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Making (and taking) time

I'm often guilty of rushing my photography. I usually feel awkward about it and if anyone else is around I make way for them and maybe don't make images that I would have if I were alone. I think it's a symptom of not taking myself seriously enough as a photographer which has been gnawing at me for some time. My brain tells me the images I make are not "important" enough to interfere with other peoples enjoyment or use of a space. This rushing tends to mean I don't spend long enough at a location, don't explore enough and don't come back to compositions that might work. It's a constant problem that constantly frustrates me. Sometimes I can work at it, but mostly I give in.

Anyway, I had to take my car in for an airbag recall so I made time to visit a reasonably close by favourite location to dedicate a few hours too. It was also the first chance to get out and about with the Ondu 6x6 pinhole camera that I have been kindly loaned by Balzac's Dad from over on Twitter.

I had a whole morning to walk to, around and back from the Orwell Bridge. I did about 10KM walking and about 21,000 steps. The 12 images shown below were made by "working" the location in quite a small area around and below the bridge on the north shore of the Orwell (the bridge actually runs East/West as seen in the map).

I spent an enjoyable and fruitful couple of hours getting the feel of the Ondu, looking for compositions, tweaking them, revisiting possibilities and immersing myself in the location. All the images are from 2 rolls of Ilford HP5 taken within probably 250/300m of each other which is unusual for me.


As a dad of two teenage girls, everything is a learning opportunity. So what did I learn?

  • Taking the time was enjoyable. I was committed to spending the time and I enjoyed the act of taking that time. I know that sounds weird (even to me) but I often feel so guilty about the time I use to make images that I either don't take it or I rush it

  • Making more images of the subject led to more and better images. This wasn't digital spray and pray. Each image was considered but I had committed to using a couple of rolls (and the time) so I felt comfortable "developing" the compositions and how I approached the location

  • The Ondu 6x6 is wide! Nice 👌

  • The sight lines work extraordinarily well. Most of the images are as I composed them in my head using the sight lines

  • Don't put rechargeable batteries in your light meter 🤦‍♂️

  • Pinhole Assist app on the iPhone worked brilliantly as an exposure meter with camera/film/filter pre-sets 😁


So, are you as pathetic as me? Do you have issues that you have to work to get over/around when making images? Feel free to let me know that I am not alone being such a freak. 🤗

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