Photo Challenge In London by Alpha Whiskey Photography

Alpha Whiskey Photography's Blog

Photo Challenge In London

This post has 18 photos May 21, 2013Comments (4)2045 views

You will deduce from the posts on my blog that I am more interested in taking photos and building up a body of work than waxing lyrical about gear and gadgets. There are plenty of sites that do the latter and yet have very little photographic creativity to show for it. I have taken photos using my phone, a 7-year old DSLR, and the latest full frame camera. With digital photography, many people simply use the freedom to ‘spray and pray’, or take multiple images of the same thing, checking the LCD and deleting as they go along. Obviously, this approach negates the use of actual photographic knowledge, or any sense of timing or judgement about composition and exposure.


With this in mind, my good friend Bizhan and myself decided the test ourselves this weekend by putting our money where our mouth is. Essentially pretending that we were shooting film, we decided to take up to a maximum of 36 exposures without using the LCD review. We could set the maximum ISO and adjust the aperture and shutter speed manually, and use any lens or tripod we wanted. Any misfires or mistakes counted towards the maximum 36. We thus had to time our shots carefully, trying to achieve the correct exposure and interesting compositions just by using our EYES! We would then review the shots we had taken over dinner later on.


I used only the 35mm F/2 AF-D and the 50mm F/1.8G on a D600, and Bizhan used an 18-55mm on his Sony NEX-7.


I took 35 shots, 4 of which were misfires (hitting the shutter prematurely or accidentally), 3 were out of focus (tracking skateboarders), and 10 that I simply decided I didn’t like once I had seen them. This left me with 18 exposures that I have presented here. I knew I wanted to render them in black and white, so this influenced my judgement of composition and exposure.


Bizhan was even more selective than I, taking around 16 total exposures.


It was an interesting exercise, similar to one I had done before with Jena, and reinforced the simple truth that whenever you’re out and about shooting for pleasure, careful consideration of your shots and opportunity will yield fewer, but far better, images than simply hitting the shutter aimlessly and hoping. And it is far better to have a few great images to your name than a ton of mediocrity clogging up your hard drives. 

There seemed to be a lot of these guys in London blowing bubbles for money. Amazing what you can do with a little washing up liquid(!)
Singing in The Thames!
Slightly out of focus, but then so were many photos before autofocus was invented ;)
Little bit too much going on here, but I like the little girl's fascination with the bubble.
And there's Bizhan reflected and reflecting! 
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BizhanMay 21, 2013 04:25 PM

Was a great day and a really good exercise!
One more point that I found - other than making the whole challenge difficult, the fact that every shot was thought for and calculated made the end result that much more satisfying, knowing that it wasn't really down to luck.

Looking forward to doing it again :)

AlphaWhiskeyMay 21, 2013 04:37 PM

Amen to that! Look forward to it! :)

Brian T. AdamsMay 23, 2013 07:14 PM

nice work! I like the first one with all the bubbles and the one of the person playing guitar in the water the most. nice collection overall as you didn't shoot the same type of shot over and over which lends to telling a story of where you were. nice, keep it up!

AlphaWhiskeyMay 23, 2013 07:21 PM

Thanx Brian!

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