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  1. #11
    garysamson's Avatar
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    Are you photographing with a theme or project in mind? Identify something you are passionate about and establish a point of view and then photograph it extensively. I can easily expose 20 rolls of 120 film in a day when I am photographing something that I am truly interested in and working the idea through. Robert Frank shot about 27,000 images to come up with the final edit of the Americans!

  2. #12

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    Try using only one camera, lens and a single film such as Tri-X. It's hard to take good pictures if there are too many variables. Previsualize your photos -- not everything you see is worth photographing. Some people find it helpful to give themrselves a theme before starting out. Such as today I'm going to photograph old buildings, trains, etc. Then stick to your theme.
    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

  3. #13
    Matthew Wagg's Avatar
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    I feel your pain. I too often end up with shots left over from a roll of film and worry about wasting them on trivial shots. It's at this point that I've found that 24 shot rolls are better for me. Obviously the best way around it is like has already been said, shoot bulk film. But have you considered that medium or large format might be better suited to your style of working? Mf gives between 10 and 15 shots per roll and Lf is single shots for each exposure. Might be worth checking out.

  4. #14
    jakeblues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garysamson View Post
    Are you photographing with a theme or project in mind? Identify something you are passionate about and establish a point of view and then photograph it extensively. I can easily expose 20 rolls of 120 film in a day when I am photographing something that I am truly interested in and working the idea through. Robert Frank shot about 27,000 images to come up with the final edit of the Americans!
    That's pretty interesting. All of the photography I've done up to this point has been incidental. I know from my experience in other art forms that a theme or idea to work through is where all the progress is made. Thanks for this.

  5. #15
    jakeblues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wagg View Post
    I feel your pain. I too often end up with shots left over from a roll of film and worry about wasting them on trivial shots. It's at this point that I've found that 24 shot rolls are better for me. Obviously the best way around it is like has already been said, shoot bulk film. But have you considered that medium or large format might be better suited to your style of working? Mf gives between 10 and 15 shots per roll and Lf is single shots for each exposure. Might be worth checking out.
    I do have a Mamiya 645 that I have run a few rolls through. Same problem up to this point. But the idea of shooting for a project might open up the creative possibilities. Up till now the goal has been "photos I like" which is way too broad. And also, sometimes I just get bored shooting my life and friends.

  6. #16
    jakeblues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch View Post
    Try using only one camera, lens and a single film such as Tri-X. It's hard to take good pictures if there are too many variables. Previsualize your photos -- not everything you see is worth photographing. Some people find it helpful to give themrselves a theme before starting out. Such as today I'm going to photograph old buildings, trains, etc. Then stick to your theme.
    Another good suggestion. I've been shooting about 10 cameras and 5-6 favorite films. I also like the suggestion of previsualizing... I've never done that, and I could see how it would get my creative juices flowing.

    By the way, this forum rocks. Very refreshing advice. I was on another forum the other day, and someone started a thread to say what lens he (she) was saving up for next. I think that thread was more art than it intended to be.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakeblues View Post
    Over the last year, I've had a strong desire to get back rolls of film that are dense with great photos.
    In 30+ years of taking pictures I've never had a roll dense with great photos.

    I never know whether or when good pictures will come. It's not something I can make happen through force of will. The only way I have to get to them is to go with the flow, and keep making more pictures.

    What keeps me going as I wait for the good ones is that I enjoy the process. I like playing with cameras. I still get a little thrill every time I pull a freshly-developed roll off the reel or sheet from the drum, and hold the negatives up to the light to see what I have. I love the look of silver prints - even when I end up deciding that none of a given darkroom session's results is worth anything, and I toss everything. That happens a lot.

    Find the tools and materials you enjoy using, and have fun!

  8. #18
    jcoldslabs's Avatar
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    I shoot large format now, but back when I shot roll film I considered it a success if I had one image that I thought was quite good per roll of 36, if that. To each his own, but you might be expecting too much of yourself....or you're just THAT good and having an off couple of months. ;]

    Jonathan

  9. #19
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    I don't take that many photos aswell, usually 1-2 of a subject/scene before I move on. Until you get more comfortable with knowing when you got the shot, just carry an extra roll or two and shoot more. Try carrying two bodies, one with low speed and one with high speed film to help you take advantage of situations you are around since you shoot your rolls at a slower pace.

    Set a goal, or checklist of things you want to capture that day and try hitting it when you go out. but the most important thing is to just have fun with it, do not be disappointed with outcomes from your first few rolls, it is ultimately a tool for learning and no one gets a full roll of keepers.

  10. #20

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    When some one is unhappy with their photographs it may be a problem with composition. There is a set of rules that artists have developed over the centuries. The one rule of composition most often quoted is the Rule of Thirds, but there are others that are very useful.

    Another concept that is helpful is to reduce an image to its essentials. Anyone can take a picture of a horse but it is important to represent the essential horse. Such a photograph should convey the idea of what it means to BE a horse. What a horse feels, how he reacts to his surroundings, etc. I use a horse as an example but I think that everyone will grasp the concept.
    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

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