Most important advice you never followed

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Bill Burk, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    In college I took a class in color slide photography. One important piece of advice the instructor wanted to impart was...

    Caffeine causes shakes, so don't drink coffee before going out to take pictures.

    I get it, facts are facts. So I vowed to use a tripod.

    She could have her herbal tea in the morning... But nothing was going to stop me from that first cup of coffee in the morning.

    I have to have coffee before going outside, even if there's an earthquake (Whittier Narrows comes to mind).

    No way, never once, have I followed her advice.
     
  2. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    i was told to throw away my camera because i was wasting my time.
    i never followed this rock-star of a photographer's advice, although i do a fair amount
    of cameraless photography.
     
  3. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    "Photography's hard work and the gear is heavy. It's not a field for women"

    Circa 1973, teacher at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute
     
  4. pstake

    pstake Member

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    Well, I was told to never drink with sources / subjects. :smile:
     
  5. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council

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    "Get out of the way!"

    Sometimes it seemed like good advice but for the most part it hasn't been.
     
  6. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Not really an important thing, but I was told to rewind my 35mm films after 35 exposures. I've never done this. Consequently, I have two or three frames left over at the end of each roll. These get crammed together on a page with a whole bunch of other orphaned bits of film. It's a bit of an irritation, but also kind of interesting to see different subjects juxtaposed on a contact sheet. It does give me different insights into how to approach shooting and printing.
     
  7. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber

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    Funny! That's why I search the earth high and low for Paterson pages. Strips of 6.
     
  8. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    Pages that hold strips of 6 are easy to find. Freestyle has them.

    Are these Paterson ones different in allowing you to contact those onto 8x10, though? I have some strips of six pages but I don't like using them for that reason. They don't allow contacting onto 8x10 as they just wont fit. I have to dump all the strips out and carefully arrange them horizontally on an 8x10 sheet, which I find a hassle. Although, naturally enough, you get a sharper, more informative contact sheet, I don't usually care about that. I use the contact to judge composition and judge the negative directly for sharpness.

    Most "important" advice I never followed? Probably to standardize on one film, one developer, and one paper. I agree it's a way to get the most out of your materials. But I figure they make different ones for good reason besides just different tastes and it's not that hard to know them well enough. I gleefully experiment with different films, developers and paper because, in part, I just enjoy fooling around with them to see what different ones do, and in part because, while I agree that you will never exhaust the possibilities of one combination, not every combination suits every image I want to make. I like Delta 3200 (in 120) and TMZ (in 35mm) a lot for low light. But should I really be shooting those outdoors in daylight for images from which I want to make large prints? Pshaw. I MIGHT eventually settle on just Delta 3200 for a very fast film since I can get it in both 120 and 35mm, but for now I use both and seem to have no problems with that. In more normal light I settle on one 400 film and one medium speed film (Tri-X and FP4+) with an occasional roll of Pan F+.

    Two papers, three if you count an RC paper for less critical prints and contacts. Even then, I'm willing to try others.
     
  9. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    not to look for magic bullets.ust work with one film,paper ,developeruntil you understand your equipment and materials inside and ou. there are no magic solutions and no need to through money at a problem.
     
  10. ROL

    ROL Member

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    So what you're saying is you do look for bullets, don't understand your equipment, and need to throw money around???

    Yippeee! Free at last, free at last.
     
  11. Dinesh

    Dinesh Subscriber

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    Keep your pants on!
     
  12. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Subscriber

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    :laugh:

    Well he didn't specify in the thread title photographic advice!
     
  13. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    This Internet thing is just a fad.

    (Back in 1995 when I was starting an Internet business)
     
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  15. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Have you thought about getting a Paterson contact printing frame for 35mm, which will allow you to print 6 strips of 6 on a sheet of 10 X 8?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2012
  16. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    When shopping for my first camera (my beloved F2AS), I overheard an individual in the store declare (rather loudly) to a salesperson in the store that ALL photographs were either vertical or horizontal. This same individual subsequently repeated the same comment to yours truly as my purchase was being rung up. Shooting 35mm for several years, the proposition seemed obvious. When I moved up to shooting with the Hasselblad, however, I recalled the comment, thought about it for a moment, and decided to challenge it when I shot 6x6. To this day - some 25 years later - I have yet to crop when printing my medium format work. Part of it, I think, is the challenge of filling the square format; part is just a liking/discipline of the square format/full-frame shooting (i.e. I force myself to exercise greater care when composing); and the greater part, I am quite certain, is a subconscious (?) defiance of that certain loud-mouth in a that camera store so many years ago...:D
     
  17. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    "Don't underexpose your film"
    Not a chance, I shoot almost all my 35mm work pushed 2 stops, and it's beautiful. Tri-X at 1600 or 3200 with a Red 25 is gorgeous.

    "Don't handhold a Pentax 6x7"
    Pft, that's why they exist, and why I don't use a Mamiya.

    Many people who want to bestow some impromptu advice to me on the street about my work are usually armchair photographers who have no idea about it.

    Best one ever:

    "It's useless to handhold a Hasselblad for night photography"
    Not when you've got a knack for pushing Tri-X up the whazoo, and using Delta 3200, it's not.
     
  18. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Get a job.
     
  19. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    You need to move up to large format.
     
  20. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    Just use one film and one developer. As noted above, why? They make a variety because not one will work for everything. And these days, why standardize on just one and know just one when there's always a chance of it going away? One of the advantages of film is that with one camera you can use several different types of sensitized recorders.
     
  21. Moopheus

    Moopheus Member

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    And the cameras themselves come in a wonderful variety, for the same reason. And how would you know what "the one"" is if you don't give more than one a try?
     
  22. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    I listened to a friend putting forth the wisdom of going to digitial printing. If I went with inkjet printing, I could produce large editions and sell them for considerably less per print than my limited hand made prints, but make far more income. The concept works well with him. He created a plastics business that is now world-wide based in the middle of nowhere, Humboldt County. Now his kids are out of the house, and most nights he is in his studio working on images and/or printing until the early hours of the morning. He is an excellent, excellent photographer, passionate about his work. I believe he has a MA in photography from Humboldt State University (a program which has long since, unfortunately, not existed).

    So I decided that was not the path I wanted to be on. I enjoy making handmade prints, I love working with film, I love working with the 8x10. Which is very lucky because I think I would go broke trying to get up to speed with the digital hardware, paper, and ink! Well, not broke really, but I might have to give up beer...but I am afraid of having to produce more work to pay for all the stuff to make new work with which means I have to make more prints to pay around and around until I am dizzy. I'd have to really love doing that sort of work to be able to do that much of it and make it pay!

    Now, the gelatin, sugar and lampblack watercolors I use for carbon prints are relatively cheap and the platinum is not all that expensive compared to the number of sheets of 16x20 silver gelatin I use to burn through! But I realize that doesn't mean I am off that big wheel I described above. But at least it is at a pace that I can deal with, happily producing some good negatives now and then, making some good carbon or platinum prints, working half-time for the university, and raising my three teenagers. And teaching a workshop now and then. And manage to travel a little around California now and again. It's not life in the fast lane.

    Vaughn
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2012
  23. Leigh B

    Leigh B Member

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    "Get a real job."

    - Leigh
     
  24. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Quit buying photo gear.
     
  25. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Stay away from "her" she's just using you.(15 yrs later and a divorce, it hits me--DOH!)
     
  26. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    Move waay baack so you can get everything in. (so my subject is this little dot in the middle; well I was only eight at the time, but it only took one roll of film to learn that was bad advise)