I'm fairly new to the world of large format photography, so I'm not sure how to diagnose my problems here. I've just started scanning the film I've been exposing and developing over the past couple months and I've noticed that some images look very sharp and clear, while others seem somehow dreamy. I'm not sure if this is a focus question, an exposure question, or what, but I'm hoping that if I post a couple images here for comparison's sake some one might have a guess at what I'm doing right/wrong.
(I have to post fairly small files because my internet connection is terribly slow, but the difference in the two photos should be clear)
Difficult to tell for sure from the thumbnails, but at first look I would say it is a focus problem,Richard
Focus (are you using a focusing loupe?) or perhaps movement of the camera during exposure. Judging from the arms of the fellow on the left of the dreamy shot it looks like your exposure was long enough for that to occur. Are you using a cable release?
The second one looks like it's unevenly developed, does it not?
sorry to ask particulars
but do you remember the fstop
you exposed your films at ?
sometimes wide lenses and shallow DOF
will give this effect. judging from the dim light
i will guess that you exposed kind of wide ( maybe f8 or more ? )
and you had no trouble focusing on the left image ( horizontal lines make it easy )
but the right image you focused on the tall building ( contrast between light and dark makes it easy ).
the shallowish DOF would make the foreground seem out of focus ...
i kind of like dreamy ... :)
I'm thinking the Holmburger man has it right on the second picture.
The foreground is very uneven.
If you're playing with movements, and using a lot of rise I believe you're vignetting on the top corners. It generally doesn't take a lot to make corrections on scenes like this.
It looks to me like something or someone moved through the right hand picture during the exposure.
By the sounds of it, some combination of all those factors may have been at work. I did expose wide (somewhere around f45 I think), with a wide lens, and the camera may have moved (it was a long exposure and I am using a cable release). My tripod seems a bit unstable -- perhaps that thats the source of my movement.
Wide means 'wide open', like f/5.6 depending on your lens. f/45 is the opposite; quite 'stopped down'
I dont see a tripod movement at second picture. If it was the reason , street lights would not look sharp.
Which lens do you use ?
As Jnanian said , some lenses do strange things at the dim light. May be during long expose , sky recorded as white and you call this dreamy . If you are lucky and if your lens do such things , I advise to use color film. You will amaze with the colors.