Single in January 2015 -What I learned in the past month

Discussion in 'Image Quest' started by Lightmancer, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Just what the thread name says... How do you feel, now it's done? What did you learn, about your kit and yourself, and what might you do differently in the future...?
  2. Itchybiscuit

    Itchybiscuit Regular

    Dec 26, 2014
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Well, I'm happy that I completed the challenge but I managed to confirm what I knew all along - I'm not a very good photographer. I'm okay with that though... I won't ever be doing this stuff professionally so I'm quite happy to bumble along receiving plaudits from my friends and family who don't know much about photography at all.

    The kit? Still getting along very well with my G5 but the lens is definitely going to feature on an ebay listing soon. I'll be happy to do another challenge but my lens choice will have a little bit more thought behind it next time around.
  3. Woody112704

    Woody112704 Top Veteran

    Nov 7, 2013
    I enjoyed it. One thing I really liked was the camaraderie between everyone and the neat stories from the pictures. I've never been in a local photography group, heck I don't even think there is one here, but this is what I imagine it would kind of be like. Except all month long! lol

    I learned the limitations of the 40-150mm at night is not good unless there is a lot of moonlight to help you focus. As for the EPL-5 I knew the files can't take a lot of PP abuse but I'm still undecided about how I feel about it. It kind of gives it a character to the images but I am also a fan of nice clean images(depending on what the subject is). I also learned that I like the slowed down pace of using a tripod and trying to get the composition right. I think to do it again I would actively get out more during the golden and blue hours.

    I know I could have been using my X-T1 this whole time as well but for me I don't think it would have worked out as well to help me learn how to visualize with the 40-150. It's kinda like learning a new language in a way I guess. Can only use that language in class to help learn it faster. I'm looking forward to using the X-T1 more and going to really put it through its paces, something I should have done last year but I kind of fell in and out of shooting last year. But this year is going to be different, I'm more focused and actually have ideas of some of the images I want to create. This challenge helped rekindle that fire I had when I first started.
  4. drd1135

    drd1135 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Lexington, Virginia
    1. IBIS has made my technique sloppy. I had to relearn to always think about holding the camera steady. Once I did that, it got much better.
    2. This was my best experience with the 28mm FOV. Never been much of a WA guy, but I really enjoyed using this FL all month.
    3. The Coolpix A is a really good camera. If it had the AF of the E-PM2, it would have been a great camera. If it had the AF of the Nikon 1 series, it would have been worth that $1100 they wanted for it initially.
    4. Despite the restrictions on equipment, I enjoy this challenge. It makes me focus on the picture and not what lens to take.
    5. I also learn a lot from (and enjoy) everyone's shots.
  5. Landshark

    Landshark PhotoDog

    Jul 15, 2010
    I learned a number of things, the Sony RX100M3 is a very capable camera, it has now earned a regular spot in my briefcase, taking turns with the GR. But I also learned how much I dislike multi-option buttons and dials on these small cameras, so I have turned off most everything I could. I am also looking forwar to shooting again with the RX1r, I missed it. I found doing this exercise of an image a day to be fun, entertaining and pretty easy to accomplish, most days in very little time I had three or four images I could post, I will continue on my own but at a slightly reduced rate. The viewing I found a joy to do and keep up with but the commenting not so much, I still have quite a few to do over the next few days. I feel for those that found it hard to keep up with the image capture, but I still think many thought to much about it, instead of just feeling and seeing the everyday imagery around them. My end total was 15 images shot around the outside of my home, 10 shot near my home and 6 shot out of town because I was traveling. Relax and enjoy the hobby, just express yourself any way you wish and let the images fall where they do.
    I was saddened by the low viewership this time around, do not know if the challenge has less interest or the site itself does. I love photography of all types, I hope this lack of interest is not a trend.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. donlaw

    donlaw All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    I enjoyed taking the images, knowing each day I had a photographic assignment. Really enjoyed seeing the images everyone uploaded and definitely got more feedback on my images than I have ever had on the forum before. Finally, I learned a lot about the Coolpix A. Best thing, it takes fabulous image in P, or A mode. The monochrome mode is very pleasing. Not quite a quick to focus as I would have liked but overall a fantastic camera. I do like the 28mm FOV. It will continue a place in my travel kit when I cannot carry a larger camera.
    Next up, I am thinking I will spend February with the X100T.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. RT Panther

