Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My First Exercise - Eye Opening!

I began my first set of exercises from one of Bryan Peterson's books that I have to help me understand photography. There are so many aspects to study and I like the fact that he has sets of exercises to do to learn VISUALLY and "zone in" on one at a time. This first exercise will take a while to accomplish but just this first day, I can understand a lot more about lenses and perspective.

The instructions were to have a model that you can use for every exercise so I just chose my bike. You place this model in front of a tree, use one size of lens, and stand back far enough to get the entire model with space all around it and take a photo standing up. I chose the 50mm lens to begin with because he said the 50mm lens is more like the human eye.

After you take the first photo, you are to walk forward 5 steps and take another one, take another 5 steps, take another, etc. until you are face to face with your model.

As you can see from these photos, I shot photos as I got closer and closer and my perspective gradually changes.

This is my final photo as I was standing and you can see the progression of the others above.

This next group is the same routine, only I get on my knees for every shot.

I'm still shooting using a 50mm lens but am just on my knees with every shot.

I'm not using any special composition but as I get closer, it is very tempting.

Also I am keeping a horizontal format which is normally for landscape and I am tempted at times to change to the vertical portrait format but I keep it horizontal.

Here is the last shot as I'm on my knees. Of course, I could have taken a photo of any part of the bike but I just chose the handlebars.

Now I'm on my stomach! Then I stand up and walk 5 steps forward and get back down on my stomach.

To me, this was the most interesting position.

Also, in addition to keeping my lens at 50mm, I have the flash off and am not changing my mode of shooting, just an automatic shot to keep all variables the same except for MY position.

I always knew that I was a visual learner but this exercise REALLY made me realize that this is so true! Also, I hope this is not too boring to read and want you to know that I am doing a lot of these notes for my benefit so I can go back and read and SEE what I have done to better understand what I'm learning.

Now here is my final shot! I love it! I'm on my belly and hoping my next door neighbor is not at home watching and thinking I'm a complete nut! With this shot, I could see the garden statue and want it to be in focus and I never could get it to focus until I just took my camera around the tire and focused, held the focus, then recomposed behind the spokes again and got the shot I wanted.

I hope that tomorrow I will have time to do this again but just use a different focal length with my lens. This will be very interesting.

NOTE: Please keep scrolling to reach the comment section. I don't understand why there is so much space between my post and this section.


  1. Love it, love it! Your progression, even on a computer screen, helps me understand the exercise without a camera in hand. The final shots in each series are those I like the most. It leaves something to the imagination to understand what you want from the subject. And, yes, I saw the garden statue right away, before you mentioned it. Perfect!

  2. I agree. I liked the final photo in each series. Today I will do it again but with a different focal length on my lens.

  3. Not boring at all!...This is very interesting. I am not a camera person at all, and I learned a lot!

  4. Thanks, Kat. I am so much of a visual learner and it helps me to do this. It's good to know someone else is geting something out of it, too!