letting go, or no ?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jnanian, May 8, 2014.

  1. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    do you monitor how much film you expose
    and do you worry about what you are photographing
    because it might be " a waste of film" or do you "let go" ?
     
  2. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Sub-consciously, yes I do worry about wasting film. I try not to, but I do. I know that if I have my pixel exciter in my hand, I won't care, I will just burn away, but as soon as I have the film, I am a lot more calculated and cautious.
     
  3. eddie

    eddie Member

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    I only think about the cost of film, paper, chemicals, etc. when I place the order.
    Once delivered, I only think about the possibilities...
     
  4. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Most of the time - "let go". I shoot around 100 rolls per year, so it is not that much.
    Every film has its number and date that correspond folder on the computer where scans are.

    They say when in doubt - overexpose; but I would add: when in doubt - expose and overexpose :smile:.
     
  5. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo Member

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    I take more care when shooting film, partly because each frame takes a lot of work to produce a finished image. I don't want to waste time on boring frames.

    But that said, I often rip off a roll or two just because I enjoy the process of developing etc.

    Like eddie, I don't worry about the cost once I have bought the materials.
     
  6. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    I get so little time to shoot anything that I sometimes lean towards the "spray and pray" when I do get out. But I still try to make it worth using, not so much for $$, but for my editing time. I get irked when I have a whole sheet of negs and nothing worth printing. With 35mm, I might need to let it go even more. I barely shoot 10 rolls a year of 35mm. Probably 20 of 120 and maybe 50 sheets of 4x5 a year. Though likely less out here.
     
  7. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I think I might be somewhat of an "anomaly" in how I work. Because of the nature of the subject matter and my methods, there is so much pre-work before I even bring the camera, in the end I make relatively few images compared to most people. It would probably drive most other hobbyists nuts to be as slow as I am. However, there is remarkably little "wasted" film. By the time I get to the point where I'm actually making an exposure, I'm pretty sure it will make the cut. Then again - I don't give a crap who else likes it or not, aside from a few people.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2014
  8. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Never worry. I use the film I have at hand, and when I run out I order more if I can. If I can't I print until I can.
    Just let it rip.

    I have taken for habit to try to replenish my film supply when I have enough photo cash. I try to always have 50 rolls each of 120 and 35mm, and a box of 5x7 sheets. Currently I'm a little low on rolls, but have enough for a few months.
     
  9. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    For me, it depends on the situation. Sometimes when I lift the camera to my eye I think "what am I taking a picture of?" If I can't answer the question, then I don't shoot. Part of it is not wasting film, not for financial reasons, but that I'd rather save my shots for better opportunities (especially if I'm out with limited rolls). On the other hand, if and when I get into the "zone" I just shoot and don't even think about it. I like those situations best since I tend to come up with some real keepers, but they don't happen often.
     
  10. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I worry about the cost, even though time does not permit me to do as much photography as I'd like. In reality, it isn't the dollars but more the "efficiency" of photography. I dislike spending time and money and then not being happy with my results. But I'm an inherent worrier and sometimes even worry about the fact that I spend too much energy worrying.
     
  11. ajmiller

    ajmiller Subscriber

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    Using 5x4 (UK) I usually ask - will I make a print of this?
    If a maybe, I make the exposure - if a definite no I move on without using a sheet.
    I'm more liberal with 120.


     
  12. snapguy

    snapguy Member

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    tradition

    I started shooting film professionally before 1960 so I can shoot plenty of film on one subject but I don't waste it. I've been trained to get what I need even if it is one frame or 300. Even in the Bad Old Days there were machingunners. I remember one news photographer who shot up all the film he had on him in a few minutes and had to borrow a couple of rolls from his competition.
     
  13. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I shoot as much film as my budget can afford , and when I make a print sale it goes right back into film.

    I plan to buy a freezer full at some point if I ever get a complete show selling out.

    Keep on shooting folks, there will be ways of printing well into the future.
     
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  15. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    Interesting question. I am aware of the expense of the film I use (120 most of the time, and 10 exposures per roll in my P67), but not overly so. I take a lot of time with composition and nearly always get what I intended. In the end, if I get at least one good photograph per roll I don't feel that I've wasted anything...two or more is like finding gold! :D
     
  16. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I think if you're just taking a bunch of pictures and not really thinking if the shot is worth taking or is any good and shot a ton in one day, you might as well just shoot digital since you're just using the machine gun mentally anyway.

