Why did my son make THAT camera movement?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by SchwinnParamount, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. SchwinnParamount

    SchwinnParamount Subscriber

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    Ok,

    I bought my 21 year old son a 4x5 monorail, lens/lensboard, tripod, film holders, and 50 sheets of Tri-X. He has access to my library of photography related books including several dedicated to large format photography. He even read a couple of them.

    His first day of shooting, he invited me along. I watched as he made these torturous and entirely unnecessary camera movements where his subject required almost no movements. I'd look at his ground glass and bite my toungue rather than point out that if he just backed off on the rear swing, moderated the front rise... etc, he'd have a tack sharp image.

    Yes, he recognizes that the images he made are "twisted". He likes that. Imagine a cone shaped building whose image on a 4x5 negative is mostly out of focus except for a narrow horizontal band in the middle that is tack sharp. I've held my opinion in, knowing he is exploring his own vision.

    At what point should I step in and gently direct him to the "right" way to use a LF camera?
     
  2. Sjixxxy

    Sjixxxy Member

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    I don't see nothing wrong with what he's done. I've had great fun in the past making very high-resolution low-res (yikes!) images via really crazy movements. Give him some lessons on how to makes everything square on the frame & tack sharp so that he knows how to do it if images warrants it, but I wouldn't push him to only use it that way. The LOMO way of thinking is strong in our generation.
     
  3. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    At no point! He is exploring and must be left to do it at his own pace. Almost everybody who ever owned a view camera went through this phase. Let him find his own way through it. As long as he understands the limitations of the image circle and knows how to correct meter readings for bellows factor and movements, what's the harm...
     
  4. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    He's 21. He's an adult. Let him find his own way - even if you bite your tongue to hash. Be ready to answer questions, if asked, otherwise - butt out. In 10 years or so, he'll be much closer to admitting there might be things to be learned from you. (the parent of 3 - ages 27 to 32)
     
  5. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Sounds like his pix are pretty cool; better than most. I would leave well enough alone and let him do his thing. He has the books. He will learn traditional methods if he wants to. Don't ruin his interesting work by making it more standard. That would be a crime.

    Key sentence: "He likes that."

    That is the whole point! Period.
     
  6. Valerie

    Valerie Subscriber

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    There is no right way... there is HIS way and there is YOUR way. Two different visions/ two different individuals.

    I am rather envious that you have a child taking up photography. Not one of my 4 shows any interest whatsoever!
     
  7. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Never, Never, Never take the initiative here.

    Answer his questions succinctly, don't expand on the answers, let him enjoy it his way.
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    sounds like he is having fun!
     
  9. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    And.. at his age he could easily be involved in some other things you would rather he wasn't.:wink:
     
  10. Sjixxxy

    Sjixxxy Member

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    Like a 1D Mark IV? 0_o
     
  11. brian d

    brian d Member

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    If he likes the pictures he's making he IS doing it the right way
     
  12. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    At what point should I step in and gently direct him to the "right" way to use a LF camera?

    "There ARE no standards" -Jim Dow
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Are the results he is achieving what he wants to achieve, or is he liking what he gets despite his frustrations?

    Ask him if he wants help/suggestions/competition :smile: :smile:

    I expect he will tell you.

    Matt
     
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  15. WetMogwai

    WetMogwai Member

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    I'd like to see some of his work. It sounds interesting. The camera is just an artistic tool. The artist can use it any way he wants to achieve his vision. I think MattKing's question is the best one. If your son likes what he is getting and means what he gets, it is right.
     
  16. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Reminds me of what an early mentor told me (referring to darkroom): "You think you're bein' creative when all your doin' is makin' a mess!"
     
  17. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    Most good advice already posted so i will just add, be happy that you have a 21 year old soon that is into LF photography or at least taking a peak at it. Be supportive and perhaps let him know how you would see this scene but let him explore and learn. One day he may tell you. See i told you this would sell.
     
  18. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

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    I'm surprised a bit. Perhaps his is the "Right" way and you've been pretty plain and "wrong" all these years. Art is VERY objective and you should be teaching him this. You asked.
     
  19. Gim

    Gim Subscriber

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    I would hit him with a stick and tell him "its my way or the highway". That will take care of it. You won't have to worry about it anymore. (sounds like he is having fun)

    Best,
    Jim
     
  20. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    I know ONE professor of Photo in a major university somewhere near you who does just that kind of thing now and then. So, maybe he's working on his admissions portfolio.
     
  21. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

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    can we see the image he made?
     
  22. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    I just wish that I had a dad who gave me a 4x5. but my dad's not interested in my photography at all :sad:. I try to show him what I'm up to, but no luck.

    my advice(I'm 21 btw) : let him find his own voice. On another note, there is a book I highly recommend that EVERYONE read. its called "How to win friends and influence people" by Dale Carnegie. its an old book, but it teaches the proper way of getting people to look at YOUR way of things. I'm reading it the 2nd time through as I write this.

    its in every bookstore pretty much. great read, written in the 1920's I think, but the info is still as pertinent today as back then.

    but let your son find his vision. I understand that you're a loving, caring father; geez, you bought him a 4x5! that's true love in my opinion :smile:!

    are you going to show him how to print next, you might see something you like.

    best of luck!

    -Dan
     
  23. Leighgion

    Leighgion Member

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    The boy is using it right.

    He's using the adjustments the camera is capable of in order to produce the image he wants.

    Really want to try to argue with your 21-year-old offspring that the "better" and "proper" thing to do with photography is produce the images you want? Good luck. He'll slice you to ribbons. :smile:
     
  24. AmandaTom

    AmandaTom Member

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    He invited you along, that is a tribute to the trust he places in you. It also means he will ask for help if he needs it.
     
  25. mark

    mark Member

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    Why don't you take your camera along and take some shots of the same stuff. Develope and take a look at you individual interpretations. Might be fun. Let him do his thing. You do yours. Be happy he enjoys something you enjoy. It will keep you connected.
     
  26. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    I have worked on many photo projects with my daughter. (who will be 21 on Tuesday) She has a great eye for design, and in her way she is far more exacting than I am... but sometimes she does stuff that makes me crazy. For about a year, she worked beside me in the darkroom and invariably printed every shot about two stops too dark. Went through a lot of paper that year, but eventually her prints started showing some really interesting tones that I would never have discovered from the same negatives. For my part, I am just happy to have someone who loves me unconditionally and who shares my passion for photography.