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  1. #1
    John Bartley's Avatar
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    I am (obviously) Not a photographer !

    In another thread, it was discussed what makes a "photographer". So....yesterday I was out for a drive with my sweetheart and we stopped to take a picture of another church. I'm using these as learning tools to get a grip on picture size, proportion exposure etc.
    I set up, positioned as far back as a fence would allow, metered the scene and then....all at once, a van drove up, the driver asked directions, it started to spit rain, it started to rain harder, I rushed to get the picture and under the pressure of time I cracked!! yup, I cracked under pressure!!
    When I drop a wing on final, I instinctively step on the other rudder, When I was scaling underground, I "knew" which rock above was loose and which one I could stand under........what did I do as a "photographer" under pressure???
    I forgot to set the aperture down to f/32 from f/4.5 in a scene with a three stop range where the upper end was 1/125'th @ f/32
    So....I'm going to use divided d23 with 1 minute in "A" and 2 minutes in "B".
    I guess we'll see what happens eh?

  2. #2

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    It happens to us all John, at least I hope it does!

    I got a new imported EF100f2 this week, and as my EOS33 is dead (long story) rather than get it repaired I bagged an EOS30v ex-Canon demo model, from their e-bay shop for a very nice 140quid.

    So Iwas itching to try them out. I wanted to head up to Stirling for the Medival anti-G8 street party, but I've hurt my back (again), so I decided to pop down and visit my sister. I figured I could handle a quick shoot of her children in the garden.
    Anyway I had checked the 'custon functions' on the 30v, but I was a little confused by the wording of the DX-coding function. I leave this on as most of the time I shoot at the recommended speed.

    So after young Andrew (9) had had some fun with the 30v, a 28-80f2.8, the grip, flash gun and a roll of HP5 (he had a job lifting it all) I ushered the kids out into the garden. There was plenty of light and I intended to shoot with a fairly wide apeture to see what the 100mmf2 could do. So I loaded a roll of APX100. Half way through the roll Kirsten (7) wanted to take a few shots of me. So I switched to fully auto for her, showed her how to press the button half way then take the shot. She did just fine. I took the camera back and continued wondering why the camera was behaving a little stangely, yup I continued on fully auto for another 5 frames (doh!). I finnished the roll in the 30v, then finnished off the roll in my other body.

    Half an hour later I remembered about the DX coding function. Oh no! Panic. Luckly when I switched the camera on and checked the ISO it was at 100 rather than 400 for the HP5. Phew.

    I have to say it's when I shoot people directly (ie not candidly) I mess up. I'm aware I have to study their postion carefully, and I know I'm not good at this. Plus I have to talk to them, put them in position, make them feel at ease, and on top of that operate the camera. I often mess up the camera settings when shooting people like this. I'm even thinking of putting a sticker on the back of my SLR's with a short check list. I do think camera settings, but with all the other stuff to think of my mind tends to freeze.

    Some people say to me 'I'm a little nervous in front of the camera', I usually reply something like, 'you think you're nervous? Wanna swap?' Often it's the truth, it gets a laugth and helps us both relax.

    I'll never make a proper portait snapper.

  3. #3
    rbarker's Avatar
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    If you were a "real" photographer, John, you'd realize that the solution is in better equipment. (lol)

    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  4. #4
    FrankB's Avatar
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    My favourite "under pressure" mistake is forgetting to reset my F80 from spotmeter to matrix. I usually remember after a couple of rolls...

  5. #5
    BradS's Avatar
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    Somehow, I just don't believe that screwing up (under pressure or not) while shooting LF disqualifies one from being a "photographer". I thought that was what LF was all about...improving the likelihood that you'll screw up...no? I mean, why else would anybody in their right mind shoot LF? It's for the sport of it right?

    Ralph, Where can I get one of those Super-Program Symmars?

  6. #6
    John Bartley's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=rbarker]If you were a "real" photographer, John, you'd realize that the solution is in better equipment. (lol)

    Awwww!! I always thought bigger was better, so I went out and bought an 8x10...... I guess that means that my future mistakes will also be bigger and better

    FWIW.....1+3 in divided d23 was wrong (yup - another mistake), I should have gone with at least 2+3 or maybe even 2+4.....negative is very pale. Oh well - live and learn - I'm still having fun!

  7. #7
    jimgalli's Avatar
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    I have a similar problem and it's called "family". 2 weekends ago I was photographing in the 1897 Jamestown Sierra Railway roundhouse. I was making a "quadtych" of engine 34 sitting in repose inside the roundhouse. As you can imagine it was a cave in there. darkthirty. And the only camera / lens I had was an ancient Eastman 8X10 2D with a double sliding portrait back. The lens is a 1903ish Heliar 14" and the only film is APHS asa 3 ortho. What can I say. So I begin the Quadtych. It would take 4 pictures to get the entire scene completed. Each exposure takes 8 minutes and I have neither watch nor timer. I'm counting to 60 slowly and each time I get there extending another finger on my hand. Add to this the many conversations with interested on-lookers etc. etc. Nothing phased me as I pondered on. Finally just as I'm setting up the 4rth and final picture of the quad-tych my sweet bride appears from her shopping trip and "encourages" me to not take too much longer. Shot the final and all important 4rth shot at f4.5 instead of f22 1/2. Dammit. Of course the other 3 turned out perfect just to increase the agony. Anyone interested in seeing the "34" with the cab cut in half and no coal tender?
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

    http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com

  8. #8
    BruceN's Avatar
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    Hahahaha! That's funny right there, I don't care who you are!

    Quote Originally Posted by rbarker
    If you were a "real" photographer, John, you'd realize that the solution is in better equipment. (lol)


  9. #9

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    What you rarely see are the mistakes of working pros. I have a book of photographs taken by Ansal Adams for the Parks Service, has a great narrative, but you can tell by the prints that these were made from the negatives that Adams gave to the park service rather than keep for himself, most were way overexposed and blown out. In the heyday of Life it was often the darkroom staff and editors that really made a good print a great print.

    Paul

  10. #10
    blansky's Avatar
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    Perhaps the criteria is not who does and who doesn't make mistakes but at the end of the day, did you achieve expectations and results for the assigment, sitting, shoot, or job that was done.

    Every pro could tell you horror stories of botched shoots, dropped lenses, lousy assistants and bad kids in kid sittings. Perhaps the criteria is really, how was I able to handle and rectify the situation.

    This is a hobby, business, passion that has so many things that can go wrong. Some of our own doing and some completely out of our hands.

    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

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