Saturday, October 20, 2007

Self-Limitation

The following photos were taken at Chalk It Up! a week ago.
What they have in common is that they were inspired by an educational assignment given to an online group of photographers by Matthew Robertson that encouraged us to set limits on our equipment or techniques and work within those limits to help us find new ways to see or to enhance our problem solving skills.
At least that's the way I read the assignment.

What I chose to do was to stop getting caught up in always having level horizons and carefully framed photos--to just click the shutter with my camera aimed in the general direction of my target and see what happened later.
No 2nd or third takes, no adjusting any settings beforehand, barely even point&shooting.

I didn't even look through the viewfinder or squint at my LCD screen.
All three of these were taken with the camera at my side, resting against my right leg as I walked along Houston Street. When I would see something interesting, only a careless aiming in the general direction would be made before pressing the shutter button.
Whatever settings I had been using previously were what I was stuck with.
Worse than any kind of amateur snapshot, it was almost torture for me to do this haphazard thing.
I only tried it these three times so you're seeing what happens when I'm carefree--warts and all.

Without Matthew's assignment I wouldn't have gotten this photo that seemed to capture the essence of Chalk It Up this year for me:
Dirty bare feet, random fallen leaves on a brick city street, and the event's program discarded on the ground.

I think I like this last photo more than anyone else who has seen it, and that's fine with me.
Sometimes I shoot for other people, sometimes I shoot for you, and sometimes I shoot for myself whether I know it at the time or not.

2 comments:

Matthew Robertson said...

I like the foot. That's probably not a good sign for it finding appreciation from a wider audience...

And after seeing your take on the assignment, I tried this myself using the self-timer to fire the shutter. I haven't made much out of the resulting photos, but it did get me thinking differently.

KeithAlanK said...

Using the timer thwarts any attempt at catching the decisive moment, which is about all I had working in my favor.