Image shot with Super-Takumar 28mm f3.5 and processed with Vintage Film Lightroom presets
Images 211 to 240 of the #leesixtyfive project are in the books, and that means I have to write up this eighth chapter for you.
Or perhaps for me.
Either way, I’m doing it.
And unlike the last instalment, I do have some idea of what I want to talk about this time.
Expect getting deep with a lens I didn’t really like at first, news of another photography project I completed this month, and a rough idea of how I want to round this thing up in the coming weeks.
Going wide and long for the #leesixtyfive
In the last update of this project, I mentioned how some of the photographs I was producing were starting to feel like derivatives of, or just too similar to, previous ones.
I maintain that would be difficult to avoid in a 365 street photography project, but that doesn’t mean I want to get lazy and start phoning this in.
Neither did I want to change the style too much, though, and start doing architectural urban landscapes or posed street portraits for example. I wanted to keep the project kinda fresh without splitting it into two or more different stylistic parts.
So I decided to change my lens for a while. I often see the advice of using just one lens for a project to keep some consistency in your shots. For a short project, I’d agree. For my year-long one, I think it’s good to mix things up.
One thing I’ve felt developing as this project has progressed is how I think about and (try to) use backgrounds. Shooting with a wider lens would give me even more background to work with.
The widest I have is the Super-Takumar 28mm f3.5. As I explained in this review, I wasn’t sure if I liked this lens when I first got it. Not for street photography anyway.
For travel photography, it was great being able to get wider landscapes, but using it for street photography meant getting closer to people, and that was a little scary.
I’ve since become more comfortable doing this, which means I’ve been able to combine the two elements. Wider urban landscapes as my backgrounds and close subjects too.
With that subheading, I guess I mean wide and deep, as I don’t think it’s possible for a prime lens to be both wide and long.
The extra width on the lens means you can get more depth as you include more background in your photographs, and that’s something I’ve been trying to do with these latest shots for the #leesixtyfive project.
The first photograph below was taken with the Minolta Rokkor 35mm f2.8, while all the others on this post were with the 28mm Takumar.
Completing another photography project
People often ask which is the best platform for them to get involved with (or spam, but don’t do that) a community about their business or hobby, and the answer always depends on what that business or hobby is.
If your hobby is film photography, you could do a lot worse than Twitter. The community on there is just really nice, and hashtags like #believeinfilm and #shootfilmbenice (obviously) have been doing the rounds for a while now.
Recently though, a new tag was born – the #shittycamerachallenge.
The brainchild of a chap called Adam James, the challenge was to shoot a shit camera in early June (2018) and post the results at the end of the month.
It pretty much sounded like a few film photo essays I’d done before anyway, so I decided to join in.
The only issue was that I’m already behind with the #leesixtyfive project, and any time spent shooting for the other would be taking away from this. There was, however, an easy fix for this.
Just go out a few more times that week than you normally would.
So that’s what I did.
I think the extra project was actually good for this one, too. I’ve been at this for so long now that shooting something else – monochrome film – was a nice change.
You can see how the shots turned out, and the full story behind them, in this article here.
Planning the end of the #leesixtyfive project
Up until now, there hasn’t been too much of a plan for where I make the photographs for this project.
The vast majority of them have been in Shanghai, but I’ve not really made an effort to include Shanghai sights, up to now.
That’s because it was never meant to be a Shanghai-centric project. I imagined I’d get out of the city more than I have over the past year. I’d imagined it being a year in my life in a few different places, rather than a year in (and of) Shanghai.
As it’s turned out though, four shots in Qingdao in the third update are the only non-Shanghai entrants in this thing.
That means it has become Shanghai-centric, and that’s changed what I want to include in it.
I think I have enough people in nondescript streets. What it needs now are some recognisable Shanghai landmarks in the backgrounds too.
That’s what I aim to do in the final stretch. Make a list of locations I want to include to make it a real Shanghai project, and then go shoot them.
I’m also undecided about the four Qingdao shots now. I might take them out and make it all Shanghai.
Until this thing is done, I can’t really say which direction it will take.