Exercise 5.1: The distance between us

The Brief

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.

Response

This was an easy response in that I knew straight away it would be Tigers, predominantly those I have been going to see for a few years or so at our local wildlife park. I could sit for hours and just watch them laze and play, but on this particular day I’d spent about half an hour watching and photographing them. I was using my Canon 6D MK2 along with a Sigma 150-600mm lens, due to the distance between the viewing platform and the subject. Unfortunately I did not have my tripod with me so all of the shots were handheld, albeit using the barrier on the platform to stabilise my grip. This explains the visible blur in some of the frames and the lack of tack sharpness in the rest. Below are the contact sheets for the series of shots taken:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The shot I decided upon for my final select is the one you see below and the first thing I notice is the background albeit it faint reminds me of the fence that exists at the rear of the preserve, the image itself is not the sharpest and I only have to look at the eyes to realise this. You will also notice a patch of green above the tigers left eye. Despite all that it still remains one of my favourite shots. He is looking at something to my right (lunch maybe), but I am wondering what thoughts are running through his head.

  • Aperture: ƒ/6.3
  • Camera: Canon EOS 6D Mark II
  • Taken: 12 July, 2019
  • Focal length: 600mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/80s

This was the final shot after cropping and editing, which I display at home:

  • Aperture: ƒ/6.3
  • Camera: Canon EOS 6D Mark II
  • Taken: 12 July, 2019
  • Focal length: 600mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 1/80s
Continue Reading