Colour blind

Chris Jack­son’s pho­tog­ra­phy was trans­formed when he was taught to shoot – and think – in black and white

NPhoto - - Over To You… -

I took up pho­tog­ra­phy in the 1990s when I pur­chased a Canon 300D and kit lens. I was all set to be­come a pro­fes­sional right out of the box, but aper­tures, f-stops, ISO val­ues and other pho­to­graphic ter­mi­nol­ogy were for­eign to me. My at­ti­tude was, “I have a $1000 cam­era, and it should take $1000 pic­tures,” and I never un­der­stood why I would take hun­dreds of pho­tos, only to end up with just one or two re­ally good shots; I thought I was do­ing ev­ery­thing right, and it was the cam­era that was mess­ing up. So I sold my equip­ment and up­graded to the next cam­era in the Canon line-up, only to en­counter the same frus­tra­tions. I ended up sell­ing my equip­ment again, and start­ing the cy­cle over. Even­tu­ally I gave up, and put the cam­era away.

Fast-for­ward to 2012, when friend of mine sug­gested try­ing Nikon. “Yeah that’s the prob­lem,” I thought. “Maybe it’s the Canon kit that’s re­spon­si­ble for my poor shots.” I sold ev­ery­thing all over again and bought a used D700 and a few lenses, but to my dis­may there was no ‘full auto’ mode on the cam­era, and I was ready to just give up al­to­gether. Then my friend in­vited me on a ‘photo walk’ and said he would teach me a few things. It was my ‘ah-ha’ mo­ment. He showed me how to shoot in man­ual mode, which took some get­ting used to as I was ac­cus­tomed to ‘point

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