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naturephoto1
08-14-2006, 07:01 PM
Dan,

Don't forget that many of us here at APUG have experience in macro work in multiple format sizes that may not be covered in many of the books including those by Heather Angel and John Shaw. I have several books on the subject including those mentioned as well as those in the Kodak series. We can share our knowledge and experience. I think that it may be quite valuable particularly for the beginner. Even for those of us that only do it occasionally will find it beneficial for instance when requiring bellows factors for LF and for those using cameras without inboard meters.

Rich

glbeas
08-14-2006, 07:56 PM
Lets do it! Macro is hard enough to a beginner and usually they don't really know which questions need to be asked to get to what they need to know. The real help the forum would supply is to help them organise thier thoughts on the subject and get moving on whatever project they have in mind.

roteague
08-14-2006, 07:56 PM
Dan,

Don't forget that many of us here at APUG have experience in macro work in multiple format sizes that may not be covered in many of the books including those by Heather Angel and John Shaw. I have several books on the subject including those mentioned as well as those in the Kodak series. We can share our knowledge and experience. I think that it may be quite valuable particularly for the beginner. Even for those of us that only do it occasionally will find it beneficial for instance when requiring bellows factors for LF and for those using cameras without inboard meters.

Rich

Exactly. I've always been interested in the idea of doing macro with the LF camera, something I have not found discussed in any book.

Ted Harris
08-14-2006, 08:04 PM
Dan, while I agree with you in principle I disagree somewhat on this ... as I have before. Like you, I agree that Lefkowitz is the 'horn book' of macro photography ... also doesn't hurt to add "Image Clarity." Unfortunately, IMO 9and again I know you don't agree) I find that far from all of what Lfowitz talks about is sully applicable to LF macrophotography. Beyond that there are even more very specific technical issues that apply only or more usually to LF macro work than to that in other formats.

Dan Fromm
08-15-2006, 06:36 AM
Anyte, there's a lot of, um, excrement masquerading as shoe polish on the web. I still think its better to look for information and fail before asking questions.

Rich, thanks for the comments. Why do you think I recommended (in alphabetical order) Blaker, Bracegirdle, Gibson, and Lefkowitz? All present the magic formulas clearly. The beginner's problem, after seeing them, is internalizing them and applying them as required. This is independent of format.

Robert, Rich, much of what's been written about closeup photography and photomacrography is couched in terms of 35 mm equipment. Shaw, in particular, is Nikon-centric to a faretheewell. I use Nikon gear, even so find his focus on it counterproductive. In her book on closeup work, however, Heather Angel also discusses her work on 6x6 using, IIRC, a Hasselblad. What I've done, and you should be able to do too, has been to extract the ideas presented from their (sometimes) 35 mm-centric context and then apply them to larger formats. 2x3 in my case, larger and harder to use in yours.

Ted, as usual I agree with you in principle but not in every specific. I'm glad you mentioned Image Clarity even though I see that book as more about good practice and practical limits to what can be accomplished than about photomacrography. About the "very specific technical issues that apply only or more usually to LF," well, I see most of them as obvious to a thoughtful person who understands the basics. For me the key is understanding the basics and reasoning from them. But you may be more nearly right here than I am.

One general comment. Its wrong to restrict discussions of technique to a single format. APUG is visited by people working in all formats and is not restricted to people working in formats larger than 35 mm. The LF contingent shouldn't forget this.

Cheers,

Dan

Aggie
08-15-2006, 10:21 AM
One general comment. Its wrong to restrict discussions of technique to a single format. APUG is visited by people working in all formats and is not restricted to people working in formats larger than 35 mm. The LF contingent shouldn't forget this.

Cheers,

Dan

Then why do we have seperate forums for 35mm and medium format, not to mention rangefinder forums?

