Waist level thinking and the F3

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by dugrant153, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    I have to say I love my F3. Recently I took it out for a spin with the waist level finder and loved how it made me more inconspicuous when doing street photography and discrete photography.

    However, I find it very confusing to compose in reverse. My compositions don't end up how I want them. I see a scene but when I look down to focus and compose, I compose for the reversed image instead and it makes things... Well I notice it in my images.

    Any suggestions as to how to "think" when composing and using a waist level finder in the F3? I'm always using the magnifier so I can focus correctly...
     
  2. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Practice. Or use a view camera for a bit. it'll help.
     
  3. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    if anything, composing in reverse will improve your composition; learn to detach "composition" from "subject" and you may be on to something. just tonight, at AGO, an exhibition of 150 prints by Sudek, the curator never noticed that 3 were rotated 90 degrees on the wall--now that's composition, so obviously more important than the subject (which sudek, granted, never had, but that's another story). personally, i frequently flip the print upside down to judge composition...

    anyway, all that assuming that by "composition" you don't mean the mechanical motion of training the camera onto the subject (in which case, apply b.i.d. for two weeks or until the symptoms recede)
     
  4. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    If you saw a composition you like 'in reverse' and providing there are no obvious words or numbers, why not print the negative back to front that way it will be the same as you say it.
     
  5. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Practice at home with not loaded film. After a while you will get used to it. I had same problem with TLR's - but after a while it was ok.
     
  6. AOCo

    AOCo Member

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    I can only confirm : things improve over time. When I first used wlf on a medium format reflex, it was unsettling. Now it is completely natural. What's weird is when I occasionally pick a digital movie camera, with live view screen, it feels really wrong, all reversed.
     
  7. thegman

    thegman Member

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    Why not stop down a bit, and your DOF will increase, making critical focus less important?
     
  8. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    Once you do it long enought it feels right, a wlf is all I have really used for the last couple of years a now I can pan with them and it's normal. It's takes no adjusting in my brain to compose.
     
  9. EKDobbs

    EKDobbs Member

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    I know how you feel. Sometimes I look into a WLF and think it's an interesting composure just because it's reversed from what my eyes are seeing. However, as a avid medium format junkie, I agree that you eventually learn to "reverse" your thinking with a WLF as opposed to a normal prism. Just takes time is all ;P
     
  10. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Sometimes my wife accuses me of "waist-level thinking"... or just a bit south.
     
  11. amac212

    amac212 Member

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    I wholeheartedly agree. It won't take you long to get used the waist level view. (Not like a view cam's upside-down-and-backward). In fact... it will actually make composition easier, IMHO. Don't be surprised if you start to view it as the "right way" rather than the reverse. :smile:
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Just don't try to use the WLF for action scenes!
     
  13. Spicy

    Spicy Member

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    someone on here said a few weeks back that they were having a tough time until they thought about "dragging the subject into the frame" as opposed to moving the frame to the subject. i tried thinking about it like that and it's been easier. i haven't done a TON of WLF shooting, but i've done a fair amount on my TLRs and most recently a few rolls with my F and 105/2.5 with the WLF
     
  14. dugrant153

    dugrant153 Member

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    Thanks for all the tips :smile: Sounds like more practice is in order. I use a lot of thirds in my images ( or at least tend to) which may explain why I think the images are weird as my subject may be in the right third whereas I wanted them in the left third. However it seems to work out in the end somehow. Maybe I'm just over thinking it by trying to compose normally with my eyes then trying to redo it reversed in the wlf.

    Action may be what I have to shoot! Doh! Guess a lot more practice is in order :smile: