I’m currently a few weeks into a little challenge I’ve set myself – I’m using my Canon 5D with a 50mm prime (fixed focal length – i.e. no zoom) lens, on manual focus, in manual mode, with the preview screen turned off.
I’m metering with an external light meter – actually an iPhone app, and ignoring the camera’s own metering system. Basically I’m forcing myself to shun all the bells & whistles of a modern dSLR camera, and to use it like a good old-fashioned SLR. Having no zoom facility, although greatly restrictive at first, has proved to be a blessing. Rather than stand in an arbitrary position, zoom to fill the frame, then shoot, I have to use my legs, in conjunction with my eye in the viewfinder, to achieve the image I’m trying to capture. This forces me to slow down and actually think about what I’m doing – Image composition, what settings I’m using etc. The result is I’m capturing one or two images where I’d normally have just fired off a dozen or so. Checking back over my shots at the end of a shoot I appear to be getting less shots, but they’re more considered, better composed, better exposed and better focused than they would have been if I’d let the camera do all the work for me. I also feel more like a “real” photographer, as I’m in total control of the camera, and the images, good or bad, are 100% down to my skills, and not the gadgets built into a modern camera.
I’m having fun shooting with what is effectively an old-school film camera…..
- Why a 50mm Lens is your new Best Friend (digital-photography-school.com)