As to the orginal proposal of the macro forum, I still think it is an excellent idea. I've taught school, and heard the same questions semester after semester. This on a college level. It is not begging to ask a question. What we all forget is that people learn differently. some like the books, some are uber geeks and use computers well. Others are visual and need to see it all done first so they take workshops, others take college classes. It all varies. Yes I find many questions redundant. Yet there is a spark of interest behind that question. To belittle a person for asking a oft asked one and extinguish that spark, I would rather answer and point in the right direction. If I had a teacher/professor in college that said don't ask me questions, go to the internet and google it, I would march straight into the administration building and lodge a formal complaint. Here we are not paying for our education, but rather we subscribe to be among others with similar interests. If we ask a question so be it. I have taken many art classes over the years. Some subjects from different teachers on the same exact medium. This because not one teacher taught the exact same thing. There are new insights you learn from others. What one book as you say might have a set formula for doing it an exact way, another may differ. Yes reading is good, but nothing beats being able to discuss it with those who have tried and either succeeded or failed. It is through those experiences we can really learn valuable insights the books don't always mention. Do any of the books take into consideration what to do when you are in an area of only 2 to 3 stops difference in exposure readings? What about being in a place where it is supper humid? I coudl come up with so many weird questions, I doubt the books or the internet would have an answer too. Yet here on apug there might be a person who did experience it, and had not thought to share their experience until the question was posed. We never know what pearls of wisdom may come from a simple question posed to a large group. To this extent i heartily support the macro forum's creation.

Yes Dan we will agree to disagree.

anyte
08-15-2006, 10:40 AM
Anyte, there's a lot of, um, excrement masquerading as shoe polish on the web. I still think its better to look for information and fail before asking questions.

Aren't you deciding, by your statements against a macro forum, that a person who has to ask has not done their research? The other thing is that a lot of people are not proficient or even confident in doing online searches. I know a lot of intelligent people that no matter how they try they are not competent at doing an internet search.

Even if the person asking is too lazy to bother reading a book or taking test shots to find out what the possibilities are, there are always people like myself that may be reading, that have done the research but will still benefit from the question having been asked. I've said it before, I rarely ask questions on APUG because I can usually find the answers in a current or an old thread. I read threads that don't even pertain to what I do because I may get something, if only a half-baked idea, from the discussion.

Dan Fromm
08-15-2006, 11:16 AM
Then why do we have seperate forums for 35mm and medium format, not to mention rangefinder forums?

Beats me. I wasn't around when they were set up. One justification is that many, perhaps most, of the discussions in those forums focus on equipment. Having separate forums may make it easier to find discussions of interest. But when it comes to technique, I'm not sure there's much difference across them.


As to the orginal proposal of the macro forum, I still think it is an excellent idea. I've taught school, and heard the same questions semester after semester. This on a college level. It is not begging to ask a question. What we all forget is that people learn differently. some like the books, some are uber geeks and use computers well. Others are visual and need to see it all done first so they take workshops, others take college classes. It all varies. Yes I find many questions redundant. Yet there is a spark of interest behind that question. To belittle a person for asking a oft asked one and extinguish that spark, I would rather answer and point in the right direction. If I had a teacher/professor in college that said don't ask me questions, go to the internet and google it, I would march straight into the administration building and lodge a formal complaint. Here we are not paying for our education, but rather we subscribe to be among others with similar interests. If we ask a question so be it. I have taken many art classes over the years. Some subjects from different teachers on the same exact medium. This because not one teacher taught the exact same thing. There are new insights you learn from others. What one book as you say might have a set formula for doing it an exact way, another may differ. Yes reading is good, but nothing beats being able to discuss it with those who have tried and either succeeded or failed. It is through those experiences we can really learn valuable insights the books don't always mention. Do any of the books take into consideration what to do when you are in an area of only 2 to 3 stops difference in exposure readings? What about being in a place where it is supper humid? I coudl come up with so many weird questions, I doubt the books or the internet would have an answer too. Yet here on apug there might be a person who did experience it, and had not thought to share their experience until the question was posed. We never know what pearls of wisdom may come from a simple question posed to a large group. To this extent i heartily support the macro forum's creation.

On the one hand, of course each student is special and unique. The best way to teach one probably isn't best for any of the others.

On the other, what we're trying to teach is more how to solve problems than solutions to them. Simply answering questions isn't, IMO, the best way to teach problem solving. I do have a strong bias here. The teachers who taught me the most in college and grad school were the ones who asked hard questions and made me work out the answers myself. I learned less from better pedagogues who put the material across well but didn't ask hard questions than from teachers who explained poorly but asked hard questions and didn't let me and my classmates off the hook.

I find your example of "a teacher/professor in college that said don't ask me questions, go to the internet and google it" wrong-headed. In that setting, the appropriate response is a hint or directions to a journal article or book.


Yes Dan we will agree to disagree. Amicably, I hope.

Cheers,

Dan

Dan Fromm
08-15-2006, 11:21 AM
Aren't you deciding, by your statements against a macro forum, that a person who has to ask has not done their research?