    RT Panther All-Pro

    Dec 25, 2012
    I thought this was a single n' mingle dating thread...:biggrin:
    • Like Like x 1
  8. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus Subscribing Member

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    I found out quite a bit more about my 12 year old, IR converted Canon G5. The biggest discovery is that LR and PS can't resist meddling with the WB even when shooting RAW. I ended up using Zoner Photo Studio Pro 16.

    I also found that many techniques can be used in IR, things like panoramas, long exposure, macro and HDR. Of course the way IR renders foliage is still the most striking.

    I did miss a few days of shooting altogether and sometimes used two pics from a session in consecutive days. I had a few health issues that kept me close to home. :frown:

    I tried to comment on as many photos as I could and appreciated the comments left for my images.

    Overall I really enjoyed the project and thanks and well done to all involved.
  9. Isoterica

    Isoterica Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Thank you for that Bob.

    You're right, at least for me. I had way too much going on as well as being sick for the first two weeks and felt that I couldn't keep up. It ceased to be easy or fun or simple, but instead became difficult because everyone was putting out such nice images and then there were mine. I tried to comment on every photo that hit the gallery but low views on my own exacerbated my already tired spirit. I take photos because I like to. I'm no pro, half the time not sure what I'm even doing. But a great point was made here. Relax and enjoy.. just express yourself. And maybe don't think so much about it.

    Congrats to each and every one of you that contributed whether you could accomplished a photo a day or not. It's not about what you produced but about the time, and little pieces of you, that you shared with friends.
  10. Darren Bonner

    Darren Bonner Veteran

    Nov 8, 2013
    Poole, UK
    What I have learn't is that I am happy with the gear I have got. I'm going to look into what Bob said about thinking too much and not seeing the everyday images around me, as I seem to be reliant on having an idea in my head of what to shoot, especially during the week when I was at home. I'm alright when I am outside and I suddenly stumble across something and photograph it, but it is inside where I seem to have difficulty, especially as I want to learn more about flash photography which will mostly be indoor based.
    Sadly I did not have enough time to look at everyone's photo during the challenge, but I will do over the next week or two. That might be another area I'm going to look into and that view other peoples work more from now on.
  11. MoonMind

    MoonMind All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    First and foremost, I really enjoyed the challenge as a whole - most of the time, it served as an incentive to integrate photography a lot better into my daily routine. Sometimes, when time was limited or I wasn't in the mood for it, it was also quite tough - but it was always worth it.

    I found the community very helpful and encouraging overall. What was more, almost all of the images submitted were absolutely worth a closer look, and the scope of the images was enormous - I saw a lot of fantastic work, original ideas and also lots of spontaneous activity with very interesting results. Bottom line: I've had loads of fun and a great many insights.

    As for my own contributions, I had decided to work from RAW as much as possible (I did so with the exception of one or two shots in really low light, I think). Up until now, I had never considered doing this in earnest - I had considered it to be too much trouble. However, I found it *extremely* rewarding because for the first time, I saw the potential of the data instead of the occasional beauty of the OOC JPEG. The Olympus TruePic VII engine may be impressive, but it eats DR like there's no tomorrow. I'm still struggling with certain aspects, like adjusting WB (that's because the software I use obviously doesn't offer the same simple procedure as LR does - I'm a GNU/Linux user ...), but I'm slowly getting there, and what's more, it's mostly intuitive and certainly fun. All in all, I think that was the most important step forward for myself.

