Monochrome for a Month: Week Deux

challenges, monochrome, photography

For those of you who don’t follow the blog, I decided to go entirely monochrome for the month of April. Week one was a bit of a struggle, but this week I was determined to make better progress. I went out and bought a polarizing filter for bright sunny days and planned a family trip to a hiking ground that has a few caves on its maps. Chris urged me to try to d choose only ONE camera, so I chose my Nikon D5300, but wound up bringing four lenses: the deconstructed 50mm, the 40mm, the 35mm, and my 55-200mm.

Our first hurdle was a cold Goo caught, and the ear infections that came soon after. I had been telling her all week that we would be taking her to see “the castle,” and she was very insistent that she still wanted to go, so I compromised and brought the Boba carrier, knowing I would probably be wearing her on my back through much of our hike. It gave her the opportunity to rest while still being able to enjoy the fresh air and the sunshine.

Though she did want to be let down as soon as we got to the castle ruins.

Second hurdle was a huge letdown: the main cave area was closed! We couldn’t even drive up to it, or catch a glimpse of its entrance, so we decided to try and find another cave on the map. But despite our ascending and descending and circling, we couldn’t find the cave. We did, however, find a beautiful spot by the cliffside, where the spring met the lake and the water was just rushing to get from one place to another. Goo threw rocks and Howl splashed around, while I snapped pictures and Chris rested on the roots of a tree to watch the distant boats.

A few days later, I took Goo and Howl outside to enjoy the warm weather, and that’s when I made a huge discovery with my 50mm.

I’ve been having so much trouble freelensing with the thing I haven’t been entirely sure it was a good purchase–I’ll be buying used lenses from now on–but at one point I was getting frustrated over a blooming dogwood and decided to try something different. I refocused the lens so that it was no longer on infinity focusing. The flowers popped right into view! I also found that moving the lens way out to focus, and then moving only one side back in, gave a dreamy quality that none of my other lenses have been able to produce.

Note: freelensing, especially in this manner, is very bad beans for your camera and its sensor. If you don’t mind getting the inside dirty, then by all means, but if you spent tons of money on your camera and/or you don’t wish to get it filthy, do not freelens in this way. Buy a lensbaby instead.

Not sure where we’re headed this weekend. I’d like to add at least one cave shot to the series, so I’ll probably suggest a nearby trail where I know there are tons of them. Might challenge myself this week and only use one lens, so I’m not lugging around so much, but I’m not sure I’d be able to pull that off.

Click here if you’d like to see more of this growing collection.

Until next time!

All images © 2017 by Lina Forrester

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