Really hitting it: a whole roll of keepers!

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by ntenny, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    (This is one of those "about photography" topics with no natural home in the fora. I'm settling on this one because I guess it's more like philosophy than anything else.)

    So I've been way behind on my postprocessing, due to being overtaken by life, and this weekend I finally got around to taking a good careful look at one of the rolls of 120 from a field trip in July 2011. To my amazement, *every* *frame* was a keeper---the first, and probably last, time that's ever happened to me. One shot has a camera-shake problem, but after consulting with my wife, who has a good eye, we decided that the compositional strengths overcame the technical weaknesses (she actually thinks it benefits from the blur; I think it would be stronger if it were sharper). None of them are *the* greatest photo ever taken, or anything, but there are a couple with which I'm quite happy, and the sudden fit of consistency kind of freaks me out. It's as if someone else, someone who actually knew what they were doing, took over my hands that afternoon!

    If I did anything to get myself in the zone, it was just a day of driving around in the desert summer and taking pictures. The location was pretty good, but no better than plenty of others; I didn't meditate or fast or anything like that; on everything else I shot that day I had a good but not exceptional "hit" rate.

    Unfortunately I don't have an enlarger, so my MF workflow isn't full-analog---hence I'm not going to upload to the gallery or anything like that. But the negative scans (processed for cropping, contrast, and spotting only) are at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ntenny/sets/72157635349631949/. I sort of wanted to toot my own horn, I guess, but also to hear any thoughts others might have on this sort of event. I know nobody's figured out how to summon up the magic on cue, but how do you "gently encourage" this kind of visit from the Consistency Fairy?

    -NT
     
  2. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    I think we all are visited by the muse and get a "magic roll" every now and then. It's a good thing!
     
  3. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    It's as if someone else, someone who actually knew what they were doing, took over my hands that afternoon!

    If I did anything to get myself in the zone, it was just a day of driving around in the desert summer and taking pictures. The location was pretty good, but no better than plenty of others; I didn't meditate or fast or anything like that; on everything else I shot that day I had a good but not exceptional "hit" rate.

    I know nobody's figured out how to summon up the magic on cue, but how do you "gently encourage" this kind of visit from the Consistency Fairy?


    That's Zen photography. Put some on the gallery.
     
  4. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    wow, nice shots. I think 9 (the first dunes) is my favourite.
    I see you re-composed for a second shot (10) slightly to the left of that one, but I think the first was best (I do that all the time, recompose or re-focus or whatever 5 times, then when I get home the first was the best anyway).
    Love that efke.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2013
  5. selmslie

    selmslie Subscriber

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    Very nice images. I have had a similar run from time to time but never a whole roll as consistently good. Makes me want to return to New Mexico and take another run at Taos.
     
  6. whlogan

    whlogan Subscriber

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    I had been wondering where the Consistency Fairy was on that day. Glad to know you had her chained in the back of your car. She worked overtime on your negs. Good looking stuff and you owe her big time. Let her loose from time to time so others of us may temp her out here to NC from time to time. We need here too. Good wrok.
    Logan
     
  7. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Don't you just love those day!? I really like the high-key effect of these images. I find it hard to capture the absolute intensity of the desert sun in my images, but you accomplished it very well and might have just inspired me to experiment a bit.

    On that note, my last trip out with the 4x5 was keeper per keeper. If it wasn't for taking doubles just to be safe, I'd say 4 for 4. In fact, I just printed one at 20x24 because I was so pleased.

    Blessed be those days.
     
  8. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I've learned something disturbing from this experience: if you put the words "my wife" in the description of a photo on Flickr, you get a LOT of hits in a big hurry from search queries. I do NOT recommend that you check to see what those people might be searching for, because it is pretty much exactly what you think it might be!

    Thus far, less than 24 hours after posting, the one photo where I mentioned her reaction has 166 views. 44 of those are people coming from the set (that's you guys); of the remaining 122 visits, 97 of them were referred from searches on "wife", "my wife", etc. I mean, I know guys like female body parts and all that, but I didn't realize marital exhibitionism was this much of a Thing on Flickr!

    -NT
     
  9. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Well, why else would there be so many nude 'fine art' prints out there?
     
  10. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    in that case, don't type 'my wife' into the search box at deviant art... I thought you weren't allowed to post such stuff on flickr anyway?

    Could also be a useful google-bomb (tag-mining?) whatever they call it, just tag all your photos with 'my wife' and let all the hits roll in...
     
  11. momus

    momus Member

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    To misquote ex Prez Bill Clinton, I guess it depends on what the definition of keeper is. I tend to run somewhere around 1 keeper to 250 frames, if I'm lucky. So you probably got as many keepers on that roll as I do in a year using 36 exposure 35mm film.
     
  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    beautiful work nathan !
    i hope you stay on "the roll"
    or at least have fun :smile:

    john
     
  13. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    It certainly depends, and there are keepers and then there are keepers, if you see what I mean. I'm not sure how many of the images I treat as "keepers" now will look good even to my eye in a year, let alone be of interest to anyone else.

    But, geez, I don't think I'd have the strength of character to consistently shoot 250 images only to throw away 249 of them. I'm not sure if you have more of my respect or my sympathy; isn't that level of selectivity pretty frustrating as well as expensive?

    -NT
     
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  15. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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  16. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Nathan - Great set-a-12! Glad you hit it that day! Keep it up! I love how long ago it was you shot this roll. I hope you remember what mojo you brought to the table that day with such great keepers! Would look great all 12 on a wall :smile:

    Gosh, #8 though has me...ovation:smile:

    Btw, when ya figure out what the mojo was, do share or maybe patent it:smile:
     
  17. zsas

    zsas Member

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    ^ Haaaa Thomas!!! We both picked 8?! I didn't even read your comment before I listed my above!! I see something there too...to me it's that gradiated top 1/3....cyclical...yet random....

    If only I hit a whole roll too! There's hope we mere mortals have seeing this from Nathan:smile:
     
  18. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I love it when that happens. Of course I only need to hit 10 in a row :wink:
     
  19. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Can't say it ever happened to me, but maybe I'm too self critical.
     
  20. blockend

    blockend Member

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    The nearest I came was in 1979 when I shot four of my favourite black and white images on a strip of six negatives. I printed those so many times in different ways trying to get the best out of the neg, they were put into semi-retirement. Each frame was of a different subject. If only my batting average had stayed so high...
     
  21. batwister

    batwister Member

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    OP, you'll have plenty of time in the nursing home to look back at your accomplishments.
     
  22. mesantacruz

    mesantacruz Subscriber

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    I like #12. with the bottom cropped. but overall these are pretty great!
     
  23. Schlapp

    Schlapp Member

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    Lovely.
    If I get one snap from a roll of 36 I like, I'm happy.
    Possibly get one printed image a year I really like :-(
     
  24. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Maybe I'm hyper critical of my own work but If I get two really good slides or negatives out of a 135 36 exposure film I'm happy.
     
  25. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Way to go!

    Jeff
     
  26. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    My photos have always been memories. In that respect, most of each roll were usually "keepers." Boring, but they served their purpose.

    However, after getting on this site, and trying to learn to take "good" pictures, I rarely have any "keepers" in that regard :smile: