Composing upside down

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by EASmithV, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Am I the only one who finds it easier to compose upside down? I tried doing some handheld stuff with the sports finder on my Speed Graphic, and I had a really hard time getting a composition I liked.
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I like WLF on smaller cameras to. Upside down isn't an problem.
     
  3. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I think viewing upside down ("umop episdn"?) helps to concentrate on the composition as a whole rather than on the objects in the photo. For much the same reason, copying drawings upside down is a standard exercise for art students.

    -NT
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2009
  4. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    If you had used your sports finder in australia, you wouldn't have had a problem:D
     
  5. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    :D:D:D
     
  6. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    No, you are not alone.
     
  7. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    You are not alone...but I am not with you. I would prefer for the ground glass image to always be oriented the same way that the print will be oriented. I don't care enough to use one of those big honking mirror thingies on the back of my camera, however.
     
  8. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    It's upside down? After 30 years, I really don't pay much attention to the orientation. And since I make single transfer carbon prints, the images end up backwards...so I don't mind looking at the image reversed on the GG. Not to mention that I learned photography using a TLR Rolleiflex. Backwards is normal enough to me.

    Once years ago I remember spending a lot of time under the darkcloth and when I popped my hear out from under it, it was the rest of the world that seemed upside down.

    Vaughn
     
  9. nocrop

    nocrop Member

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    I find that composing upside down often seems easier since the image is more abstract and you don't have the usual pre-conceived notions of how it should look--not that the results are correspondingly better.
     
  10. Thingy

    Thingy Member

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    I must admit I really don't notice the difference. The key thing for me is composition, so whether the image is upside-down, back-to-front (as with my TLR) or the right-way-up makes little difference. I do prefer focussing on a large format GG though, especially my new Maxwell HI-LUX Ultra Brilliant Matte 4.7 screen which often removes the need to use a focussing cloth!
     
  11. Prest_400

    Prest_400 Member

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    While I haven't used any camera that has a VF/GG that projects images upside down or back to front I think that I Would compose better; Objects distract me a lot.
    However, turning the SLR upside down doesn't work :D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2009
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Most of my composition is done without looking even at or through a camera, only the framing is done via a viewfinder, ground glass screen or occasionally sports finder. This is regardless of camera type or format.

    I do use a Crown Graphic & Speed Graphics hand-held and I focus via the screen and frame via the Viewfinder, or Sports finder when I use a wide angle.

    On a tripod I use only the ground glass screen with LF.

    Ian
     
  13. Thingy

    Thingy Member

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    You need to dangle upsidedown from a trapeze and then looks through yout SLR viewfinder! :wink:
     
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  15. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    One of the important tricks I teach painters is to turn their paintings upside down on the easel after they have laid down a rough sketch or underpainting. It removes the "meaning" from the objects in the painting and allows them to see the relationship between dark and light, positive and negative space much more easily. If the composition doesn't work upside down, it's probably not very good.
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    YES!

    i had painting teachers like that.
    it is one of the best techniques there is ...

    john
     
  17. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    At this point I honestly don't notice. It almost always catches me off guard these days when someone looks through one of my cameras and comments.
     
  18. Wyno

    Wyno Member

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    John K, it's only rightside up in Australia if you use a camera made in the northern hemisphere. LOL
    Mike
     
  19. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    Like Jason I don't remember the image being upside down as it has become so natural to me. And like Whitey and John, most of us former art students learned to turn our artwork upside down to check our composition.

    What gets me is that after making the exposure I don't remember seeing it in color at all. My memory of the scene is in black and white.

    gene
     
  20. WarEaglemtn

    WarEaglemtn Member

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    Upside down isn't a problem. It is the 'backwards' that gives me fits. Still can't compose facing the wrong way... I need to see the ground glass. :smile:
     
  21. David Nebenzahl

    David Nebenzahl Member

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    No, it's not natural

    Sorry to be a party-pooper here, but I hear a whole lot of rationalization going on in this discussion trying to support the upside-down image on the ground glass as being "natural".

    I don't buy it.

    No way is it natural. While I'm sure that those who have viewed such upside-down images hundreds or thousands of times have learned to accommodate it, I don't think anyone can convince me that it's as natural as viewing the scene right-side-up.

    I wish it weren't so, and that my ground glass showed the scene the way I see it with my eyes. But it is, so like everyone else I learn to live with it. But please, get real: don't let's insist that it's easy or "natural".
     
  22. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Actually the human brain is very accommodating when it comes to vision and spatial direction, so an inverted image can be reconciled quite easily if it is presented enough times, or for a long enough duration. In other words it can be learned. Once learned, it is for all intents and purposes "natural" to one who has acquired the skill. Look up the experiments of Dalibor Vesely if you find this interesting.
     
  23. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    I think that the notion of "natural" is intended to simply mean that composing on the view camera gg has become so routine as to not be worthy of notice or comment, or complaint by those who do it regularly. That's how I think of it, at least. I even practice at home by looking at photographs in books, that I'm certain were made with LF cameras, upside down to emulate what the photographer saw. Of course it isn't "natural" in the literal sense, but it certainly has become familiar.
     
  24. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Walking on two legs isn't natural either. But many of us do it.
     
  25. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Seeing an "upside-down" image as natural is very natural! In fact, that is how our brain receives the image in the first place. The basic law of optics dictates that the image thrown upon our retina by the lens of our eye must be upside down and backwards...yet we perceive it as right-side up and non-reversed. So this is an exercise our brains are quite familiar with.

    It is easy, at least for me -- I did not have to work hard at all to find the upside down and backwards image to be comfortable and natural way to view the scene in front of me on the GG.

    Vaughn
     
  26. Vanishing Point Ent.

    Vanishing Point Ent. Member

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    The Image is Upside Down & Backwards.

    Finally, someone who go it right. I too, have no problem seeing this way.

    What I still have problems with are camera, like Med-Format, that are right side up, but backwards.

    This still drives me crazy.

    Give me, both, ( Upside Down & Backwards ), or neither, ( normal viewing ).

    Not Right side Up , but still Backwards.