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An impasse has been reached

Members' Blogs
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by
Charlotte

topic
2nd try at a blog post

posted
Monday 19th March 2012

Members' Blogs: An impasse has been reached

Posted by: Charlotte on Mon Mar 19, 2012 20:25   (3223 Reads)
 Article Rating: 5
Well it's been almost a year now since my k-r arrived and it's been virtually glued to my hand ever since. Had I known at the time that photography was going to become such an obsession I'm not altogether sure that I would have ordered the camera in the first place.
First obstacle was the fact that the instruction booklet was in French and not knowing anything about photography at all I'm not sure it would have helped had the booklet been in English. All the technical terms in English were like a foreign language to me anyway. I didn't understand what DOF or f number meant and I certainly didn't know what the difference between a 16-50 mm and 75-300mm lens was. Long road ahead and a very steep learning curve.

I didn't get along with the kit lens and was very glad when my sigma 75-300 mm arrived with it's macro setting. My passion is Macro I've always been fascinated by insects and one of the reasons I got the k-r was to be able to photograph the tiny little things and see them in detail. I wasn't able to buy a dedicated macro lens at that stage and the reviews of the sigma's macro were good and the zoom range wasn't too bad. So off I went on my adventure.

I thought I was doing pretty well teaching myself and I stumbled by accident across a Pentax forum and read as much as I could for a while before plucking up the courage to join. Best thing I did actually, I would still be taking out of focus soft photos if I'd continued to struggle along teaching myself. I can now take not too bad shots in focus.

After saving my pennies I managed to get hold of a Vivitar 55mm macro, which, taught me how to use the camera manually. It's a wonderful haunted lens and gives the most amazing bokeh as well as being sharp where needed. Experimenting with teleconverters and lighting I actually started getting somewhere near the results I was looking for, but something was always missing, or not quite right.

Next came the sigma 50mm manual macro with it's beautiful colour rendering, much better for photographing insects and for less 'arty farty' type work. Used with a 2 x converter or a 2 x macro converter I was even closer to the images I was trying to create but still there was something missing.

Various people on the forum helped by pointing out that the eye (of course everyone knows this, I just needed to be told 'cause I'm thick and didn't) has to be in focus, so from then on the eye was the main focal point. I soon discovered that this was not enough and just having the eye in focus did nothing to make the image more real. It was only after much thought and looking at images, of my own as well as others I realised that like everything else, it was the interaction with the camera that made the shot.


Whether it's a person, a pet, a wild animal, bird or bug : either catching it doing something and getting a glimpse into it's world, or capturing it interacting with the camera was what made the picture more whole.


Then we come to my nemesis, Landscapes. I can't do landscapes!


I read, asked questions. Took on board everything I was told absorbing knowledge like a sponge. Still can't do them. Technically correct everything in the right place but they just end up as boring 'so what' pictures.



It's the light, need to get up before dawn, so I did. Traipsing round the French countryside in the wee small hours in the dark, isn't for women who are faint hearted. I did this and captured sunrises and whatever else I could see in the gloom. Still boring 'so what' photos.




Ah well, let's try the sunset magical hour shall we. Same result.

't wasn't the light, t'wasn't necessarily the composition, the interest may be missing the spark certainly isn't there. Now I have to research to find out what makes the landscapes I like so damn special. There is nothing that connects them, they are all completely different.

I have come to the conclusion that what makes these photos so special is a certain quality that is indefinable. These photographers in certain photos have captured something that can't be seen, it can be experienced through the photo by having some sort of emotional effect on the viewer but there is nothing in these photos that one can point to and say 'that's it'.

It is a sum of the whole, but more than that, in a similar vein to the interaction of people/creatures with the camera, some how these photographers have got some sort of interaction with the landscape going, a glimpse behind the veil, a glimpse maybe of the divine (what ever that means), the pulse of the earth can be felt.

How the hell do you capture on camera something that can't be seen. Well it's beyond my capabilities that's for sure.

We all know the answer is 42 – I will continue my quest to find the ultimate question, 'cause that'll be a darn site easier for me than taking a decent landscape photograph.

Meanwhile of course I will continue with my frustrating attempts to take a decent landscape photo 'cause it really bugs me that I can't do it.
 
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comments

 
First 15 (of 16) Comments     -     See all 16 comments

An impasse has been reached   -   Leave a Comment
Re: An impasse has been reached   -   See entire comment Hey welcome to the club Charlotte. All the indefinable, intangible stuff you've mentioned is spot-on. I assume most people with cameras suffer from t ...  more
Re: An impasse has been reached   -   See entire comment Nice post Charlotte!

Good point about the eyes: the ladybird photo is nice, but the cat photo is great :)

I wouldn't put yourself down over land ...  more
Re: An impasse has been reached   -   See entire comment I think you are being a bit hard on yourself Charlotte.

Your ladybird shot is good. You might try it again but with a more diffused light as you've ...  more
Re: An impasse has been reached   -   See entire comment TBH I think a large chunk of it is finding a landscape which is inherently interesting. I always think that if you find yourself looking for something ...  more
Re: An impasse has been reached   -   See entire comment
- Dangermouse
TBH I think a large chunk of it is finding a landscape which is inherently interesting. .

I would modify that to say
...  more
Re: An impasse has been reached   -   See entire comment Landscapes (and 'things') often need several goes. The first time you might look at the results and decide to go back a different time of day. Or ye ...  more
Re: An impasse has been reached   -   See entire comment Congratulations on reaching a plateau, many never climb that far. Congratulations also on recognising that there are higher peaks, many don't.

Whe ...  more
Re: An impasse has been reached   -   See entire comment Ooh crikey - I didn't know you could comment on blogs and wasn't expecting this wonderful advice.

I've been (still am) a bit busy, I'm a moderator ...  more
Re: An impasse has been reached   -   See entire comment Thanks i-Berg,

What you've written makes an awful lot of sense and it's nice to know I'm not going potty. I have taken your advice and looked back ...  more
Re: An impasse has been reached   -   See entire comment thoughton I could kiss you, 8O

There was something bugging me about that picture but I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong with it.

Grey ...  more
Re: An impasse has been reached   -   See entire comment Thanks for your encouragement mannesty,

The ladybird was taken shortly after I had changed my set up and I was experimenting with the lighting.
I ...  more
Re: An impasse has been reached   -   See entire comment Hi DM, :D

I think maybe you're right and I'm overcomplicating things. I think using a shorter focal length means that I need to put something in ...  more
Re: An impasse has been reached   -   See entire comment Hiya Smeggypants, :D

"TBH I think a large chunk of it is finding anything which is inherently interesting."

That is spot on really. :lol:

...  more
Re: An impasse has been reached   -   See entire comment I don't know what you did to my photo karma_mechanic but it's certainly a vast improvement.

I like the depth you've given to the maze in the field ...  more
Re: An impasse has been reached   -   See entire comment Thanks for your congratulations Dr. O, :D

I do wonder however if I would have been more content had I not reached the plateau and seen how much f ...  more
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