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Thread: Modus Operandi

  1. #1
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Modus Operandi

    We all have a different way of working and my own MO can vary from slow to quick, dependant on the scene/subject. Today I went to an event that was quite mundane and took about 11 shots. Like many photographers on APUG I am always looking for that ideal moment/composition which is often so fleeting and so very difficult to grab. Today I saw one and tried to grab it. To do this sort of photography you have to be almost completely aware of the frame boundaries even before putting the camera to the eye. The camera has to be set to what you believe to be the correct aperture/speed and sometimes even pre-focused on a distance in the scene that you guess may be the best distance for the aperture you are using. The shot sometimes being made in less than a second between seeing the composition/moment and putting the camera to your eye (I’m sounding like a digital snapper now, but it’s not like that and some may understand). Do others have their favourite MO for the type of photography they are doing?

    “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

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    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    I am not young, healthy and energetic and even sitting in front of computer is a torture. 20 years ago , when I had SM Leicas , I was doing the same of your method.

    Umut

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    Nikon N80 or N75 on auto-everything, see pic I want, pick focus point, then shoot. Takes 2 sec.

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    28mm, f8, 1/250, 5ft hyperfocal and get in close. Tweak development to fit.

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    hoffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chip j View Post
    Nikon N80 or N75 on auto-everything, see pic I want, pick focus point, then shoot. Takes 2 sec.
    While its not what Winogrand would have done, it is a very good suggestion. Never under estimate a camra in either auto or program mode to get 'that' fleeting image that would be long gone otherwise.

  6. #6
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Just this moment stepped out of the darkroom after processing 16 4x5 sheets from the Crown Graphic. Exposures are from the local State Fair last August.

    I had decided this year to try handheld large format using your described approach. I've had good success before that way with smaller, more nimble cameras. This time, however, the preliminary look at the hangers in the wash was a bit depressing. Out-of-focus issues on moving subjects, mostly. Late shutter releases on some others. Perhaps a couple decent efforts. Maybe...

    Damn it. This is supposed to be relaxing and fun. Isn't it??

    I need more practice with this camera/format. The tolerances are so darned tight for handheld large format. The required presets, prefocus, pre-framing, and shutter anticipation just didn't seem to successfully come together frequently enough. And the slow-burning flashbulbs don't freeze action very well either. But the quality of their light is very pleasing, I must say.

    If I were still younger I'd just pick up my basketball and head for the gym tonight in frustration...

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

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    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    Slow, methodical and precise, and all my images show this. The definitive moment is always elusive, and all photographers will say they have captured it, but it is very difficult to define it; I like to view the process as but a fleeting moment in time reflecting deliberation and understanding of the subject, and this has always been my approach, I really don't know any other way. This all goes to say I'm a bit slow and contemplative and probably not suited to LF where I'd probably be slower contemplating the scene "forever", by which time the scene has changed completely or it's time to leave! In my student days I was pretty naive to think running around with an expensive camera turned to full-auto (or "P" for Professioinal) and snapping anything that moved or looked attractive equalled a beautiful photograph. Not so, at all! I have so many images on the lightbox, queued for printing or waiting framing that now every day is a challenge selecting just what gets done next.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  8. #8
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    Just this moment stepped out of the darkroom after processing 16 4x5 sheets from the Crown Graphic. Exposures are from the local State Fair last August.
    Ken,

    I sympathise, as having taken a rangefinder 4x5 to State Fair and Rodeo, some of my worst photographs and missed opportunities. While I was in the nose-bleed section pretending to take photographs of the action... the worst miss was that our friends introduced me to judges and I didn't take the opportunity to photograph THEM!!!

    The Fair will come back next year, try again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blockend View Post
    28mm, f8, 1/250, 5ft hyperfocal and get in close. Tweak development to fit.
    Yes, me too

  10. #10
    Black Dog's Avatar
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    +1 on that.
    "He took to writing poetry and visiting the elves: and though many shook their heads and touched their foreheads and said 'Poor old Baggins!' and though few believed any of his tales, he remained very happy till the end of his days, and those were extraordinarily long "- JRR Tolkien, ' The Hobbit '.

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