Missed Opportunities

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Mark in SD, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. Mark in SD

    Mark in SD Member

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    While driving home from work yesterday, I saw an incredible cloud formation. It was one of the very high, whispy clouds well offset from the sun. There must have been a lot of ice crystals in it though because the sun, even it was a good 30-40 degrees away from the cloud, was shining through it like a prism. Unfortunately, by the time I got home to my camera, the effect was gone.

    This has happened to me several times. I often carry my camera with me and have caught some good pictures just by happenstance. There was a brush fire on a hillside, a bald eagle, some nice sunsets, etc.

    Over time, however, my main camera bag has grown from a small thing with 2 lenses, a few filters, lens cleaning materials, and some extra film into a backpack style bag with 2 bodies, 5 lenses, a mass of filters, reference material, etc. Some days, I am just not motivated to carry it with me to work so I leave it at home.

    So, what do you do? Obviously you don't carry your camera everywhere, but what do you carry on a regular basis and why? I have been thinking of buying another smaller camera bag (I donated my original bag to my kids for their equipment) but have been debating on what to carry in it (and what I carry will dictate the size I buy). I've been thinking of just my two zooms (28-80 and 70-300) with polarizing filters for each. I would take my 50mm instead of the shorter zoom but I need the macro capability of the short zoom until I get my 105mm micro.
     
  2. G O'Connor

    G O'Connor Member

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    I saw 2 great potentials recently. About a month ago I was some where up north in New England in the mountains (Vermont?) and there were storm clouds and there was a break threw of sun. It looked like an Ansel Adams picture, but I just kept driving on... And more recently I went to the beach to watch the moon rise ( I had with me my 4x5 of course) and as soon as I pulled into the parking lot there were two boys leaving. One was on a bike, the other in a crate on weals being pulled by the bike. They were both wearing tin-foil hets they made themselves. It was so beutiful with this huge full-yellowish moon rising behind them. Had I left 1 min. earlier I would have gotten it.
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The camera I usually carry everywhere is a Voigtlander Perkeo II--a folding 6x6 camera that is smaller and lighter than many 35mm rangefinders--loaded with Tri-X or Delta 400. I still occasionally miss things, but less often than I used to.
     
  4. lee

    lee Member

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    see, i think that if i am supposed to get the image i will. you can't have everything, can you? it's that zen thing I think.

    lee/c
     
  5. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  6. b.e.wilson

    b.e.wilson Member

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    You know, when I was in South Dakota I always carried my camera. There is somehting about that place that clarifies everything, and it was easy to see a shooting opportunity.

    But here in Utah I find that it doesn't matter to me if I have a camera with me all the time. Sure, I've had to endure not having a camera while some very fine scene played out in front of me, but I learned why it happened, so maybe I'll be able to predict it a little better.

    And without the camera, I got to enjoy it all the more. So now I just say, "that's really nice" and think to myself, "Velvia, 90mm, f/16, 1/4 sec.; yep, that's really nice."
     
  7. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    I had the reverse happen on the weekend. Went to a historic car rally and got all prepared by taking my pinhole cameras (and associated junk, changing bag, pkts of paper). Had visions of capturing a old car or such... couldn't find one in a setting worth wasting a sheet of paper on! There were people everywhere! I ended up taking some 35mm with 28mm lens (to get in front of the crowds) and some sneakycam candid stuff with a little zone-focus compact, but lost the lens cap off that in my travels! Usually I end up somewhere and wish I'd bought a camera.
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think my most memorable missed shot was once when I was watching some signage workers changing a billboard, and they had a big crane set up with a noose around the Marlboro man's neck. I just stood there and enjoyed the moment.
     
  9. Robert

    Robert Member

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    I've bought a few cameras over time. The goal is always a small,cheap camera that takes good pictures. Something I can lose,drop or have stolen and the only thing I worry about is the film. The Ensign folder is kind of big for a pocket camera but not too much. The various screw mount 35mm are all small and easily replaceable. I don't worry about extra lens. If it can't be taken with the normal lens then I miss it. The folder uses the sunny 16 rule in place of me carrying a meter. I don't really need to focuss it. Just set it at F/16 [depending on the sun] and the focus out to hyperfocal. Not too much of a compromise when the lens wide open is 6.8.

    Now the real issue. It's been below 0F the last two mornings. How do you keep your hands from freezing to the camera-))
     
  10. Mark in SD

    Mark in SD Member

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Robert @ Jan 23 2003, 06:23 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> Now the real issue. It's been below 0F the last two mornings. How do you keep your hands from freezing to the camera-)) </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    Move to San Diego!
     
  11. David Hall

    David Hall Member

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    This is such a great question!

    I travel ALL the time and always struggle with what to bring, just in case.

    Of course, because the gods on Mt. Olympus don't always smile on me, there have been waay too many clouds, sunsets, people, scenes, etc that have passed before my unrecording eye.

