I have always loved composing square pictures...much preferred over 35mm. I have never tried 4x5.
I never get my hopes up when shooting---I will never be a talented photographer, it's just something I like doing. But in general, the more time I spend composing, or just observing, the more confident I am the shot will come out. Therefore, I have a much, much higher success rate with MF than I do firing off my Nikon N80.
I scan everything I shoot these days. It helps me figure out where shots went right/wrong, and gives me a better idea how to prevent failures the next time around.
I usually find something wrong with every image I capture, but that's why I love photography. To me, the nature of the analogue photography is about truth telling. If I capture it honestly (without manipulation), then it's true because the moment is both behind you and with you in the negative. Of course, there are other, less-analogue, methods of narrative in photography, but that's not what I want to show.
Here's one that is interesting to me, but may be totally nothing to everyone else:
It's from a wedding (obviously?) that I covered recently. I don't know if I would have liked it had it not been the end of the roll, but I know I think it's interesting aesthetically because of the poetry. It's not everyone's favorite poem, but I remember walking backwards as the couple recessed. As the motor drive pulled the roll tight, I tripped up a stair and reached for the backup body. I think that part of the reason they're smiling so much is because they saw what was about to happen.
It doesn't have to be right, but if there's a story, then it's interesting.
(Also, for those who might wonder, I did not include this image in the official proof, but I'll show it to them eventually.)
I've never made a bad photograph - they are all remarkably well behaved.
But I have made many disappointing photographs.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
Most of my cameras make a 'click' sound every time I make a bad photograph.
How do you know when you've made a bad photograph?
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
With the film cameras I normally compose attentively and when the film is developed I don't have surprises.
With the digital I found I have a problem. My digital camera doesn't have an optical viewfinder (it probably was the first really good camera with EVF only, back in 2006 or 2005). The electronic viewfinder, besides being a bit cluttered with information (which must be there because there are not knobs to tell you what your settings are) is not so well defined and big as the viewfinder of an SLR. I sometimes find that there are disturbing elements in the composition (or gross mistakes) that I did not notice when I was composing the picture.
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Yes, and it makes panning more fun!
Originally Posted by Toffle
Must say, I always found live view much more fluid for composing. The Pentax 67 viewfinder, while big and bright, is only around 90% coverage of course - same deal with the Hasselblad. But because live view is so easy to work with, like I said in the OP, I found my pictures 'too' composed, contrived. The surprises in my case relate to colour and tonality, but critically, the realisation of the image compressed in two dimensions - DoF preview only ever gives me an idea in broad daylight. The real 'surprise' comes when I realise my intuition at the shooting stage was right. However considered and laboured a composition, the true objectivity and analysis of the image comes afterwards - only then do I know if the picture 'has it'. I've spent whole shoots working with one scene, a handful of compositions, but the 'what was I thinking moment?' when looking at the negs has more to do with what Ansel Adams called confused seeing.
Originally Posted by Diapositivo
Composition can sometimes feel like sculpting without stepping back to see what you're making, you can get lost in the viewfinder, the 'making'.
batwister have you tried using a viewing card/frame when exploring the scene for composition, lens selection etc? It can sometimes be helpful when you're dealing with something complex or figuring out how to de-clutter/ simplify/strengthen/isolate etc before setting up the camera.
Not really, at least not because of that. Square format simply gives one less thing to wonder about. I like my Rollei for the same reason.
Originally Posted by Stephanie Brim
There's a guy named Austin Granger over at LFPF who posts wonderful strong 6x6 compositions, they're worth signing up to see in the "Safe haven for tiny formats" thread.
I put a few thousand rolls of film through my Hasselblads and never once printed square.
I can appreciate square but somehow I just never printed that way.
In fact with digital sensors I like printing full frame 35mm more than I did back in the old days when I shot Hasselblad and printed 16x20. Seem to really like 16x24.
Maybe it's just a phase.
I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.