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  1. #41
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    Composing to the viewfinder is a silly and artificial constraint. It is in the same class of declasse affectations as rough borders produced by filed carrier edges. The eye does not see that way. I crop or not depending upon what is required by the subject. I eliminate what is not germane to the image.
    My approach and opinion too, though I try to get it the best I can in the viewfinder. Sometimes that works fine and I print nearly full frame (no filed out carriers though.) Sometimes it doesn't because the photo wasn't shaped the same as the film format or I couldn't get exactly the right distance or focal length. Use the most I can and frame the best I can in the viewfinder, happily crop more later if it improves the image.

    And to also disagree with something I've read a lot here, very often I'll see one image in the viewfinder then later decide after proofing, or sometimes after looking at a full sized print, that it would be better cropped in which case I print it again and crop. I'm not a slave to my original vision. Often enough the brain will churn these things around and come to a different conclusion given more time, seeing it on paper or whatever. I create the best print I can and will change it at will at any stage to get there.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    Composing to the viewfinder is a silly and artificial constraint. It is in the same class of declasse affectations as rough borders produced by filed carrier edges. The eye does not see that way. I crop or not depending upon what is required by the subject. I eliminate what is not germane to the image.
    I don't agree with this and although as stated in my OP I'm not against cropping, to say it is a silly and artificial constraint is analogous to my students doing studio photography and saying "oh that doesn't matter, as I can correct it in Photoshop".

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  3. #43
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    It might make sense to make that comparison with studio photography where one can control all elements of the photo. It doesn't make sense to me in other photography where the world is found as it is. There are distractions we'd rather not include, the scene may look best not conforming to the shape of the film format etc.

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    I don't agree with this and although as stated in my OP I'm not against cropping, to say it is a silly and artificial constraint
    There are some photographers that simply refuse to crop any image and insist that only a full frame print is an honest representation of the image. That is what I find silly and this idea limits what you can express. The rough borders are intended to show that the image is full frame. I find the whole concept a bit out of date.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    It might make sense to make that comparison with studio photography where one can control all elements of the photo. It doesn't make sense to me in other photography where the world is found as it is. There are distractions we'd rather not include, the scene may look best not conforming to the shape of the film format etc.
    Precisely!
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  6. #46
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Sometimes cropping does not hurt anything at all. I hated cutting the print, but I'll do anything to get a print displayed...

    As printed...



    Scissors crop. Print was cut to fit 8x10 frame in our hallway. Notice that the "skull on a stick," a rather unique part of the original image, is lost in the crop.



    Same scissors treatment could be applied to Ava, Mendocino without hurting it.



    Gerald, I don't want to get into a stalemate discussing the filed carrier look, so I hope you can see it my way. Black borders are my current print standard and I don't plan to change. I don't want followers or detractors, compliments or criticism regarding borders. I print full frame, every time. It's one of the methods I use to maintain consistency. I don't say it's necessary for the integrity of the image. But mine very often fit the format I happen to be shooting, and when it does, I want to see it all.

    There are some very specific lost opportunities associated with black borders, and I am open to discussing them. For example, slight edge flashing. Say I planned to mat the print for display, or cut the print to dry mount. After matting or cutting, I might see where flashing would improve the print, but by that point it will be too late.

  7. #47

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    In medium format I shoot 6X45, 6X6, 6X7 and 24X54mm. When I get a motorized back for my RB67 Pro S I will also be able to shoot 6X8. I can only enlarge up to 6X7 with my own enlargers so 6X8 would have to be scanned. The nice thing about the formats larger than 35mm is that cropping still leaves you a nice size image area. I try to estimate the type of shooting I will be doing and then pick a format. Last summer I shot train photos at a local museum. I was shooting outdoors in good light, hand held. The camera was a Bronica GS-1 and most images were made with the 50/4.5. This was a good subject for an oblong format. For more general medium format picture taking I would use 6X6 and either go for good square compositions or crop later. For faster shooting I might use an ETRS with a Speed Grip or a Mamiya M645 1000S with the right hand motor atachment. The RB is better used with a tripod.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    Sometimes cropping does not hurt anything at all. I hated cutting the print, but I'll do anything to get a print displayed...

    As printed...



    Scissors crop. Print was cut to fit 8x10 frame in our hallway. Notice that the "skull on a stick," a rather unique part of the original image, is lost in the crop.



    Same scissors treatment could be applied to Ava, Mendocino without hurting it.



    Gerald, I don't want to get into a stalemate discussing the filed carrier look, so I hope you can see it my way. Black borders are my current print standard and I don't plan to change. I don't want followers or detractors, compliments or criticism regarding borders. I print full frame, every time. It's one of the methods I use to maintain consistency. I don't say it's necessary for the integrity of the image. But mine very often fit the format I happen to be shooting, and when it does, I want to see it all.

    There are some very specific lost opportunities associated with black borders, and I am open to discussing them. For example, slight edge flashing. Say I planned to mat the print for display, or cut the print to dry mount. After matting or cutting, I might see where flashing would improve the print, but by that point it will be too late.
    Bill, so why didn't you turn the camera to portrait when you took the shot?

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  9. #49
    Maris's Avatar
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    Cropping? It depends.

    My latest exhibition features full frame 8x10 contacts including the film rebate as a black border. The proposition here, whether the viewer buys it or not, is ultimate conceptual integrity. The 8x10 is seen, exposed, processed, finished, mounted, and displayed without changing its original size or its original vision. I'm claiming full responsibility for the content right to the edges and corners. The viewer knows they are not short-changed. The absence of cropping is part of the art-spiel.

    Apart from SLRs with 100% viewing (Nikon F etc) cameras with viewfinders do not afford precise framing so the presentation of full frame pictures with a black "verification border" is a technical affectation. That doesn't negate the right of the photographer to claim responsibility for the content. It does however undo fantasy claims that the photographer composed right to the edges.

    Most of my photographs are cropped because of the difference between "framing" and "composition". Composition is getting all the components of the subject matter, side to side and front to back, in the right relationship to each other. Framing comes next. If all the things I want to include from the chosen camera position don't fit in the picture I can't step back. That would change the composition. So I use a wider angle lens to get "everything in" and complete the framing by cropping the final photograph. This happens more often than not.
    Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.

  10. #50
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    Bill, so why didn't you turn the camera to portrait when you took the shot?
    I have no idea. Looks like I didn't give composition much thought in this shot. I remember I couldn't get any closer and I was working fast.



 

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