I don't think so. I thought I suggested search or think first, then ask if still stumped. And search includes looking in books as well as using, e.g., Google.


The other thing is that a lot of people are not proficient or even confident in doing online searches. I know a lot of intelligent people that no matter how they try they are not competent at doing an internet search.

Searching and failing to find or understand the answer is better than giving up in advance. I do a fair amount of searching, turn up surprises. Searching, in books and over the internet alike, is a learned skill. As with all learned skills, practice builds proficiency.


Even if the person asking is too lazy to bother reading a book or taking test shots to find out what the possibilities are, there are always people like myself that may be reading, that have done the research but will still benefit from the question having been asked. I've said it before, I rarely ask questions on APUG because I can usually find the answers in a current or an old thread. I read threads that don't even pertain to what I do because I may get something, if only a half-baked idea, from the discussion. Interesting. So in fact you look for answers. That's great. Do you also try to understand what's going on and solve problems yourself before looking?

Cheers,

Dan

Aggie
08-15-2006, 11:29 AM
Dan yes we will be amicable about this. What I'm seeing is your arguments are based on personal observations from what you do and how you learned. It is the fallacy of ( do not quote me on how to spell this so it is phonetic) tu que qua to say it is absolute and all are lumped in in the same catogry. In other words how you learn is not how everyone learns. It may be a sore point with you that others do not do likewise, but we are again, all different. In the final bit on this subject, what does it hurt to have another forum? If it is something that you really do not want to see, there is still the ignore function. Yet I will say this right along with that, you are a wealth of knowldeg on the subject. You would be a valuable asset to such a forum. Yes it will be the same tired, to you, questions. It will grate on your nerves. It is all up to you in the end if you participate or not. Learning how ever you choose to do it is never a bad thing.

anyte
08-15-2006, 04:02 PM
I don't think so. I thought I suggested search or think first, then ask if still stumped. And search includes looking in books as well as using, e.g., Google.

Unless I misunderstood, you are against the creation of a macro forum ... because you think a person should look for the answers before asking for help. Either you assume people that are asking questions are not making any efforts on their own or you believe having a forum in which to ask the questions will prevent them from making any effort on their own.

FWIW - I didn't get much sleep last night and I failed to eat breakfast this morning. I'm not sure how I have managed to sit upright all day.




Searching and failing to find or understand the answer is better than giving up in advance. I do a fair amount of searching, turn up surprises. Searching, in books and over the internet alike, is a learned skill. As with all learned skills, practice builds proficiency.

It's a nice theory but not everyone is wired the same and not everyone will become proficient at everything they practice. My mother cooked for many years but is still not a very good cook. My mother's cooking is only one example of many.



So in fact you look for answers. That's great. Do you also try to understand what's going on and solve problems yourself before looking?


Do I just shoot film until I get what I think I want? No. You (I) need a foundation in which to work from, to experiment with. If something doesn't work I don't just throw in the towel and look for someone to solve it for me. I double check my foundational information and see if perhaps I missed something or misunderstood something. I try again. If my results are the same then I start looking for answers. If my results are different from the first time then I compare the results and how I acheived them and try again. After a number of tries if I still cannot get it right I start looking for answers. This is an over-simplified answer but I don't have all night to write a book how I approach a given endeavor.

Dan Fromm
08-15-2006, 06:11 PM
Dan yes we will be amicable about this. What I'm seeing is your arguments are based on personal observations from what you do and how you learned. It is the fallacy of ( do not quote me on how to spell this so it is phonetic) tu que qua to say it is absolute and all are lumped in in the same catogry. In other words how you learn is not how everyone learns. It may be a sore point with you that others do not do likewise, but we are again, all different. In the final bit on this subject, what does it hurt to have another forum? If it is something that you really do not want to see, there is still the ignore function. Yet I will say this right along with that, you are a wealth of knowldeg on the subject. You would be a valuable asset to such a forum. Yes it will be the same tired, to you, questions. It will grate on your nerves. It is all up to you in the end if you participate or not. Learning how ever you choose to do it is never a bad thing.Aggie, thanks for the reply.

Two thoughts.

First, we've moved far away from the topic, which is whether Sean should set up a macro forum. He owns APUG.org, if he thinks the idea is good he will and if he doesn't he won't. Que sera, sera. Apologies to all for my role in this movement.

