1. What do the timeframes of the camera actually look like? If you have a manual
film camera, open the camera back (make sure there’s no film in the camera
first!) and look through the shutter as you press the shutter release. What is the
shortest duration in which your eyes can perceive a recognisable image in bright
daylight? Describe the experiment in your learning log.
2. Find a good viewpoint, perhaps fairly high up (an upstairs window might do)
where you can see a wide view or panorama. Start by looking at the things
closest to you in the foreground. Then pay attention to the details in the middle
distance and, finally, the things towards the horizon. Now try and see the whole
landscape together, from the foreground to horizon (you can move your eyes).
Include the sky in your observation and try to see the whole visual field together,
all in movement (there is always some movement). When you’ve got it, raise your
camera and take a picture. Add the picture and a description of the process to
your learning log..OCA, Photography 1: Expressing your Vision, p.70
I have a Nikkormat FT3 in the camera cupboard, but that still has a part-used film in it that I will surely finish off at some time on this course. The Zorki 4 (a Russian Leica copy bought in about 1969) sounds like it might still have a film in it, so I need to open that in a light bag to check (and try to remember how to get the reluctant back on again if it does). That leaves a Lubitel 2, Russian 2¼ square which doesn't. It has 5 speeds indicated on the lens from 1/15th to 1/250th (plus 'B').
Running the test, I can see nothing at 1/250th, a feint flicker at 1/125th and the round image from the lens at 1/60th, using the maximum aperture of f/4.5. I cannot see a "recognisable image" at any setting, including Bulb, as I cannot focus on it (my eye, that is, not the camera).
For me, the most important from this exercise was the pleasure of handling these cameras for the first time in years and immediate, direct experience of an entirely mechanical shutter release.
I don't know whether it's just me, I have never thought to frame the question to others, but when approaching traffic lights as a driver, I deliberately expand my awareness (I cannot think how else to describe it) to be able to simultaneously monitor what is happening to the lights, what the car in front is doing and what (in terms of pedestrians and traffic) might be coming from other directions. I am processing more information than usual when driving and in some way expand my field of view. I cannot keep this mode running for more than a few seconds.
I brought a similar approach to this exercise, choosing a window in the local M&S, overlooking its car park (I had tried to run the exercise in Bromley library a few days before but they now have immovable blinds).
I cannot claim to have learned anything from this exercise and remain mystified as to its purpose. Looking at a random selection of six fellow students' web sites from the Links page (only after running the test myself, of course), I am not alone in this reaction.
The images show the shot specified at the end of the exercise ("raise your
camera and take a picture") (fig. 3.3B) and a subsequent iPhone panorama (fig. 3.3C) intended to give an idea of the whole view.