This week’s prompt over at The SafeworD/s Club is ‘pleasure’…
Getting pleasure from my photography
I’ve written elsewhere about the reasons for starting this blog. Firstly, that I was nearing the big 5-0 (no, I’m not joining the police) and I had a lot on my mind. Secondly, I have struggled with my body image for various reasons and I wanted to give myself a photo project; one that would really challenge me, hence the nakedness. IRL I’ve started a selfie project; here, I’m posting photos of my bum. Trust me, you’re getting the better end of that deal.
And it’s already starting to help. That’s not much to do with me though; the lovely comments I’ve received about some of my photos has really helped my self confidence. If you’re one of those lovely commenters, thank you – I have tried to thank you all individually but if I have missed a comment, I apologise. It really has helped.
Most of all though, I’m getting pleasure from my photography again. Having that sort of focus on a creative project is great for your mental health, and never more so at a time like this. I’ve always been a bit of a nerd for it and I love a wide range of photography. If I might be so bold as to share some of the photographers that give me pleasure, I would always recommend:
- Guy Bourdin’s shoe fetish/advertisements
- Trent Parke’s stunning black and white tableaux
- Masahisa Fukase’s raw and emotional work
Taking photos and giving back
I’m no Adonis. I try to make the best of what I have with angles and lighting, and that’s all that’s really needed. You don’t need a fancy camera. If you have a half-decent camera with manual mode, or can get a camera app for your phone with manual mode, that’s enough. The key is the manual setting. You just need to take control of your camera and that means deciphering the hieroglyphics on the back, but I can help you with that.
I thought that sharing that knowledge might be a little something I could give back. I’ll try to explain not just how to do something, but why you should be doing it too, so you understand why it’s relevant. If you’re new to anything, the frustrating part of learning isn’t how to do something, but why you should do it.
Over the next few days, I’ll post a series of short articles explaining the key concepts. Once you know the rules, you’ll know how to break them with creativity and positive intention. It’s easy to break the rules by accident but that only leads to frustration. It’s possible to break the rules without knowing exactly what will happen, but with a good idea of what you want to happen. That kind of experimentation is fun, educational and creative.
Warning: it’s so easy once you know this stuff that you’re going to be annoyed you didn’t know it before! I strongly recommend that as you read, you get out your camera (or open your app) and find the relevant bits and bobs. Find what each control is and in particular, find out the controls for ISO, aperture and shutter speed; I’ll tell you what to do with them.
Shall we? We’re going to start with shutter speed.