Second, we've moved into a discussion about how people learn, motivated by a disagreement about whether its better to try to solve a problem before asking how or to ask how without first failing to solve it. We don't agree. It is in the end an empirical question. Neither of us has brought research results that bear on it forward or proposed an experiment or several. But I just can't forget the punch line to the old how to get to Carnegie Hall joke. Practice, practice.

Cheers,

Dan

Dan Fromm
08-15-2006, 06:17 PM
Unless I misunderstood, you are against the creation of a macro forum ... because you think a person should look for the answers before asking for help. Either you assume people that are asking questions are not making any efforts on their own or you believe having a forum in which to ask the questions will prevent them from making any effort on their own.

FWIW - I didn't get much sleep last night and I failed to eat breakfast this morning. I'm not sure how I have managed to sit upright all day.

<large snip>

This is an over-simplified answer but I don't have all night to write a book how I approach a given endeavor.I see that you've got the idea.

The typical question about macro raised on photo.net is a short one that requires a long answer. Writing a long answer can be a pain; IMO asking for one can be an imposition. And answers to most of the questions raised there and here are fairly easy to find.

I'm sorry that you're tired and that your blood sugar is low. Hope you sleep better tonight and eat better tomorrow.

Cheers,

Dan

df cardwell
08-15-2006, 06:38 PM
One of the good things about APUG is the meeting of folks with a convivial attitude, and common interests. For me, at least. Talking about macro photography would be fun. So, why not ? Fellowship is a good thing.

As far as learning, there is not a single approach to teaching which is effective for more than 33% of the population. Talking about stuff is still the best way to learn. Condemning folks to texts isn't always a good solution.

Macro work is appealing to a much larger population than technical/academic types. Bringing sometimes stodgy topics like Photomacrography and Close-up Photography to the Rabble might be a good idea.
.

mark
08-15-2006, 09:37 PM
I am all for the forum. I have tried Macro and Tried macro and always get the opposite of what I am looking for. I have done the reading and the research, now I just need my questions answered. I think the forum would be beneficial.

df cardwell
08-15-2006, 09:53 PM
Well, what the heck. If we're used to shooting regular pictures, as good way to put macro into perspective is to learn about MICRO.

One of the GREAT tesxts ( didn't I say I didn't like texts ?) is available free, on-line. Here it is: http://www.zeiss.com/de/micro/begin/home_e.nsf

Quiz tomorrow, How to shoot a picture of a diatom.

.

Travis Nunn
08-15-2006, 10:04 PM
I'm all for it. I love macro work, but I don't shoot it as much as I should.

mark
08-15-2006, 10:11 PM
There is a department at Northern Arizona University that does Micro stuff. They had a HUGE blow up of an ant (I think) done by piecing together microscopic photos of the ant. They tried to explain it all to me but it went over my head, but the collage was way cool.

catem
08-16-2006, 05:45 PM
I think a macro forum would be interesting. I think more different categories (as I think is planned) would be a good thing, and would make accessing information easier.

On the question of whether questions should be posted - Sometimes I have felt it's possibly a bit annoying to see a recently-answered question come up again, when a little searching could have got the questioner the info they want. Then I've seen how more often than not, there are fresh points from people who didn't see the first thread. I've come to think it doesn't matter, it's the nature of the beast - a kind of dynamic perpetual regeneration, which is positive. Isn't information-sharing what forums are all about? I don't see that a macro forum is different from any other... If it is felt by anyone to be time-wasting, there is no reason to respond, and a separate forum is especially easy to ignore. Books are useful of course, but the internet is a major resource - and doesn't that mean people continuing to ask and answer questions on forums such as this, so that up-to-date info is available for any google search? If some other forums' threads do leave something to be desired, then maybe it's an opportunity to make some better ones.
Cate

df cardwell
08-16-2006, 07:44 PM
Cate, good points all.

We can research fairly well by highlighting the target forum, so we're off to a good start. This leaves the researcher to wade through entire threads, which can be tedious. Maybe we can improve the archiving / researching. But that's another issue.

My own interest in macro is making expressive rather than representative pictures, shooting natural objects ( flowers, grasses, and stones ) and printing them in platinum or albumen. I found an antique B&L Photomacroscope some time ago, with - of all things - a 5x7 camera.

One of the differences between using the Macroscope and an LF camera is that I move the specimen stage in 3 axes rather than the camera ! The rest is like catalog, or table top work... sometimes resorting to semi reflecting mirrors, and tiny spotlights on big studio strobes ! Fun.