    Then again, assuming you are buying new, you waste as many sheets as you like, this will drop the film prices for the rest of us :wink:
     
  17. yurisrey

    yurisrey Member

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    Before I would habitually "let go" until I had that moment two years ago, upon reviewing my neg catalog, that I realized 99.1% of what I had was garbage. Now what I do is catalog every frame in a camera log. It's not about wasting film, but more so about maintaining consistent results. As far as film costs: I buy bulk (MP recans) while each frame costs pennies, I like to treat each one as if its priceless.
     
  18. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Member

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    From eighties until 2007 I was taking film pictures at consumer grade color film and bringing it to the lab for developing and printing. To be honest I never feel to be limited by numbers of frames on the film or how many rolls I need. Not in the spray shoot mode from very beginning. One roll of film was kept in our family camera for few months.

    Now with B/W DIY developing and printing at home, I'm not very limited by the film amount and developing cost, but even more deeply by the reason if picture is going to be good for sharing and/or printing.
    In numbers it is two rolls per week in average :smile: with about five frames good enough to print. This is where my real limit is. I can't print a lot and here is no reason to print so many.
     
  19. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    to me at least, there is a difference between machinegunning and not worrying about how much film you are using
    things work out ... and if they didn't, its just film .. that cost about 1¢ to process.
     
  20. eddie

    eddie Member

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    I completely agree. Film can be repurchased, when you're running low. Good photo opportunities are much rarer.

    I also think we can learn as much, if not more, from our "misses" than from our "hits".
     
  21. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    I don't think I'm overly conscious of the financial end of it except when I'm online ordering and suddenly note that those "few small items" in the shopping cart are now totaling $200! I have moved -- I think -- I hope -- more toward seeking quality vs quantity. That is, if it doesn't feel like a candidate for an exhibition, why take it. But that is more a matter of photographic efficiency, as someone upthread suggested.

    Truth is, even when electrocuting bits, I tend to try to think about what I see in the viewfinder before pressing the button. When I occasionally document an instructional event or the like, I'll lean toward more rather than less, but even then I'm far from spray and pray. From numbers I hear, my six year old dSLR probably has about five or six weddings worth of total shots on it! :D

    Printing is where I'm probably most cost conscious. Since I post much of what I shoot on the web, I do very little printing. So when I do target a show, I review negatives and scans several times and crunch down pretty heavily on what I actually try to print before even committing to paper. Then I make small prints and look them over, further tightening the selection before sliding out those 11x14 sheets.

    Thankfully, it's a hobby and doesn't have to be financially justified, else the gear would probably be in a tote in the back of the closet! :blink:
     
  22. omaha

    omaha Member

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    I tend to be fairly conservative in my film consumption, but not out of a sense of financial economy so much as out of a sense of not wanting to sift through a bunch of crap shots later. When I feel like sifting through a bunch of crap shots, I'll shoot digital.
     
  23. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    I've never bought the idea that "film slows you down so you make better photographs", often used as a justification of F over D.

    I can make a (good, bad, dull, indifferent, boring, captivating, interesting, badly exposed, perfectly focused, whatever) photograph if I spend a millisecond on each frame as when I spend an hour, and whether I shoot film or digital.

    Sometimes I can shoot a roll in no time at all, just for the sake of taking photographs, or a roll will sit in a camera for a month or two.

    I worry about the cost of what I'm doing because I don't have much money these days, but if money were no object, I don't think I'd take more photographs; I'd probably print more though.
     
  24. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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    The cost that really pinches is the amount of time involved in developing and printing. There are only 24 hours in the day, and I need to earn a living, too.

    Mind you, that's a cost with digital as well, though the details of where the time goes and how binding the constraint is are different. There's no point coming home with 5,286 captures, because I'll never have the time to "process" them.
     
  25. Pasto

    Pasto Member

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    I think about how much film I use, and the cost, all the time. Long gone are the days when I would just wander around town making pictures of things that looked interesting. Every picture I take is now part of a "project" of some sort, and should move the project forward and not backward. I also plan how many rolls or sheets Id' like to dedicate to that project, unless it's an open ended project like my most recent one. Even then, I plan on a certain number of exposures during a given period of time. This may sound like OCD, but it's not I promise. For example, I'm now planning for a color 8x10 project, and I'm willing to expose 50 sheets at most....my wife sets the limits :smile:
     
  26. 37th Exposure

    37th Exposure Member

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    Even if film, paper, and chemicals were a god given right, I try to make every shot count. Less time wasted developing junk. It's hard enough finding time to develop and print the keepers. Saves money too which could mean less overtime which means more photo time.