoot with my Canon.

Was it fun? Yes it was, it made me really think about available light, angles and composition more than I usually would. Angles particularly were important as I could not review each shot, and we know how much difference an angle can make.

Did I prove anything? That's not for me to judge. I'll say I have some shots here I really like and I don't think I'll give credit to the "camera". However, you are the final judge, did I prove photography is not just about an expensive camera?

Ciao

 

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