Just For Fun, Lumen Dei Photo Tour & Workshop, Thoughts & Theory
They say that among the best ways to learn is to teach. As much as I am passionate about photography, I am as passionate about passing along that passion. Teaching is one of my great joys, and one of the pay-offs is how much I learn while doing it.
This year at Lumen Dei I gave myself two assignments with which to challenge myself and sharpen my edge. The first was to use the Lensbaby that’s been sitting in my gear closet for two years. The second was to work on my panning.
Both were a lot of fun and reminded me of the importance of being aware of our ruts and climbing out of them. Photography, as much as it is a technical pursuit, is first an artistic one and subject to all the ruts and pitfalls as other pursuits. The expression of our vision is the end, the technique is the means, and the more we explore the means available to us, the more faithfully we’ll be able to achieve our end.
Learning to use the Lensbaby was a great deal of fun (and this should answer the questions I am getting about the selective focus on some of my images – a plain old, generation 1 Lensbaby.), but the panning was the exercise I enjoyed the most. By the end of our time together we were panning everything that moved. Trucks, people running, rickshaws, monks on motorcycles. The above is one of the first I shot, in Old Delhi as rickshaws whizzed past, piled high with schoolkids. The most I counted on one cycle-rickshaw was 10 kids.
Speaking of Lensbabies – have you seen the new line-up? I know the big players like Nikon and Canon get all the Photokina lovin’, but Lensbaby has announced some really cool new stuff, not the least of which is their new Composer lens and the Optic swap system. Check’em out here: Lensbaby.com. While the Lensbaby was originally just a toy to most of it, it’s beginning to become a serious tool – you know, if you like that kind of thing.
Stuck in a rut? There are few things better than an assignment that forces you to stir the paint a little, bring some of the less-used colours to the top.