Assignment One: Bum Lens Bonanza

All this week's assignments will have something in common, which I'll discuss at the end of the week.

Here's your first shooting assignment: pick the absolutely worst lens you own and go out and take pictures using it. Not just any pictures, but the best possible pictures you can. Learn to use whatever liability that lens has to advantage.

Now, if you go out and do this with a lens that's got a cracked front element, expect a lot of folk to walk up to you and tell you that your equipment is damaged. Don't let that stop you. You'll find that, surprisingly, most such damage doesn't actually keep you from taking decent pictures, though it might reduce your contrast. Use a lens hood and do other things to keep from losing too much. That's one of the points of this exercise: figure out what your drawback is and optimize your shooting around it.

If you've only got one kit lens, then restrict yourself to the worst focal length(s) and aperture(s) of that lens (hint: it's not the middle range, it's one or both of the extremes).

Now don't cheat on this assignment. Don't bring any of your "good" lenses. Just your bad one (or ones). Lenses you avoid using for some reason. Let's smash through that avoidance and find out what you can really do with them. You might be surprised.

If you'd like to show your results, I've posted this article on my Google+ page so that we can get them all in one place. Don't expect me to do image critique, however. That's not the point of this week's assignments.
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