So I got a new camera today! My first for 10 years. Still Fuji (which as per previous posts wasn’t the initial intention) and it is beautiful (all further images taken on the X-E1, obvs).
The first thing I have learnt is that when your camera has actual capabilities you need to be more aware of everything happening in frame. Instagram and the like is really about conveying a feeling (for me at least) which is why I think they’re so much fun. Poor lighting, shadows, mess in the backdrop, jarring colours, they’re all taken care of by way of filters! And they have that lovely old printed photo album vibe about them. Interesting composition might translate no matter what you shoot on, but the rest does not. So, memo to self, learn to make better use of light.
Anyway, I played this afternoon, of course! Snaps of the studio, mannequins, the showroom, etc. etc. Was fully manual and the light (especially in the showroom) was low, so I discovered that there is much to learn re: the best balance of exposure, depth of field, and so on.
Am still tossing up the “glasses or no glasses” question too. Have cranked the diopter to its limit and it seems that this is enough for me to be able to focus effectively without my glasses on. They do fairly irk when using the VF. But then I put the camera down and everything’s blurry! Is it worth going back and forth, or just get used to wearing glasses when using the camera? Have also found myself sort of at the limits of the kit lens already, and want to save up for the 60mm macro. It isn’t true 1:1 as I understand, but I think it would be all I needed to be able to show detail properly, when I’m in the studio and want to share what I’m working on with everyone.
The most enjoyable thing to photograph today was an old oil painting. We had this at home for as long as I can remember, and when my brother and mum brought down some old bits of furniture, etc. for the new premises this painting came with them. I love it because it always reminded me of mum. It doesn’t really look like her, but I liked to imagine it did, with pale English Rose skin and wavy brown hair. The painting is dirty, the oil is cracking, it’s nothing elaborate or pricy. But I love it.
I thoroughly enjoyed seeing that the X-E1 represented colour really very well (as well as my untrained eye can tell, anyway). The painting is presently on the window sill in the loo. Yes, it needs somewhere better to live! I must do some more DIY and decorating as soon as workload allows. This was a nice thing today though, as cropping even tighter shows more of the sunlight shining through the cracks in the paint.
I was never much use at glazes and layers of oil paint, so I always find portraits like this somewhat fascinating. My oil paint was always thick and messy, never displaying beautiful pink flushed cheeks like this… I love that you can see the paint strokes here. Someone painted this portrait and I will never know why. That’s beautiful and so sad. But here, in the paint, evidence of the painter’s hands. Their gestures, the way they used their body and mind. For all I love this painting, I’d never looked closely enough to see those gestures before. Looking at it through the camera made me look differently, and that is an interesting notion.
I wonder if it would be possible to make a corset that appeared to be cracked and letting light through, as though the torso beneath were made of light?
That’s as far as my brain would allow today! Am very excited about just playing with this camera every so often as I think that is how I will learn. I’ve always learnt best, I think, by exploring processes rather than pitching for a particular outcome.