    I also really got to know the camera - mission accomplished. I developed a reliable shooting style; crucially, I adjusted some settings to suit my needs even better than before. So the camera ended up being more useful and even more intuitive to use. The E-M10 is a very versatile and capable camera. I had my mind set on sort of moving on and up (to Nikon FF - the D750 is one monster of a camera), but ceased to feel the need for that for the time being. I'll probably still do that at some point in time because I want to explore digital photography further - but now the urge is gone.

    Finally, as much as I love the 35mm FoV, I don't think I would choose it again for a challenge like this. The 17mm f/1.8 is indeed quite universal, and it can turn out pleasing images, no doubt. But its rendering is too much geared towards the pleasant and serene - there's not a lot of bite in it, it's smooth and sometimes overly nice. I'm into people and street photography, and while the 17mm should lend itself to that, it somehow doesn't - the images are not as crisp and dramatic as I'd like them to be, and I'm definitely not into overprocessing my images. The 17mm is still a good lens for portraiture, just not one that pushes me towards wanting to photograph people in action. Interestingly, the 20mm f/1.7 does (even though it doesn't focus that fast), and so do the 45mm f/1.8 and the 18.3mm on the GR. I even prefer the 12-40mm f/2.8, even though it makes the camera/lens combo a whole lot bigger. So, the 17mm may actually turn out to be redundant in my kit, in spite of its merits ... But I'm keeping it for the time being because it makes a good walkaround lens - so it does what it says "on the box", and does it well. It may actually end up on the E-PM1 instead of the 20mm as the default lens there ... but that's an entirely different story.

    Thank you all for your contributions and feedback - it wasn't always easy and occasionally even exhausting, but it *was* definitely valuable and worthwhile, thanks to the group!

  12. PJacobs

    PJacobs Veteran

    Apr 7, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I learned to take my camera almost everywhere I go and I learned being in a state of seeing images everywhere, almost all the time. But I also found this pretty intense, so I´m glad I can ´turn this off´ now. My girlfriend will thank me;).
    About my gear: it´s my only body and lens and I knew it pretty well allready. I now do look forward to shooting with a fixed lens for the first time (acquired 2 old - Fuji isn´t cheap:p - lenses recently, 28mm and 58mm). On the next Single challenge I will use a prime to see in one focal length a whole month.
    And lastly: I had fun and no difficulties taking pictures everyday. But I realize having sufficiënt time and no bad luck helps.
    Statistics: 7 travelling. 6 in/close to my apartment. 15 near where I live. Missed 2 days and 1 day memory card stupidity.

    Didn´t had time to look and comment at phe pictures of the last days, I will catch up today and tomorrow.
  13. Matero

    Matero Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2014
    Helsinki, Finland
    Few ticks in the boxes:
    - challenged myself to OOC JPEGs only, and it was both fun and rewarding
    - wanted to learn x100s and boy I did. Struggled in the middle with this camera but in the end learned to trust it. Definitely going to keep it
    - wanted to learn Fuji setups (look the first bullet) and I consider learning them quite well. This will pay back also with X-T1
    - learned to trust JPEG, don't look back in the RAW, unless specifically need that PP freedom. This will save Bit space for other photographers and my time from PP
    - remembered again how to look for pictures, for photographing opportunities, in the every day pressure, I'm thankful for that

    All in all, I'm happy that I joined even I had my doubts, and proud I could make it.

    Thanks for all comments, I'll try to catch up and comment where I haven't done so yet

    See you in next challenge :)
  14. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Well, I started this thread, so I'd better put my two bob in :wink:

    I started out with the best of intentions, with an recently-acquired X100s as my chosen camera. What I found was that I just don't for some reason get on with the X100 range at all (I previously had an X100 for a while, with a similar outcome) and I won't try again. Such is life. I was fortunate to sell on both the camera and the teleconverter for more in each case than I had originally paid for them.

