The Slow Photography Movement – A Challenge

Hi All,

A few days ago I was reading a few reviews over on dpreview.com on the Nikon D610 and something really struck me about some people’s attitude towards photography. The original poster was asking about user experience with colour quality versus the Nikon D800. Reading down through the review it soon broke off topic into a discussion about frames per second or FPS. While that’s fine to discuss if FPS is important to you, one user said that with the advent of 4k or even 8k video they would be able to get stills taken at 40FPS and would be “assured of the capturing the moment”

This appalled me. There is so much more to a decent image than firing off your camera like a machine gun and scanning through hundreds or even thousands of images looking for the one good one you might have got. Sure fast FPS has its place, sports photographers need to fire off images in quick succession but hand a camera capable of shooting 8FPS to just anyone and they still won’t get a decent image. Depth of field, lighting, composition etc still need to be taken into account.

When I first got into photography about 10 years ago I decided to study it for a year and did this course. Everything was manual. I used a Nikon FE-2 and 50mm F1.8 only. Prints were all hand developed. Even the film was rolled off large spools into 35mm canisters by hand in pitch black rooms. I had the habit of closing my eyes while doing it even though the room was pitch black. As a poor student every shot was costing me money in film, paper and chemicals so each shot had to count. Everything about the image was thought through before going out, it couldn’t be a starker contrast to the comment above.

Now in these digital days it’s just too easy to take hundreds of pictures. I’m very guilt of this myself and I have to admit my images have suffered as a result. Little mistakes are creeping in more and more often with the attitude that I can fix them up afterwards in Photoshop and that’s just not right. It’s not how I was thought and it’s not what sparked my love of photography off in the first place.

We’ve had the slow food movement, now it’s time for the slow photography movement. I want more people to take their time over the art and I’m beginning with a challenge to all of you

The idea is simple, when out and about you must decide on taking a photo specifically for this challenge. You only get one shot at it on any given day. You can take all the practice shots you like, it doesn’t matter how many pictures you take before or afterwards but you must decide on the one you will be submitting BEFORE you take it and you only get to take one picture for this challenge per day. It can be of anything, pets, people, landscape, macro etc. The only rule is that the image you submit must have been decided on before you took it and you only get one shot at it per day. If it didn’t work out then take the lesson you’ve learned and try again tomorrow. The final day for submissions is the 30th November.

Shots can be submitted by linking back to the image on the comments section below. The only way this can take off is if you, dear reader, will get this challenge out there. Reblog it, link back here, pay a man to walk around shout it if you like. It’s success is counting on others knowing about it. I’d also welcome anyone offering their services as a judge to pick the final winner. the more opinions the better. The winner will receive pride and place in my blogroll and the admiration of your photography peers.

Looking forward to some amazing images and thanks for reading

Conor

15 thoughts on “The Slow Photography Movement – A Challenge

  1. Pingback: Slow Photography Movement Challenge – First Attempt | F2.0
  2. Hello!
    First of all thanks for the like on our post!

    Now, I can’t agree more with you. People today think only about performance and NEEDS it (which is terrible IMO).
    I claim that people do not do photography now but snap pictures. There are less and less photographers and more and more image hunters with assault rifles.

    I was taught photography by my dad and all the time he would tell me to look around, see the photograph in terms of composition, framing and exposure settings and to take my time during this process. I always did it for 5 years.
    I thank him a lot because today I can already guess my settings and see my photo even before rising the viewfinder to my eye.
    And damn! It’s so rewarding everytime I get the what I wanted without motordriving all the way and let ‘luck’ get in the way.

    I am sharing this brilliant post with my network

    Thanks!

    Tirish

    Like

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  4. Pingback: Slow Photography Movement Challenge – Second Attempt | F2.0
  5. I wish I’d seen this earlier, because I would have joined your exercise. As it is, I’m going to use my Leica IIIf for the first time in more than a decade, for much the same reason as you offer in your post.

    The beauty of digital for me is that I get to experiment and it basically costs me nothing. With analog, I have to be very careful due to the high cost of film and processing, but I have a higher sense of satisfaction with the end results.

    At any rate… I’ve broken out the camera, cleaned the lens, loaded it with Ektar 100, put a fresh battery in the hand held light meter, and am going shooting with it again.

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    • Hey Mitch,
      Thanks for stopping by.

      Emilio (http://emiliopasquale.wordpress.com) asked me about having a manual only challenge which I think would be a great idea. I certainly plan on doing that once this blog gets a bit more notice and I can attract a few participants. In the meantime I’d love to see some of your shots taken with the lecia on your blog, great blog too by the way. Some excellent shots up there.

      Like

  6. When I take more than one image at a time it’s to bracket a shot. And usually the automated exposure is the closest anyway. I have yet to do real hdr, combining two or more shots together. I just can’t seem to find the time to learn how to do it. Besides, dodging and burning seems to work fine for me. so yes, I agree it’s time for slow photography. I have just starting shooting in manual and that’s even slower. You actually have to think about what you’re doing.

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    • I remember in the dark room cutting out pieces of paper and using them for dodging. I’d cup my hands leaving through slight slivers of light for burning. It was well worth it when I got it right though, the odd time!

      Like

  7. Pingback: The Copper Coast, Co. Waterford | F2.0
    • Hey Liz, thanks for the great comments here and on twitter. Delighted you stopped by.
      I couldn’t agree with you more, since I’ve slowed myself down I’ve enjoyed it much more. I’ve even begun to “see” photographs in everything again

      Like

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