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  1. #11

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    How wonderful that you can use your photography to show what these people (and you) are going through. And what an opportunity to share some interesting stories. What fun! And certainly keep us posted.

  2. #12
    michaelbsc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie Brim View Post
    I kinda want to tell their stories; those of the people who work or worked at the plant and those of the families ... affected ...
    Every picture tells a story is not merely a cliche. It's truth. Remember, in this project you aren't making "portraits" or "art" or any of a hundred other reasons people make photographs. You're telling the stories of the people, much like the old folks tell the stories of dear departed Uncle Lucas or whoever at Holiday gatherings.


    Quote Originally Posted by SuzanneR View Post
    Do it... those are important stories to tell... do it!!
    The first advice is right.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie Brim View Post
    I think what I'm most scared of is not doing these people justice with my skills. I still have a lot to learn. So...how crazy am I?
    Who the hell knows why G*d assigns things to particular folks.

    Or, as the Zen masters would say, be here now. Will you do them justice? Wrong question! Will doing nothing do them justice? Better something, even if you're just learning, than nothing.

    Bravery isn't lack of fear. Bravery is action in the face of fear.

    The time is now, and you are the one in place. So, pick up the camera, and what you can do is what you can do. Be here now.
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.

  3. #13

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    Sounds like a great project, and a story that must be told, jump in with both feet!

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    (I don't know what you're planning to do for settings on these photos, but please don't do Avedon-esque plain white backdrops)...
    No, didn't plan on being the next Avedon. Not my style. I do plan on using this as a way to get used to my hacked 'studio lights', though, so there may be a few staged shots in there somewhere.

    And, thinking about it a little more, 6x6 and 35mm may be a better idea. Even though I can use the Speed Graphic handheld, it still may be too heavy for, say, a dimly lit bar or a home at night. If I'm going to shoot 4x5 I think it will be studio-style. Who knows? There may be a few of those. The majority, though, I want to be able to get them doing something or being somewhere that they love. I want you to see these people as happy, even though, right now, the future is uncertain for many of them.

    My dad was here a few days ago and told me that he's out looking for work. He used to be on the maintenance crew, but he got bumped back down to working in the press department when all the layoffs got to a point where they needed him there. He's been there for almost 30 years...since before I was born. I don't think he's ever worked anywhere else since he's been out of high school. He's applied as far as Story City, which is 40 miles away, and heard nothing back. He may have to look at leaving the area, and his grand kids, behind.

    This is the type of things that I want people to know. Something like this doesn't just affect the workers, but also their families and the surrounding community.
    No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.

  5. #15
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    IMNSHO:

    Do it...and make it good, not lame, like so many of these types of projects. Pictures of people sitting there looking glum in their work environment, eyes straight at the camera, lit with artificial light...we've seen it a million times, and it says absolutely nothing about the people or the situation.

    Don't worry about equipment. Load a 35mm camera with Delta 3200 and get what you can. What will matter most in making the project good or bad will be your ability to work with your subjects. IMO, you should strive for trust and openness from your subjects, and visually speaking, go for a consistent style and mood...and always remember that you are telling a story first and foremost...not taking pictures. Pictures are just your means of communicating the story.

    I have never found another vacuum cleaner that works as well or that I love as much as my 1969 Electrolux. Good luck. I wish I could be doing this project!
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  6. #16
    michaelbsc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    ...I have never found another vacuum cleaner that works as well or that I love as much as my 1969 Electrolux. Good luck. I wish I could be doing this project!
    Unfortunately this isn't the vacuum cleaner Electrolux. Electrolux split into a European and American branch decades ago, like around WWI or so, and the company in Europe went full bore into household appliances. The NA branch made the best vacuums in the world. (OK, confession, I worked for E-lux in the early 80s for a summer job. And I have my grandmother's 1968 Model L that still beats the bejeezers off the last plastic thing I got from Wal-mart!)

    When the European company wanted in the American appliance market, they bought back the name, and the old vacuum cleaner company is now named Aerus. See http://www.137.com/lux/luxnow.html for some history.
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.

  7. #17
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Thank you for the information.

    My grandmother bought mine from a door-to-door salesperson in 1969, right after my grandfather had died, and she had the house to herself and some money to blow for the first time in her life. The salesperson joked that he didn't even get to use his pitch, because she had already been shopping for one and knew all about them.

    It was the only vacuum cleaner in my house the entire time I was growing up, and it totally spoiled me. No other vacuum has ever seemed anywhere close to its quality. I inherited it a few years ago when my dad died. At some point, I guess my grandmother ran over the hose with her car when vacuuming it out. It is smashed and unusable, so I need a new hose to use it. The unit itself seems just as strong as ever, though.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  8. #18
    Joe Lipka's Avatar
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    I think the most important thing you have to deal with is not anything photographic. Consider the story you are going to tell. With a project this big, you will need to be very specific in the stories you will tell. Maybe you decide you need to tell "X" number of stories. Concentrate on these stories and do the best job that you can possibly do on the very few things that are the most important to you in these stories. Yes, you will probably leave some stuff untouched, but if you want to be successful in your project (successful meaning you complete the project) you will need to be disciplined in what you choose to do and relentless in the execution.

    I would suggest you write down what you want story you want to tell (you are not making photographs, you are telling a story in pictures) and you might even want to think about how to illustrate the story you want to tell. You might even make a shot list of things that will be necessary to tell the story you want to tell.

    Another reason to be very specific about what you are going to do is the fact you are using a view camera. I used a view camera for more than 30 years and what gets put on the negative is almost always a surprise you find after you develop the film. You won't know what you have on the film until way after the photograph is made. The moments are ephemeral and quite often what you hope is on the film just isn't there. By the time you figure this out, it's way too late. Which does actually lead me to a technical detail that I didn't think I would get to in this post. Get yourself a lot more film holders. Nothing will make you a better large format photographer than as many film holders as you can carry with you.

    Be specific. Be thorough. Be relentless. It will be work and you will love it.
    Two New Projects! Light on China - 07/13/2014

    www.joelipkaphoto.com

    250+ posts and still blogging! "Postcards from the Creative Journey"

    http://blog.joelipkaphoto.com/

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteymorange View Post
    Go for it. If you tell their story, however imperfectly, you both win.
    What Whitey said, I second.
    If I had been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better arrangement of the Universe.
    Alfonso the Wise, 1221-1284

  10. #20

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    I'd do it. Sounds like a great idea for a project, and a worthy cause to boot. If you have both 4x5 and 35mm, maybe do 'formal' portraits with the 4x5 on a tripod and lighting, and candids/environmental type photos with the 35mm.

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