    So now I take a Mamiya 7 almost everywhere. I can use faster film (d3200 at 1600 is sharper and better than d100 on 35mm) and as long as I can stabilize the camera enough, the pictures are just about as sharp as with a 4x5, up to about 16x20. Of course there are no movements but at least I get the shot. And because of the bigger frame size I need only carry one lens and can crop pretty considerably and STILL get more image area and smaller grain than in 35mm.

    Just last week it paid off. I was working in Philly and drove past a house with a statue of The Virgin Mary out front. It made for a hilarious photograph, complete with a caption about how I somehow managed to beat the throngs, pilgrims, and lepers to the apparition!

    dgh

    PS One suggestion that I have been meaning to try...a Holga. All the bennies of the larger frame noted above, plus a pictorial effect, plus it's probably lighter than any non-disposable camera of any kind.
     
  12. David Hall

    David Hall Member

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    One more thing...

    This is even WORSE than not having the camera...

    I was in Maine once, along the coast, at sunrise, 4x5 camera mounted and waiting and lenses all cleaned and spotless. Velvia loaded in the Polaroid holder...

    The light was incredible, and then turned simply heavenly. Not jus the sky but the air itself turned lavender in one second. I was delighted...

    and the holder jammed. Jammed! I couldn't pull the sleeve, and I couldn't pull the sheet out of the holder. I had to just stand there 3000 miles from home, next to $2,500 worth of the best 4x5 equipment, merely watching the miracle of light. And I swear I could hear someone, somewhere up in the clouds snickering...

    dgh
     
  13. Robert

    Robert Member

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Mark in SD @ Jan 23 2003, 09:51 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Robert @ Jan 23 2003, 06:23 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> Now the real issue. It's been below 0F the last two mornings. How do you keep your hands from freezing to the camera-)) </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    Move to San Diego! </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>

    What's the saying?

    " I'm putting a snow shovel on the roof of the car. When people start asking me what is that thing I'll be home"
     
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  15. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    "Mark in SD", are you in San Diego? I'd been imagining you freezing in the grand vistas of South Dakota all this time.
     
  16. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    You want a missed oppertunity? How about this one....

    About 6 months ago, I was driving into the mountains outside Tucson. I was on a main road and was still in the city, although the houses in the area were on 5-10 acre plots and many were ranchettes. Still though very much civilization.

    I'm tooling along in the jeep when I come over the top of this little hill. On the road below me is this THING.

    Now at first I thought it was a dog. It looked border collie sized. But the tail and carriage were all wrong. The movement was all wrong too as it sauntered across the road.

    I realized it was a bobcat. An honest-to-gawd bobcat.

    I pull over and creep to the side of the road where it disappered.

    And there it sat under a mesquite tree. About 15-20 feet from me. Just STARING at me. In the same way a housecat stares at you. That "So what do YOU want" look.

    For a good five minutes we just looked at each other. Then it just wandered off.

    And about 30 minutes earlier I had decided to leave my Nikon at home.......

    DOH!
     
  17. Mark in SD

    Mark in SD Member

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (David A. Goldfarb @ Jan 23 2003, 08:39 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> &quot;Mark in SD&quot;, are you in San Diego? I'd been imagining you freezing in the grand vistas of South Dakota all this time. </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    Sadly, yes. San diego. What's worse, I grew up around San Francisco, spent summers hiking around Lake Tahoe, and went to college in Boulder Colorado. Imagine my shock when I got down here and there were no trees!!

    Have had to discover Desert Photography. Of course, I still get back to Colorado and the Sierra Nevada regularly.
     
  18. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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  19. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    I had a Lynx as a pet cat for 17 years. A fantastic pussy cat, although kind of big. He was a real softy, and let the small kids ride him around the backyard. The only two times we saw his real wild side come out was when our home got broken into. The perp as the TV shows like to call them got pretty messed up. Blood, clothing bits and such everywhere. I guess he made the mistake of trying to put the cat into the closet! The second time he was laying on our front step minding his own business when this Black Lab came up on the steps acting very unfriendly. Tiger (that was his name) tried to ignore him, but once the barking and nippng got to much there was a quick flurry of fur and the dog was dead. Had his throat ripped out. The owner was standing on the curb the whole time and didn't do anything to stop his dog. Then he had the nerve to cry foul! Tigers paws were huge and the tufted ears really cute. We eventually had to have him put down due to a brain tumor. A very sad day indeed.

    I'm not surprised the Bobcat just wanted to play. Now Cougars on the other hand are a totally different story. Those guys are just plain mean.

    Currently it's warmed up to -20C here in Calgary. Taking the LF outside right now just isn't in the cards. Spent last night going through my old copies of B&W Magazine.

    Now to get this back on topic, I wished I had taken a picture of Tiger playing with the local toddlers. They all loved him, and he them.

