Shutter Tripping - Or how LF has slowed me Down
Decided to take the new(to me) 7x11 out this morning to check out the new bellows that I installed. Took 2 holders, and spent about 3 hours looking for a subject and arrived home without a single negative exposed.
Now, this is actually OK as far as I am concerned, but it got me to thinking - when I shot 35mm, it was easy enough to snap away - though I usually never finished a roll at one time. The move to MF, gave me about the same results - but with fewer frames, could finish a roll of 120 almost every time.
Next move was to 4x5 - and things became much slower, and each trip of the shutter was done with more purpose, but I could usually find something to expose. 5x7 was much the same as 4x5, but I carried fewer film holders. 8x10 was the first BIG slow down, I might carry 4 8x10 holders and would return with 2-3 sometimes all 4 holders without using them (but might expose 4-6 5x7's). When the 8x10 was the only format used, 2 holders would be a big day.
Soooooooooooo...after all that,
How many of you that use 8x10 or larger find that you are much more selective with the subject matter when you are out?
I set the camera up a few times this morning, but in the end did not "see" anything on the GG that made me head for the film holders. Either the light was just not right or it was a subject that I had visited before and did not feel fresh - which made me think about the thread started by Eric (Rose) related to not feeling inspired.
Would be interested in how others approach changed after moving up in format.
Will try again this afternoon, after the mid-day light has passed.
What's nice about shooting 8x10 is that it makes me much more selective and patient when shooting smaller format.
At $15 per click I do 810 with great intent.
It is easier to gain enlightenment than to explain enlightenment.
Supreme Master Ching Hai
8x10 slowed me down a lot. I find the slow down carried over to smaller formats, too.
Sometimes a different approach with 4x5, but it really depends upon what I am shooting. I did some fashion and lifestyle shooting earlier this year, and the pace was fairly quick for 4x5. However, I would still tend to shoot more frames when using 35mm, and sometimes with 120 roll film. Sometimes having any camera on a tripod is enough to slow the approach.
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At first, shooting 8x10 and larger slowed me down by the way of the number of photographs I was creating. However, now that I've made it exclusively my only camera that I use, I've really loosened up with it and now photograph ALOT more. There comes a point where the gear no longer should slow you down from creating. The cost of film should not even cross your mind when going to make a photograph. The reason is, with every picture you make, you learn something new and even if it's a bad picture, you will have learned something from making that picture to apply to the next one you make that will be better. Make as many photographs as possible, because it will only make you better.
Now I'm not saying that I'm not really selective about what I photograph, but using the 8x10 has really let me see just all the millions of photographs that are all around us, wherever you are!
The only reason a camera should slow you down is because your spending more time LOOKING at the ground glass, and not more time messing with the gear and equiptment. With that in mind, you should be making just as many pictures with the bigger camera as you are with the smaller ones if your time spent is with looking. If you are not, then there is something slowing you down that should not be.
I tend to agree with Ryan, when I first made the switch to LF it really cut the number of images I was producing. Now that I'm comfortable with the equimpment and, more importantly, secure in my vision I find I rarely come home with unexposed film. That's not to say I'm not selective but that I'm able to see more deeply than I have in the past.
Ryan, I wouldn't say anything except that you use it so often in your writing (and actually capitalized it)... "ALOT" is not a word.
Respectfully disagree. This statement is too absolute.
Originally Posted by Ryan McIntosh
I think what Mike, and I, and others have found is that shooting larger formats is just different, and it creates a different "feel" that can (but may not) make one slow down and be more contemplative. (Cost can be a factor, too, so I wouldn't just blow off someone's else's finances, either.)
But even eliminating the other factors, gear does make a difference. I regularly shoot with 4 other large format photographers. I could run off a whole roll in my 35mm SLR before they could get their 8x10 or larger even set up.
Great feed back, and I do appreciate each persons thoughts.
Ryan & Shawn, think I understand where you guys are coming from. When you go out, do you do so with a purpose in mind? Do you 'know' what you intend to shoot that day? Or do you go out with nothing in particular and wait to see what you find?
David, you are quite right. In my case it is not so much the cost per sheet (this is open to ones finances) but more the change in vision. This mornings outing is a good example. There were a couple of stops, that I would have tried to shoot, even though I did not find the light quite right. Instead, I saw the potential for the location but decided to come back at another time.
This may just be a difference in how LF has changed the way I work. Maybe I should have gone ahead and exposed some film to see if I was correct about the light. It is also about trying to break out of the project mode I think, as David knows there is a group of us that have been working the church project and I think we have all 'needed' to photograph other subject matter.
Thanks again for the input, as I find it very interesting and valuable.
Oh, and Shawn - afraid I have been quilty of using the none-word as well (good catch though).
I edit that statement with one word change...
Originally Posted by David Brown
... you should be SEEING just as many pictures with the bigger camera as you are with the smaller ones if your time spent is with looking. If you are not, then there is something slowing you down that should not be.
In reality, the large format camera does slow you down, if your used to working fast with the smaller camera. But really, you should come to accept the speed of working with a view camera as the normal speed and working with the roll film cameras will become working too fast.
I never go out LOOKING for something, but rather just SEEING what's around me. I've been out with several photographers who go out LOOKING for something, and they end up not making any pictures because they never found what they were looking for, all the while they passed up tons of outstanding photographs that they did not see because they were to busy looking for something that may not exist. If one goes out photographing with a completely clear mind and an open eye, you will see amazing photographs to be created all around you that you've never seen nor made before. Those are the pictures that you will learn most from, not the ones that you already know of in your head.
Last edited by User Removed; 07-08-2007 at 02:26 PM. Click to view previous post history.