One of my many creative outlets over the years has been photography. This past week marked the first week of Elevate the Ordinary, an online e-course offered by Andrea Scher. I signed up for the class on a whim on Cyber Monday. I figured it would be good for me and I might learn finally to be a bit more deliberate with my photography. I am not sure if that is going to happen as I choose to focus on making mistakes this week.
I have what might be a called a Lay Photography Practice. I don’t need one more thing in my life to push the perfection button in me. I take photographs for me, for my enjoyment and I am not looking to create a career as a photographer. My photography practice helps me stay present, see the details of my life and connects me to my creativity. Also, it has been something over the last year that I have been able to do creatively that does not trigger waves of paralyzing grief from D’s passing last March.
I was thrilled when digital cameras became more accessible. Digital allows me the freedom to explore and take as many shots as I want without the fear of using all my film. I don’t need to get the perfect shot right away. So for me, I can happily take hundreds of shots and not stress. I know there are many camps on this issue, some might say that I am lazy and should strive for the perfect shot.
In 2011 I became intrigued with the Lomography and Polaroid photography. I love the sometimes soft and dreamy look, the off colors and unpredictability such as light leaks. Not wanting to deal with hassle of using analog film at this time in my life, I found much to my delight an adaptor for Lomography Diana+ lenses for my Canon EOS Rebel XS.
I love the simplicity using the Diana+ lenses because now I have a fixed F stop. My only variable is the ISO and shutter speed. The lenses really strip down my camera to basic functions and forces me to be more strategic with what I am doing. It also leaves a lot more to chance, which is the beauty of it. Also, there is no auto focus, so you have to move and reframe the shot to get it in focus. It forces me to adjust and many times contort to make the shot happen.
The main thing with using these lenses on a DSLR is that you need a lot of light and you have to manually adjust the white balance. I am currently using my Canon EOS Rebel XS with the following lenses:
- Diana+ 38mm Superwide- This is by far my favorite and the one I keep on the camera that most. It creates really soft photos.
- Diana+ 55mm Wide-Angle- This came with a close up lens, which works great for when I want macro shots. This a good basic lens but it is hard to get the focus.
- Diana+ 110mm Telephoto-I find I don’t use this lens much because it restricts too much of the picture plane.
I also got a Holga Lens for Canon DSLR. You need a ton of light with this lens, even with the shutter super slow and high ISO you need full on sun light, a ton of light. For my tastes, it creates a bit too much vignetting. But I have gotten some good photos none the less.
So I am not the only one to find these lens fun to work with, Elsie and Emma from a Beautiful Mess also discuss these lens and have some great shots here. So I move forward into week two of Elevate the Ordinary and I am sure I will have many more interesting photos to share with you. And yes, I am having fun.