    So I changed horses mid stream and, because I wanted to stay with Fuji, finished the challenge with an X20. I found it harder this time, both to motivate myself and to find time to shoot, process and comment. I was woefully inadequate at the latter and I promise to go back and play catch-up in the next week. My sincere thanks to those who took the time to comment on my own output.

    The numbers tell their own story - I was definitely lazy. 13 taken indoors, at home, two out in the garden and the rest while out and about. 23 monochrome, 8 colour. I inadvertently ran a form of "double-blind taste test" by posting each day's output on Ipernity as well as here. It's quite active, and people "favourite" images they like. By that scoring, my most "popular" image was this one:
    SiJ Day 21 The Cat Shot par Lightmancer, on ipernity
    ...which I find a little disappointing because I think it speaks more to the popularity of cats than to my photographic skills...

    My personal favourite was this one:
    SiJ Day 23 Breakfast par Lightmancer, on ipernity
    ...which came "second", so I suppose that is some consolation.

    What I did find, which doesn't really come as a surprise, is that I can't produce a cracker every day. I posted a number of shots that under other circumstances I wouldn't let see the light of day; I didn't like doing that and I think it is for me the greatest drawback of the format.

    Still, all is done. Thanks to those who stayed the course and who made it a good thing to be a part of.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  15. drd1135

    drd1135 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Lexington, Virginia
    It's really important to view this as a challenge and not a contest. If you're trying to lose 20 lbs and you lose 10, that's still an accomplishment. As a group, we created a most impressive body of work.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. drd1135

    drd1135 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Lexington, Virginia
    :smile: Same here, although I have X100S with me today.
  17. snkenai

    snkenai All-Pro

    Oct 5, 2010
    kenai, AK
    Stephen Noel
    G5 sensor is very adequate. Don't love the camera.
    The P20 lens is my new friend, though a bit "stand-offish". ( almost too wide for an only lens)
    Don't like SIJ ("dead" of Winter). Let's make the next one, Spring or Fall.
    I don't do well at commenting. Just gave up. But considering, going back and doing it anyway. But, if I did, the recipients, would be long gone, and maybe not see them. But, that's no excuse on my part. We'll see.
    Not a B&W man. I tried several, only to revert to color.
    SIJ or other month,is a great motivator, to get me back out with the camera in hand.

    Thanks, for the trip! :smile:
  18. Itchybiscuit

    Itchybiscuit Regular

    Dec 26, 2014
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Today I did exactly what I said I would - I took no photographs.

    The Sun shone brightly and the sky was the deepest blue but I gave it a total body swerve. Instead, I cleaned my camera and sensor thoroughly and gave my favourite lenses a good scrubbing with a wire brush and Dettol. Honestly though, the IPA I bought last month really does the job and leaves no evaporation 'stains'. THAT was my self-imposed photography 'task' for today and I feel strangely keen to get out tomorrow (weather permitting) and mangle some photons. :thumbup:
    • Like Like x 1
  19. muzee

    muzee Veteran

    Apr 30, 2013
    I'm happy I stuck through to the end. I found the weekends to be the most challenging - being mostly at home and taken up with parenting duties.

    At the beginning it was hard to deal with the snow, snow and more snow. But you know what? I'm actually thankful for the snow/cold combination. I found that these presented unique opportunities for photos. One day was particular special when we had freezing fog - and everything was white. I also found that the unplanned/impromptu captures were more well received that the planned ones - as I'm not really capable of capturing what I image.

    Regarding the gear, I had no real complaints. The focusing could be a bit faster, but given that most of the images were low-light, late evening stuff, I relied more on slow speeds using the mini-tripod. I also realised that my gear needs cleaning as whole - so have ordered a kit to address that.

    I really appreciated the comments and it was the general camaraderie that kept me chugging along.
    Would I do it again? Don't think so :) ... the intensity was too much!
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Itchybiscuit

    Itchybiscuit Regular

    Dec 26, 2014
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Ordered a kit? I used cotton buds and isopropyl alcohol with a clean microfibre cloth to finish off. Worked wonders!