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  1. #31
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Rose View Post
    Maybe Michael Moore can give you some hints
    *headdesk*

    Maybe I should've added a disclaimer.
    No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.

  2. #32
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Start. A project like this finds it's own way, it's own voice. Make no promises, cherish no outcome. Just start doing it. In a year you will understand what you are doing now.

  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie Brim View Post
    I've been thinking. This usually gets me in trouble, but I'll go on.

    ...

    Large project. Huge scale. Scared as hell to start down the road to do this. Need some encouragement, I suppose. The fact that I'm thinking of using 4x5" film isn't helping my nervousness.
    Start small. Thinking too big too early will likely lead to failure. If it turns out to be big... so be it.

  4. #34

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    bring a tape recorder ( and tape ) ...

  5. #35
    clayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuzanneR View Post
    Do it... those are important stories to tell... do it!!
    Absolutely, DO this. This, in my opinion, is one of the most valuable uses of a camera.

    Quote Originally Posted by vdonovan View Post
    I've worked on three documentary projects involving dozens and dozens of portraits. It is EXTREMELY rewarding.

    In my experience, few people like to have their portrait taken so a lot of the challenge of portrait projects is to make folks feel comfortable. I am not a naturally warm or outgoing person but my people skills developed incredibly. When I started, I really dreaded going up to people to ask to take their picture. Now I dive right into it with genuine pleasure. So if you feel intimidated by working with people, just be brave and dive in. Smile, shake hands, act like you are enjoying yourself. Take your time and don't be in a hurry with each person. By forcing myself not to hurry, I also minimized my technical mistakes, which I tend to commit when I get nervous.

    Don't spend all your time behind the camera. On one project I walked around for two days introducing myself to people and talking to them before the actual portrait sessions. I carried a camera but did not take any pictures. That way people knew me as "the camera guy" but I could engage them personally. It made the actual shoot much more fun and relaxed.

    Good luck! In my opinion any chance to shoot people and tell their story is valuable.
    ^ This is excellent advice right here. There may be times you won't even be able to take photos, and there may even be other times you shouldn't take a shot.

    Most importantly, listen to their stories and thoughts. Truly listen to what they're saying and how they feel about things and the future. If you have the moment, or if they ask, explain to them why you are actually doing this - that you're approaching it from a place of compassion and not trying to take advantage of people. Your connection with the subjects or how they feel around you is a huge factor.

    Bring a voice recorder as well. This will be invaluable.
    Last edited by clayne; 02-13-2010 at 08:08 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    It is smashed and unusable, so I need a new hose to use it. The unit itself seems just as strong as ever, though.
    My parents had an Electrolux vacuum from about 1972 to about 2002. Built like a tank. I hate to dredge up another cliche but they don't build them like this anymore; what consumer product these days lasts 30 years?

    This project sounds amazing and I wish I was part of something like this (I'm keeping my eyes open). Don't worry about skill level or equipment much, just tell the story.

  7. #37
    clayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rthomas View Post
    My parents had an Electrolux vacuum from about 1972 to about 2002. Built like a tank. I hate to dredge up another cliche but they don't build them like this anymore; what consumer product these days lasts 30 years?
    None - and that's part of the scam :-(. A story like this indirectly touches on the subject as well.
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  8. #38
    Laurent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie Brim View Post
    I thought about it last night and here is what I'm thinking:

    4x5 is going to be limited to formal portraiture. I have the Speed Graphic, but I do not have an appropriate lens, really, for the type of candid handheld photography that I really want to do. If I can find one I'll start using it for outside shots. If I can't, I'll just use something else.

    6x6 is going to be my main format for this. I'm going to use a Mamiya C3 and 3 lenses: a 55mm, an 80mm, and a 180mm. I actually like the idea of square format for this project. The 80mm is probably going to be my most used lens. Printing to 8x8 would be nice.

    35mm is going to be my backup for when I just can't get enough light. I'm thinking of seeing if Adam, the husband, would let me pick up a lens I've been coveting for quite some time: the 50mm f/1.2 AIS. If I'm going to use it as a low-light camera, my as well go as low as possible.

    My main reason? These are strong, hard-working people. They deserve far better than to be out of work for any amount of time. The ones, like my dad, who have been there for so long, deserve so much more. I do believe that they will at least get a good severance package when the plant does finally close, but even that I'm not sure of. I want to portray the people as they are now...unsure of the future, but for the most part still able to enjoy their lives. I think I most want to tell the stories of the older workers and the workers with families; those who are a few years from retirement and those who have little mouths to feed.

    I think, ultimately, I want to help these people. I don't know how yet. I know how incredibly lucky we are that Adam found a job so quickly after he'd been laid off; it was only a little over three months. Being pregnant at the time, though, and pretty heavy with child when he found his new job, I felt very...apprehensive. I know what these people are going through and I really want to do something about this. Maybe put together a book and have all the profits go to help if people need it.

    It's still just a concept. I think that this entire town has a story because of this. Maybe I should broaden my scope a bit and actually take as many photos and get as many stories as I can, and then choose the best way to compile it when I'm finished.
    I'm not the only one to say it, but DO IT ! Even if only to avoid feeling sorry if you don't and have regrets when it's to late. A better reason, I feel, is that it seems a good way to help people there, when they realize that other people care about them.

    I think I'd go with the same choices for gear as what you expose. 6x6 would be very suited for such a project (IMO, best compromise between portability and quality, and even the slower lenses may not be a killer (don't tell this to Adam if you really want to justify the 50/1.2 )
    Laurent

    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast (Oscar Wilde)

    My APUG Blog

  9. #39
    njkphoto's Avatar
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    You should do it. But why do you want to use 4x5. I mean I love the idea and the quality of the 4x5 but why don't you combine both? Document their daily activities together with a portrait done with the 4x5. If it was me I would to this with Tri-X. but that's just me. You mentioned at one point that you want to show the people as happy. If you are to document this to show how it effected their lives you should capture them on their natural state. If you will be doing just the portraits 4x5 I think you should do them at their home, and not a studio. Nothing against a studio setting but you want to document this and a studio setting does not document a situation. I also think you should go talk with the people first so they will get to know you and feel comfortable with.

    Good luck.

  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by njkphoto View Post
    If it was me I would to this with Tri-X.
    I don't get how this follows. The use of Tri-X is totally independent of film format.
    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)

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