Arm's Length Assignment

Discussion in 'Photo Challenges' started by billowens, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. #1 billowens, Oct 19, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
    I was browsing Instagram yesterday and reading the captions on photos from an account called @poormansleica; they were working through a photo assignment/challenge posted by @shawneeunion, who also has a YouTube channel and posted a whole video explaining it:

    The gist is that you practice getting close to your subject by fixing the focus on your camera to something about an arm's length distant, then shoot an entire roll that way. As it happens, I had my Pentax K-x DSLR with me today and a 135 mm lens (the lovely Super Takumar f/3.5) and that combo wouldn't focus closer than about five feet; although I have gorilla arms they don't reach that far. Still, I set it to the minimum distance and went on my usual lunchtime photo meander.

    Here are the results:

    I took over 100 pictures, but about 20 of those were just trying to get used to the lens setup, all on the first subject (the green lamppost). By the time I was done, I was taking one or two pics of each subject, which is a little more like the original idea.

    It was a good exercise, I want to repeat it with a 35 or 50 mm lens (the K-x is a crop sensor, so 35 is probably the best bet) and I also want to try a roll of film this way.
  2. I like this a lot, going to have a look at what's got film in at the moment and see which camera is best suited to the job!
  3. Interesting idea and with that longer lens you got some quite tight detail shots. I often struggle getting decent detail shots so maybe I'll give this a go.
  4. I think it's a useful exercise; although I already look for those kinds of shots I certainly tried harder when I was unable to photograph anything else! I've added some more photos to the Flickr album; the first fifteen are with the 135mm lens, and the rest (starting with the bronze statue) are a Super-Takumar 35mm, which was truly set at arm's length (about 0.7m on the focusing ring). For the sake of the challenge I left the focus alone on both lenses but in the future I would make use of it, I found it quite difficult to maintain focus and get the framing I wanted on some of the shots. There were quite a few that wouldn't work out, but might have done if I'd stepped back just a little. I'm sure I'll find more photos by thinking, "I have to get really close to this in order to make it interesting."
    moroseduck likes this.

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