Subject preference

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by cliveh, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Is it just me, or do I get the impression that APUG is dominated by LF landscape, Ansel Adam lovers?
     
  2. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

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    I occasionally feel the same, but my own work could not be farther from that...
     
  3. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Looking at the gallery, I don't necessarily get that feeling. Maybe we just make that connection to landscapes shot in BW because his were so prolific?
     
  4. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    No I disagree, but I do not like shooting portraits myself.
     
  5. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Strange, I don't find this to be the case at all. Quite the opposite. I find APUG to be mostly interested in Portraiture, "decisive moments"/HCB-lovers, and alternative processes (lith, multi-toning etc).
     
  6. Maris

    Maris Member

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    It's not surprising that landscape features strongly in APUG in the form of large format photography.

    Landscape as a genre offers a rich metaphoric space for visual commentary on virtually everything except perhaps the minutae of ever shifting personal relations. The messages of landscape are carried in its textures, tones, and spaces and these qualities are just what the slow but fine large format camera accesses better than anything else.

    But it's not all one thing at APUG. I bet there are even some beguiled members of the Henri Cartier-Bresson fan club here, maybe a Minox enthusiast or two, and doubtless some digital lurkers. E pluribus unum and all that.
     
  7. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    The late, great Per Volquartz described this as an incestuous relationship, and I suppose that he's right. On the other hand, he shot some glorious landscapes in the same geography that attracted St. Ansel... and landscape is perhaps the most accessible subject matter.
     
  8. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    And one of the most patient.

    Except maybe for graveyards. Those people are marvelously accessible and patient.

    Ken
     
  9. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    This makes a lot of sense to me, about the view camera and landscape. A lot of photographers, I believe, feel that there's a natural progression to 'graduate' to bigger formats, as if they are better or more impressive. And when they start shooting sheet film, I think they realize how much more time and patience is required to set up a frame, that they sort of progress toward the landscape, to paraphrase Keith's post above, because the subject matter patiently waits for them to be ready.
    This was true for me when I went from 120 to 4x5, and I think it is in that transition that people either go 'woohoo, I found the perfect tool', or 'this isn't working for me'. Since so many people shoot landscape anyway, I just think that it's natural that so many folk shoot landscape with a view camera.

    I cheer every time I see people breaking out of norms, shooting landscape with 35mm Tri-X or does street photography with a Hasselblad.
     
  10. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    I think its unfair categorising the APUG community based on what you see in the Galleries. I have been meaning to start a thread about it, because I think the galleries are pretty much dead.
     
  11. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Remedy: Contribute more pictures and feedback on other people's work. It's encouraging when others seem to care.
     
  12. zsas

    zsas Member

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    I don't agree, I just checked the gallery right now (I know one data point isnt fact or law), but 10 of 30 images had people in them...

    And even if Apug were 99.999% landscape, what does it matter?

    I (not a landscaper who mostly shoot 35) feel welcomed here....do you? Many of us love your work! Why the question?

    I recently attended a APUG meetup (Photostock), I hung out with some nice folks while they did landscape, I shoot my RF of them and such in the field, we got along swimmingly...format is so not important....
     
  13. SteveR

    SteveR Member

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    I'm really glad you posted this, I always had that same thought pattern about the 'natural progression', probably from my Dad raving about 'professional' medium format cameras when I was a kid. I got (and still get) very frustrated with myself for not being able to produce great work in every field with my 'ultimate' camera... and stepping down a format is admitting failure (or so my over-thinking brain has told me). Even though I do use all my formats as tools to produce a great product, the past few months in particular have been a real revelation that it's okay to use whatever YOU ( I!) feel is the best tool for the job. Your post has helped cement that in my mind. Damn growing up in an artistic community full of 'Jones's!
     
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  15. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Good post. A few years back, without changing subject matter I decided to take a break from LF, go back to 35mm and see just how far I could push it. It was a great excercise in many ways and along the way I developed and refined some neat tools and techniques for extracting the maximum possible from the smaller negative.
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    sometimes things aren't really what they seem.
    i knew someone once who seemed like a real jerk ..
    and once i took the time to get to know him i realized
    he wasn't really a jerk at all but something else.
     
  17. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Zsas/Andy, don't get me wrong as I did not wish to offend anyone and yes I do feel welcomed here and also appreciate the feedback I get from the gallery. I probably worded my op badly, because as Thomas has pointed out the change of format to LF probably leads as a natural progression for landscape as a subject.
     
  18. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    it is strange that people think the natural progression of lf is landscape work.
    i always thought the natural progression to largeformat was to do architectural and portrait work.
    i guess it all depends on what one's interests are ... i'd rather do something else with a large camera ...
    and while i have done LF things for a long time, i never do the "slow down and contemplate" routine people often
    suggest happens when one goes up in format either ... not sure what the point is ... if it took me 20mins or 1hour to expose
    a sheet of film, i think i would do something else instead ..
     
  19. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Ha - it takes me that long to expose a 35mm frame.
     
  20. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    John, that's how I appreciate large format too. Portraiture or architecture.
    Just out of curiosity, how do you keep your camera focused when you're shooting quickly? I have seen a lot of your work here, and not sure that absolute critical focus is something you care all that much about, but in lieu of shooting something like a Graflex SLR, how do you keep things in focus? That's been my main challenge with using large format, unless it's a stationary object.
     
  21. Dali

    Dali Subscriber

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    As long as the tool serves a purpose, I agree.
     
  22. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    I think the format and subject matter are intertwined in a different way.

    In my experience here a lot of members are either primarily artistic, or primarily engineers. Obviously a tremendous crossover though.

    The whole right side/left side brain thing.

    The artistic types are often more people types and use systems that allow them to shoot people easily.

    The engineering types like the process, tinkering and working with larger formats and often hate photographing people.

    So we get engineering types shooting quietly with a large format camera pointed at subjects that don't talk and move, and we get the artsy fartsy people persons shooting easily moveable cameras at subject that do move and talk.

    And both types are here on APUG, which is very cool.
     
  23. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi thomas
    do you mean if i am moving or my subject is moving how do i focus ?
    or in general when i am using a large format camera how do i focus quickly ?

    sorry for being confused by your question ...

    john
     
  24. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I just wish we could all agree and ban Dinesh.


     
  25. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Either way, I guess. Sorry if I was unclear. Whether you're moving or the subject is moving - how do you keep things in focus, after you insert the filmholder?
     
  26. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    I haven't posted a lot in the Gallery, but I'm using a Cambo for street scenes as well as closeups of flowers, plants, and miniatures. I found that I wasn't getting the detail I wanted from 35mm, and figured if I was going to carry around an RB67 kit I might was well go on up to 4x5 and have camera movements.

    My influences are more like Atget and Edward Weston, as opposed to Ansel Adams.