I love travel photography, going to exotic places and exploring landscapes and cities different from those I can find back home. But when you travel somewhere far away what you mostly do is checking before what are “the best” spots, hoping for decent weather only to actually end up at a totally overcrowded landmark with lots of other photographers, fighting for a good spot and hoping to not have too many tourists in the picture.
In this article I will try to show some alternatives that might not be as exotic, but can nevertheless be just as enjoyable and in the process might also improve your photography skills more than just “collecting” the shots from other photographers.
What makes a picture good? Not only because this is a very subjective question it is a hard one to answer. We will still try to do that and in the process we will also come across the following questions: why do you take pictures in the first place and: for whom?
When I decided to use only my 45-years-old Minolta MC 1.7/55 in February I had only one basic idea: I wanted to get out of my comfort zone because I know that I improve my skills much faster in anything if I can’t rely on my routines. And I guess I was also curious how I would fare without all the fancy gear I normally use.
During the project I tried to take pictures everyday and I also created additional challenges for myself: One day I only allowed myself to take 5 pictures and on another I had to photograph in conditions I had little experience in.
I am a gear head. How do I know? Because I own about a dozen normal lenses.
Usually I enjoy the choice I have but I was asking myself what would happen if I had no choice and could use only one lens for a whole month? There is only one way to find out and so I decided that I would limit myself to the Minolta MC Rokkor 1:1.7 55mm which is 45-years-old and cost me $25.
When I started the project I was curious how it would affect my photography. I have always progressed the fastest when I was outside of my comfort zone and I expected that this project would give me many experiences outside my comfort zone.
In this post I will recapitulate my experience so far.
Day 1: Black and White
On day one I decided that the lens alone wouldn’t push me outside of my comfort zone enough so I decided to give myself additional challenges each day which would make the project more interesting.
For day one this was photographing in black and white only because color is usually essential for my pictures. I think it worked quite well as did using 55mm for zoo images.
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