Begin at the Beginning – Activity

The activity for me was about going back to my photographic roots.

My first camera was a Kodak Brownie 127 and I remember taking it on school field trips to take pictures to places such as Easton Farm Park. Unfortunately I could not find any images from that period to critique. Though what I remember is the simplicity of the camera with just a shutter button and film advance freeing you up to focus on image composition as there was nothing else you could do to influence the image.

The earlier images that exist are from the first film camera I brought with my own money which was a Canon EOS from the 1980s and I had a couple of lens a fixed 50mm f1.8 and a 75-300mm zoom lens.

My early images were shoot on black and white film.


This first image was taken on a trip to Maldon. There are a number of things that I like about the image the exposure of the main subject is Ok. you can see the rigging details and the sky only occupies 1/3 of the image but I have managed to capture the complete boat including mast. You can see detail in the mud of the estuary, though that was at the expense of the sky however the sky is not totally blown out. I know that this was taken as a single image and I must have been confident enough with my exposure not to bracket the image.  This image was one of the source images for my main project and my desire to reconnect with the coast line 30 years after this image was taken.

This image was taken on the same trip to Maldon as the first image. The image of the boating lake which had been drained at the time which made for a different image. I like the isolated person in the lake who was clearly searching for something yet the rest of the image is devoid of people which is unusual for this location. Again I exposed for the land and accepted loss of detail in the sky though clouds are still clearly evident in the image. There is probably not much that I would change about the image though now I would probably shoot it landscape with a wider angle lens to ensure I captured all of the boating lake but still kept key landmarks such as the church in the image.

Overall happy with the exposure of the image though I think the framing of the image could be much better to avoid the cut off lamp post in the foreground though I do not remember there being much space to walk around due to the roads outside the building. I could maybe also have waited for the people walking up the steps of the building to exit the frame before taking the image.

This final image from my early work is different from the rest and is an abstract piece where I was experimenting with using car parts and a peach tree truck to create abstract images. I like the fact that both the tree and the car parts have texture due to the process of ageing though under exposure means that that detail is lost in this image. I also would have preferred to go with a shallower depth of field to blur the background detail. Today I would even consider using a backdrop on location to further isolate my subject from its surrounding some that Richard Avedon did when taking portraits of people in his American West body of work.

Overall when I look back at these images I am happy with the overall concepts however there are details that I would tighten up if I were to repeat these images today. 

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  1. By The Current Commercial Market – Reflection on 15th November 2017 at 10:50 pm

    […] a change to rephotograph the boating lake which I had shared as part of the week 5 Activity on my photographic DNA. I tried to position the camera at the same location as the original image. Another challenge was […]