    Eric
     
  20. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    This is funny. It's like a group of fishermen trading their "the one that got away" stories.

    For the last couple of years, I have tried to make a real commitment to always having a camera with me. To this end I put together a "carry-it-everywhere" system that consists of a small, padded fanny pack that holds a Leitz/Minolta CL with 40mm and 90mm lenses, a tiny Gossen Digisix light meter, a little Sunpack flash, an Ultrapod, a couple of filters and a cable release. A few film cans, riveted to the strap hold extra film. This makes for a pretty versatile system that is small, light and self-contained enough that there are very few excuses not to grab it every time that I go out the door.

    Does anyone know of a currently made non-digi pocketable camera that has decent glass and allows manual exposure?

    -Neal
     
  21. David Hall

    David Hall Member

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    Flotsam,

    Well, I know this isn't really what you have in mind, but the Leica M cameras are practically pocketable.

    Actually, Leica does make a point and shoot that DOES have amazing glass. I bought one about five years ago before beginning a job that took me to Europe, and I was very happy. It has kind of a crude manuel focus, and manual selection of both aperture and shutter speed if you want. And I was very impressed with the photographs I was able to make with it.

    dgh
     
  22. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    My all time favorite was the Rollie 35S. Razor sharp optics, small (although not light), manual focus with built in meter. I also had a Rollie 35T and found that optically I couldn't tell the difference from the mythic 35S. The "T" can be picked up for less than the "S". The only thing is you can not change lenses.

    For a camera that you can change lenses on I have found the Pentax MV to be great with the 43mm pancake lens. This lens has produced amazing 11x14's for me. The camera is aperture priority, very small and light.

    Just a few of my favorite things......

    Eric

    PS. Tiger really did exist, not a fish story by any means.
     
  23. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    You're right. I was more curious about whether anyone was still making a really small camera, like those shirt-pocketable P&S's, that would help avoid the "missed opportunity" phenomenon for serious photographers on-the-go. I'm happy with my quarter century old CL and Eric mentions those beautiful old Rolleis but is anyone still making anything that would fill the bill?

    Eric, I'm not doubting the veracity of any of those missed shot stories. I just found it funny that we all have those "the-one-that-got-away" experiences.
     
  24. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I've been experimenting with an interesting camera - An Agfa "Silette" (1950 -1960?) - that I bought at a yard sale for the grand sum of $US1.00 - complete with a Watson (?) bulk film loader half full of Plus-X. Interesting camera. Manual everything - no rangefinder or meter, has a self-timer, tipod socket, "M" flash synch - and an absolutely *wonderful* 45mm lens. All metal!!!

    Anyway, I might suggest that you check out the Minox 35. Wonderfully compact full frame (actually double ) 35.

    A friend has one and is hopelessy in love with it.
     
  25. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    You know? I think that you have put your finger on the solution.
    Years ago I bought a wonderful Voigtlander Vito B for ten bucks at a garage sale. Great optics, finely machined metal body and definately pocketable. It served me for years of rugged service in conditions that I didn't want to bring my expensive SLRs and I often lent it to friends and relatives who took it all over the world.

    What do you think you'd get if you walked into a camera store today with Ten dollars in your pocket? [​IMG]
     
  26. RAP

    RAP Member

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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (David Hall @ Jan 23 2003, 07:07 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> One more thing...

    This is even WORSE than not having the camera...

    I was in Maine once, along the coast, at sunrise, 4x5 camera mounted and waiting and lenses all cleaned and spotless. Velvia loaded in the Polaroid holder...

    The light was incredible, and then turned simply heavenly. Not jus the sky but the air itself turned lavender in one second. I was delighted...

    and the holder jammed. Jammed! I couldn't pull the sleeve, and I couldn't pull the sheet out of the holder. I had to just stand there 3000 miles from home, next to $2,500 worth of the best 4x5 equipment, merely watching the miracle of light. And I swear I could hear someone, somewhere up in the clouds snickering...

    dgh </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    What else can happen; you forget to pull the dark slide, double expose a previous beauty, or forget to load that side of the holder. You should always have back ups. Nothing is more frustrating, bush league, amateurish then missing those golden moments. We can all count those times on our hands, some on hands and feet.

    In landscape photography, rarely do all the elements come together at the decisive moment. There is always some little gremlin shaking a leaf, branch, nerves, to try to make you blow the shot. Read the account of how Ansel Adams photographed the most celebrated landscape photograph in the world, "Moon Rise Hernandez." It seems he only had a matter of minutes to set up his 8X10 camera, compose, choose filter, get film holder ready, before the sun set. In the end, he could not find his exposure meter! He had to rely on his experience to remember the reflectance value of the moon, and work it in with all the other variables. He was able to get off one exposure. Then within a mater of seconds, the sun light was gone before he could make a second negative.

    The positive side of the matter, there is always another day.