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View Full Version : The subtle gotcha's of real-time landscape photograpy!



jetcode
09-22-2013, 02:21 PM
Imagine this ... You are on a lovely grassy knoll on Richardson Bay facing San Francisco with the Bay Bridge and Belevdere on the left and Sausalito on the right. You are shooting 6x17 with a 210 Sironar-S. It's wide. The actual image cropped would be more like a 6x24 or 6x30. You have a roll of Fuji 160S loaded on frame 3. The composition is weakest in interest to the middle left of SF where the bay bridge and Alcatraz are in the very distant background. Timing, Timing, Timing. A pair of speedboats enters frame right and they are heading right through the foreground. You have the shutter cocked and the cable release in your hand. The dark slide is out. Here they come wait for it, wait for it. There in front of S.F. got it! Wrong!!! As they continue their trajectory you realize that if you shot them to the left in the weakest area of the composition the image would have been far more interesting in terms of placement since they were also leaving a pair of wakes in the water across the frame!!!! You only get one shot in the time it takes for them to get from one side to other. Of course there will be no more boats the rest of the session. It's a hard way to learn how to see.

ntenny
09-22-2013, 02:32 PM
Yep---very familiar. The more difficult it will be to set up a second shot, the better the composition will get just after you took the first one!

-NT

Sirius Glass
09-22-2013, 05:32 PM
You need to know that the speedboats do that on purpose. Birds, especially sea gulls, do that all the time. There are special classes that that they take to learn how to perfect producing the maximum depression and despair.

hdeyong
09-22-2013, 11:22 PM
With my luck, the boats would have turned around just before they entered the frame.

Sirius Glass
09-23-2013, 05:24 PM
You could have shoot all your film with the lens cap on or the dark slide in p;ace.

cliveh
09-23-2013, 05:27 PM
Would the shot have worked if printed shiny side down?

BrianShaw
09-23-2013, 05:31 PM
I feel your pain. Had similar happen over the summer, except San Francisco was in San Diego, the speedboats were a tall sailing ship, and rather than a real camera all I had was a cell phone camera.

jetcode
09-24-2013, 09:50 AM
150 ways to fail and there is no way to avoid any one of them no matter how careful you become! And the problem grows exponentially if you shoot multiple formats!

ntenny
09-24-2013, 10:54 AM
I don't mind my own failures. If I pull the darkslide before closing the shutter, or something, it's annoying, but in the end I have no one to blame but myself and it gets filed under "wow, for someone pretty smart I can be pretty stupid!"---which is a VERY large mental file, by the way.

But speedboats and seagulls and clouds? *They're* doing it on purpose! That's what really gets my goat: the perversity of elements over which I have no control.

-NT

jetcode
09-24-2013, 11:00 AM
I don't mind my own failures. If I pull the darkslide before closing the shutter, or something, it's annoying, but in the end I have no one to blame but myself and it gets filed under "wow, for someone pretty smart I can be pretty stupid!"---which is a VERY large mental file, by the way.

But speedboats and seagulls and clouds? *They're* doing it on purpose! That's what really gets my goat: the perversity of elements over which I have no control.

-NT

How many times have you gotten your rig all set up to watch the light fade fast before your eyes ... all ready to shoot and someone down on a rock stands up and starts walking through your frame ... the wind is blowing madly and no matter how fast your shutter speed is the bellows wants to go sailing!

Sirius Glass
09-24-2013, 05:36 PM
150 ways to fail and there is no way to avoid any one of them no matter how careful you become! And the problem grows exponentially if you shoot multiple formats!

To experience the full meaning of fail, go to large format photography. There are so many more moronic things one can do with large format photography.

Dr Croubie
09-24-2013, 06:29 PM
There are so many more moronic things one can do with large format photography.

Like going to LF to begin with? (in that case, sign me up as a moron, waiting for my new ToyoView as we speak)
Maybe going to LF in itself isn't moronic, but everything certainly gets exponentially expensive, especially the film the larger it gets. LF just make it even worse when you realise you've blown $20 on a single frame that you ruined from your own stupidity...

Hausen
09-24-2013, 07:10 PM
I find the I have similar issues when using my Hasselblad Arcbody. There are so many things to remember to do and on days when my mind isn't as engaged as it could be I am asking myself, is darkslide out, did i close shutter before I removed DS, what back have I got on, have I allowed for the centre filter in my exposure calculation, tilt/shift, lens shade adjusted, those moving boats have I got enough shutter speed and then the moment is gone. Is all worth when I get it right and 12 shots a roll is a little easier than with 617.

Sirius Glass
09-24-2013, 07:36 PM
LF and the ArcBody do not have the interlocks that we have come to depend on. Without the interlocks to protect us, mistakes abound.

pbromaghin
09-24-2013, 09:11 PM
I just took the plunge into LF this year, and with all the disastrous mistakes I made with medium format while shooting in Chicago last week, I seriously wonder if I'll ever get anything good when the 4x5 finally leaves the house.

ntenny
09-25-2013, 09:22 AM
I just took the plunge into LF this year, and with all the disastrous mistakes I made with medium format while shooting in Chicago last week, I seriously wonder if I'll ever get anything good when the 4x5 finally leaves the house.

I don't seem to make the dumb LF mistakes *too* often, and I credit a habitual and redundant workflow. For instance, I dry-fire before every shot, which makes it a lot more difficult to leave the preview lever open by the time I pull the darkslide, and gives me another chance or two to remember to stop down. It doesn't mean I never blow it, of course, but I think it helps to reduce the frustration. Just work out an order of operations and treat it like the pre-flight checklist.

-NT

DREW WILEY
09-25-2013, 03:41 PM
I've been shooting view cameras for over thirty years now, and I still sometimes make stupid mistakes. Doesn't matter. One good shot with an
8x10 is worth more to me than 500 with a small camera. You can only print so many images anyway.

jetcode
09-30-2013, 12:03 PM
To experience the full meaning of fail, go to large format photography. There are so many more moronic things one can do with large format photography.

I shot 8x10 for a short while. I currently shoot a 6x17 Shen-Hao and have shot 4x5 and 5x7 over the last 17 years or so. The list of fallibility is endless but every once in a while a gem surfaces through the rubble.