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  1. #1

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    View Cameras in the Wind

    Few things are more frustrating for a photographer working with a view camera than windy conditions. Yet in practice we can often work in such conditions and get satisfactory images by waiting for lulls in the wind. And it appear the lulls repeat themselves with some pattern, depnding on conditions. This leads to a couple of questions.

    1. If you photograph often in windy conditions with view cameras what solutions do you have for minimizing the impact of these conditions.

    2. Does anyone know of any lay sources that discuss wind cycles and how they differ according to atmospheric conditions?

    Sandy

  2. #2
    Silverpixels5's Avatar
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    A large umbrella usually helps...point it in the direction of the oncoming wind and it should sheild the camera pretty well.
    RL Foley

  3. #3
    bmac's Avatar
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    I shoot 75% of my images in windy conditions on the beach. What I do is try to stabalize the tripod as much as possible. I burry the legs about 8-10" deep in the sand, and hang my bag under the camera. I also stand off to the side of the camera between it and the wind and try to pur my beer belly to good use (ala SilverPixels' umbrella).
    hi!

  4. #4
    mikewhi's Avatar
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    When the wind blows, I point my camera at a rock.

    -Mike

  5. #5
    Loose Gravel's Avatar
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    I don't know many secrets. A friend of mine did a time exposure in the wind. He opened the shutter and when the subject moving, he'd block the lens with the dark slide. He did this over several minutes until he got his exposure. I have my darkcloth velcro'ed around the outside of my groundglass in a sort of tube. If it get's real windy, I hang my camera bag on the tripod, mostly to keep the camera from blowing over.

    The biggest wind pattern is the fall (autumn). Fall is the calmest part of the year everywhere. A great time to get out and photograph. I think morning is better, too. If the wind is gusty, then I'm guessing its speed has a guassian distribution and would be random. If you wait long enough, fall will come.

  6. #6

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    I use a Sinar P2 as a field camera. It doesn't move much. Being tall, I also use a darkcloth or jacket held behind my shoulders to block the wind from the bellows. There is also less wind in the early morning than around dusk.

  7. #7
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    If I know conditions are going to be windy, I'm likely to use my Tech V 4x5", which holds up pretty well in the wind, but if I'm out there with the ultralight Gowland 8x10" box kite and the wind kicks up, I'll usually shield the camera with my body and sometimes even rest my arm on it during the exposure and wait for a lull, and maybe make an extra exposure to be safe.

  8. #8
    juan's Avatar
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    I suspect I'm about to find out more about view cameras in the wind than I ever wanted to know.
    juan

  9. #9
    KenM's Avatar
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    I'm with David. My MT is very sturdy, and hardly moves at all in the wind. 'Course, the longer the lens, the more flex the camera has simply due to the extension and the increased surface area of the bellows. Not much you can do except to shield the camera as best you can using your body, an umbrella, a friend, anything you can get your hands on.
    Cheers!

    -klm.

  10. #10
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    OK guys, here's my two cents from Kansas, a place famous for its perennial wind.

    We never have a calm season. We have a few calm days interspersed throughout the year. Most of the time, there is wind of some magnitude. Knowing that premise:

    Trying to use an artificial windbreak is fruitless. Its just one more piece of gear to have to tote and one that can come loose and break everything. On a breezy day (most of the time throughout the year) I just wait for a lull. Sometimes this can be several minutes.

    Local direction and magnitude can vary from minute to minute. These local variations are affected as much by the topography as anything. Tree stand, hills, and draws cause currents local which in turn cause local updrafts, downdrafts, ect.

    For a general idea of what conditions may be like, I look at a weather map to see the high and low pressure areas and the relative separation between isobar lines. Wind moves from high to low. A stationary high or low pressure area means a rare calm day. That's my entire expertise in meteorology in one paragraph.

    In this region, there are many days when its just too darn windy to shoot. Generally, that's about when the gusts or sustained wind speed get up to 20 knots or more. Just ain't worth it to even try on those days.

    Finally, the longest lens I currently have is 12 inches, so that doesn't stretch the bellows out too far on the Deardorff. Obviously, the shorter the bellows extension, the less surface area (and less force applied) for wind to work upon. I haven't had a problem with camera stability yet (keeping in mind my 20 kt cutoff windspeed) but sometimes the bellows shake gets noticeable.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
    My Photography Blog

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