Modus Operandi

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by cliveh, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    We all have a different way of working and my own MO can vary from slow to quick, dependant on the scene/subject. Today I went to an event that was quite mundane and took about 11 shots. Like many photographers on APUG I am always looking for that ideal moment/composition which is often so fleeting and so very difficult to grab. Today I saw one and tried to grab it. To do this sort of photography you have to be almost completely aware of the frame boundaries even before putting the camera to the eye. The camera has to be set to what you believe to be the correct aperture/speed and sometimes even pre-focused on a distance in the scene that you guess may be the best distance for the aperture you are using. The shot sometimes being made in less than a second between seeing the composition/moment and putting the camera to your eye (I’m sounding like a digital snapper now, but it’s not like that and some may understand). Do others have their favourite MO for the type of photography they are doing?
     
  2. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    I am not young, healthy and energetic and even sitting in front of computer is a torture. 20 years ago , when I had SM Leicas , I was doing the same of your method.

    Umut
     
  3. chip j

    chip j Member

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    Nikon N80 or N75 on auto-everything, see pic I want, pick focus point, then shoot. Takes 2 sec.
     
  4. blockend

    blockend Member

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    28mm, f8, 1/250, 5ft hyperfocal and get in close. Tweak development to fit.
     
  5. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    While its not what Winogrand would have done, it is a very good suggestion. Never under estimate a camra in either auto or program mode to get 'that' fleeting image that would be long gone otherwise.
     
  6. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Just this moment stepped out of the darkroom after processing 16 4x5 sheets from the Crown Graphic. Exposures are from the local State Fair last August.

    I had decided this year to try handheld large format using your described approach. I've had good success before that way with smaller, more nimble cameras. This time, however, the preliminary look at the hangers in the wash was a bit depressing. Out-of-focus issues on moving subjects, mostly. Late shutter releases on some others. Perhaps a couple decent efforts. Maybe...

    Damn it. This is supposed to be relaxing and fun. Isn't it??

    I need more practice with this camera/format. The tolerances are so darned tight for handheld large format. The required presets, prefocus, pre-framing, and shutter anticipation just didn't seem to successfully come together frequently enough. And the slow-burning flashbulbs don't freeze action very well either. But the quality of their light is very pleasing, I must say.

    If I were still younger I'd just pick up my basketball and head for the gym tonight in frustration...

    Ken
     
  7. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Slow, methodical and precise, and all my images show this. The definitive moment is always elusive, and all photographers will say they have captured it, but it is very difficult to define it; I like to view the process as but a fleeting moment in time reflecting deliberation and understanding of the subject, and this has always been my approach, I really don't know any other way. This all goes to say I'm a bit slow and contemplative and probably not suited to LF where I'd probably be slower contemplating the scene "forever", by which time the scene has changed completely or it's time to leave! In my student days I was pretty naive to think running around with an expensive camera turned to full-auto (or "P" for Professioinal) and snapping anything that moved or looked attractive equalled a beautiful photograph. Not so, at all! I have so many images on the lightbox, queued for printing or waiting framing that now every day is a challenge selecting just what gets done next.
     
  8. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Ken,

    I sympathise, as having taken a rangefinder 4x5 to State Fair and Rodeo, some of my worst photographs and missed opportunities. While I was in the nose-bleed section pretending to take photographs of the action... the worst miss was that our friends introduced me to judges and I didn't take the opportunity to photograph THEM!!!

    The Fair will come back next year, try again.
     
  9. Iluvmycam

    Iluvmycam Member

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    Yes, me too
     
  10. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    +1 on that.
     
  11. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    You need a Littman.
     
  12. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    as you said prefocuse and guess on metering as well as you can and hope for the best. iconic pictures have been made this way. rememberHCB?
     
  13. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Anticipating the decisive moment. Too true, Ralph. It is a rare gift to be able to visualize so wide a group of inputs and be able to determine when everything will happen together and then be there and ready to take advantage of it.

    I have almost always been slow and methodical, perhaps due to the subject nature of my photography. However, when I do turn my camera toward a more fleeting subject, something greater on the inside takes over.
     
  14. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Today, without enough warm-up, took a tour of Winchester Mystery House TM with a talented guide. Though severely tempted, respected the no photography rule inside the mansion proper. I thought I was relaxed about it... But not being allowed to shoot created enough tension to trip me up, and later when I was free (because garden and buildings not attached to the main Mansion it's totally fine to take pictures)... I wasn't able to "see" anything for a while. It was weird but I shot anyway. Of six shots, I only feel I may have one interesting composition and one other record shot of the buck statue on the front lawn might be successful. I blame my own being out of practice, not the camera.