– photographs and messages from inside the Sausurrean Bar –

Restrictions – I


Saturday, October 11th, 2014

Restrictions – I

So, the thing is:

I am really glad we’re not limited to shooting photos onto film anymore. In fact I for myself and my photography really don’t get the whole “yay let’s go back to shooting the oldfashioned way, because it is so much harder and consequently artsier and superior and …”. I don’t. If that is how other people feel, then I am totally happy to let them feel that way and do it and I am not going to judge anyone for doing that* … but it does not hold any appeal for me. Not because I don’t understand about sometimes wanting things to be harder, as a challenge, but simply because I really don’t see sense in spending money on doing something with older, inferior equipment that I can also do with my newer, superior equipment – for free (well, now that I own it).

I do, in fact, have my old analog camera sitting in a box on the shelf, together with what remains of my (by now really old) stash of film rolls … I am told that one can do artsy things with them, but so far my motivation to actually do anything with them has been zero. It might lead to strange results, I know, but so far that has not enticed me enough to do anything about it. I might, some day, or I might not, but from where I am right now I can definitely say that, when it comes to photography, I have embraced the digital age – and am loooving it!

What I do understand is the need to sometimes put restrictions/obstructions on one’s artistic ‘space’, to challenge oneself by putting limits on the technological possibilities one has to work with. It is something I quite like doing, as well as seeing what restrictions other people place on themselves and what they then come up with (in the old analog days there were many natural limits – if you had put a b/w ISO 400 film into your camera, that was what you had to work with for the next 24 or 36 shots; if you only took one roll of film with you on holiday, you had 36 shots you could take, etc.).

Today, of course, these limitations are gone – you can alter the ISO as you see fit, a 64GB card will hold thousands of photographs, you can see photos (and delete photos you don’t like) the second after taking them … all of which is awesome and has definitely contributed to making me as fond of photographing things as I am right now (I used to like doing it in the ‘old days,’ too – I used up 12 rolls of film on our 1994 trip to the US, and still like some of the photos I took back then, but man, it was also totally a) expensive and b) restrictive and c) annoying).

 My craft has definitely benefited from being able to take 10 or 20 or even 100 different shots of the same object, varying angles/exposure/ISO/apperture … something that was FAR to expensive to really continuously practice back when having a 36 shot roll of film developed cost you more than 10DM. So whenever people get all nostalgic I, in a reflexive twitch, remember how much pocket money I invested into buying film and then having it developed and think “You people want to go back to this? Really? Well … have fun, but I’m going to keep lovin’ my sweet little thing of a digital camera”.

But, yes, restrictions: useful! Make you think! And work! And things hard! Are something I semi-regularly set myself.

For me, honing my craft is both about using all the possibilities my camera gives me, as well as sometimes putting restrictions on myself to really work with what I learned/keep a look out for specific things.

And putting restrictions on your craft is quite easy in the digital age, too.

Foto 11.10.14 11 33 27 Foto 11.10.14 12 56 49 Foto 11.10.14 12 57 39

Restrictions – I:

  • – AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 lense
  • – Apperture MUST be set at 1.8
  • – 512 MB flash card (which gives me a grand total of 14 shots)
  • – all 14 photos must be taken
  • – all 14 photos must be posted
  • – no altering the physical environment (that is generally a restriction I put on myself)
  • – no editing (other than batch downsizing and watermarking)

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The other 13 photos are below the “Read the rest of this entry…” cut:
(taken on the walk to and from the grocery store)

(I am least happy with the pumpkin one, my favourite one is the one with the pine cones. What about you?)
(Any thoughts, questions, feelings, feedback, restrictions you want to give me/share?)

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* (unless they judge me for *not* doing it, then we’re going to get into a judge-grudge-mudge-nudge-trudge-sludge [-chocolate fudge?] … which, as the name says, shall be totally serious BZNZ! [Err… nevermind])

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