50 Limits Starting Photo

Most photographers eventually reach a point in their shooting referred to as a plateau: a time when they find it hard to develop new work, or take their photography to the next level. When this happens, it can be hard to describe why it’s happening, and even harder to break through and start creating great content again.

The past couple of years have been kind of rough for me (can’t imagine why…), and frankly, I haven’t been shooting. It’s time to change that, so here it goes.

The 50 Limits Project

There is a common exercise that photographers use to enhance their skills. Pick a thing, maybe aperture, maybe a shape, maybe a style, and go shoot within that limit. Giving yourself a constraint helps you focus on one thing, or requires you to see things you might not normally pick up.

It’s this exercise that is the inspiration for my new photo project: “50 Limits”. 50 Limits is a 52 photo project designed to take me back to basics and get all the kinks out from endless months of being out of the game. It’s 52 photos, because there will be a before and after shot, each intended to represent the idea of 50 limits.The before photo is the featured image for this post.

52 photo projects are often associated with a 52 week project. In my case, I hope to work faster than that, but the requirement will be that I can only capture one of the targets at a time.

I’ll be sharing my photos on Flickr in this album. I will also be updating this page with each photo as well as more details about the photo. Here are the 50 Limits for the project:

#AreaObjective / LimitPurpose
1ShapesSquareLearn to see
2ShapesCircleLearn to see
3ShapesRectangleLearn to see
4ShapesTriangleLearn to see
5ShapesOvalLearn to see
6RulesS CurveLearn to see
7RulesDiagonalLearn to see
8RulesRule of 3rdsLearn to see
9RulesGolden SpiralLearn to see
10RulesGolden RectangleLearn to see
11RulesSymmetryLearn to compose
12RulesFrame in FrameLearn to compose
13RulesLeading LinesLearn to compose
14RulesRepetitionLearn to compose
15RulesPointLearn to compose
16FocusBlack & WhiteLearn to compose
17Focusƒ2.8Think in time value
18Focusƒ4.0Think in time value
19Focusƒ8.0Think in time value
20Focusƒ16.0Think in time value
21Focusƒ32.0Think in time value
22Focus1/1000Think in ƒ stop
23Focus1/250Think in ƒ stop
24Focus1/30Think in ƒ stop
25Focus1/8Think in ƒ stop
Deal with Camera shake
26Focus1/2Think in ƒ stop
Deal with Camera shake
27Focus1 SecThink in ƒ stop
Deal with Camera shake
28Focus5 SecThink in ƒ stop
Deal with Camera shake
29FocusISO 100Deal with less light
30FocusISO 800Think in tv & ƒ stop
31FocusISO 6400Think in tv & ƒ stop
32FocusISO 25600Handle noise
33ColorsRedLearn to see
34ColorsBlueLearn to see
35ColorsGreenLearn to see
36ColorsYellowLearn to see
37ColorsPurpleLearn to see
38ColorsBlackLearn to see
39ColorsWhiteLearn to see
40Elements1 SubjectLearn to see
41Elements2 SubjectsLearn to see
42Elements3 SubjectsLearn to see
43Elements4 SubjectsLearn to see
44Elements5 SubjectsLearn to see
45CreativityForegroundTranslate an idea
46CreativityBackgroundTranslate an idea
47CreativityNothingTranslate an idea
48CreativitySomethingTranslate an idea
49CreativityToo MuchTranslate an idea
50CreativityToo LittleTranslate an idea

Canon 6D

Although I’m a firm believer that any camera can make good images in the hands of a good photographer, it has long been a desire of mine to have a full-frame camera. There’s something about working with the standard format that feels authentic. I have finally acquired a used Canon 6D from mbp.com. It shows a little wear, and already has a shutter count of over 50,000, but it’s really in excellent condition and it’s everything I’ve wanted for many years.

The biggest things I love are:

  • Easier control of the settings with a wheel selector on the back of the camera.
  • I can also choose the white balance by selecting a kelvin value (something that has really bothered me that I didn’t have before).
  • The shutter is quieter than my T3i, which is helpful when I’m shooting in quiet environments and don’t want to be a huge distraction.
  • I can push the ISO much further than I would ever be comfortable trying with the T3i.

Choosing a Lens

My bigger hardware problem was, I didn’t have good glass. I knew I was going to need a reasonable lens for my new camera. Selecting the right lens at a lower price point was a challenge for sure.

I settled on another used option: the Tamron SP AF 28-75mm f/2.8 XR Di LD. It’s relatively sharp for a 3rd party lens, and it has flat ƒ stop of 2.8 regardless of zoom. Yes, it’s a zoom camera, but it’s going to serve multiple purposes. It will be a great walk around lens, and still give me the consistency to get some really good shots.

All of this, just in time for some beautiful weather and some prime opportunities to get out and shoot. I’m looking forward to kick starting my photography again and making some photographs to share with the world.

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