Exercise 5.1

Use your camera as a measuring device. This doesn’t refer to the distance scale on the focus ring(!). Rather, find a subject that you have an empathy with and take a sequence of shots to ‘explore the distance between you’. Add the sequence to your learning log, indicating which is your ‘select’ – your best shot.
When you review the set to decide upon a ‘select’, don’t evaluate the shots just according to the idea you had when you took the photographs; instead evaluate it by what you discover within the frame (you’ve already done this in Exercise 1.4).

In other words, be open to the unexpected. In conversation with the author, the photographer Alexia Clorinda expressed this idea in the following way:

Look critically at the work you did by including what you didn’t mean to do. Include the mistake, or your unconscious, or whatever you want to call it, and analyse it not from the point of view of your intention, but because it is there.

For this exercise I chose the subject matter of my music player. It’s an old Sony stereo system that I still use to play records and cassettes on. Music is an important part of my life and whilst the majority of music these days is purely digital, I still like to own a physical object when I buy music.

I don’t own a macro lens for my DSLRs, so I chose to use my iPhone to take this series of images.

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Image 1

Depth of field adds interest to the shot, but the needle isn’t visible

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Image 2

The needle is visible here, but the angle doesn’t make for a good shot

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Image 3

Like Image 1, the shot would be improved if the needle was visible.

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Image 4

The needle still isn’t visible, but the inclusion of all the right-hand side of the record makes for a better composed shot

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Image 5

I’d improve this by straightening it if it was my favourite shot. The use of colour on the CD and the orange light on the stereo add interest

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Image 6

The foreground and the background are out of focus. The shot would be improved by the background (ie the on button) being more out of focus

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Image 7

This shot would work better if there was more light on the inside of the cassette deck.

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Image 8

This shot of a colourful cassette is a close second in my choice of ‘select’. Depth of field works well, as does the angle at which the shot was taken

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Image 9

I had another attempt at capturing the record player’s needle, but in doing that, the record seems too flat

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Image 10

This is my ‘select’. The red on the needle arm draws attention to itself. The needle is visible and the depth of field on the spinning record helps draws even more attention to the needle arm.

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