Mindful Photography – Week 3 – Explore

This week the assignment was to let go of the concept of what makes a good or bad photograph – to deliberately take out of focus, under exposed, over exposed and badly composed images. Ironically I then had to select 5 of the ‘best’ to upload for my tutor to comment on.

I was frustrated by the limitations of my camera (yes, a bad work-person always blames their tools!) but, because it’s a compact, it’s impossible to focus manually. I tried focussing on a near object then taking a distance shot without success – I tried capturing a sense of movement by using a slow shutter speed but I ended up with over exposed images or ones too dark to see. I need to practice more with the settings so they become second nature to me.

I’ve been looking over some notes I made when I used my DSLR – I had a greater aperture range, a greater shutter speed range and could manually focus which enabled me to achieve a wider range of images. But I have the challenge of working with what I have now.

The day was sunny but before I left to carry out the assignment I noticed my paper coffee cup on the windowsill.


I’ve not submitted this one but like the ambiguity of the image and the materiality.


Shooting into the sun produced a colourful flare but again this wasn’t presented.


I spent about an hour with the swans – changing the aperture and shutter speed which resulted in many dud images – either so over exposed there was nothing to see and conversely too dark. I was looking at the form of the negative space of the dark water against the white plumage but the birds moved so fast as they ate the food I’d enticed them with it was difficult to take a considered shot.


This image has been improved by placing it against a white background as the edges have all but disappeared.


In spite of me not wanting to post edit my work I have cropped this image as there was a distracting beak to the left.


I was trying to capture the movement of the swans necks as they thrust their heads under water but I never managed to get the slow shutter speed I needed to correspond to the exposure. I’ve a lot to learn.


Without the other images this one is the most confusing – I think it would be better presented in portrait rather than landscape.



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