Images from this week (to 23rd November)

After working all Sunday and getting up early Monday morning to work, by Monday lunchtime I’d had enough and needed to escape the house and the town for a while. It was a cold but bright day, the beach is about half an hour away, and so I grabbed two cameras (three if you’re including an iPhone) and got in the car. 

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Sandbanks beach is a nightmare in the summer for someone like me. It’s crowded – packed full of tourists and wasps and noise and so I avoid it at all costs during the summer months. But on a November day like today, when it’s freezing cold but bright, it’s perfect. As long as it’s not raining I don’t mind how cold it is! 

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Sandbanks is a small strip of land in Poole, and it’s got some of the most expensive property in the country. Apparently Prince Charles played polo on this beach – I think Harry still does occasionally. (I’m not a huge royalist though so…).

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With my photography I am trying to discipline myself, to constrain myself to see what images I can make within self-imposed constraints. I have some zoom lenses for my digital camera, but I have decided not to use them at the moment. Instead I got a reasonably cheap lens; a ‘Meike MK28mm f/2.8 Large Aperture Fixed Non-Zoom Manual Focus Metal Lens’. (My camera is mirrorless and has a APS-C sensor and so the focal length multiplier is 1.5 – so that 28mm lens becomes a 42mm on a standard 35mm film camera).

The Meike lens doesn’t work with autofocus, the camera can’t set the aperture or anything. You have to do everything in manual and tell the camera that there is no lens there. The f-stops are controlled from the lens and instead of feeling clicks for each stop, the aperture opens smoothly. The strength of learning to use this lens on a digital camera is that you can see the light change as you change the aperture a lot more clearly than you normally can. I’m not sure if it’s something to do with tricking the camera into thinking there is no lens; but it’s interesting for me to get that visual feedback from the manual camera settings so immediately. 

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I also shot some film which I haven’t developed yet, and took quite a few images with my iPhone. All the images on this page are as shot. They’ve not been altered in any way. I can see improvements that can be made (the horizon is a bit wonky and the sky is a bit overexposed). As usual it means spending money on something; I suppose filters might help. I have them for my film camera, but not for my digital so that’s something I’ll have to get eventually. 

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