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  1. #41
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I think I'm over the problem of forgetting to focus with my old rangefinder and scale-focusing viewfinder cameras, so now I only have the paranoia of trying to remember whether I focused after the shot.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  2. #42
    RAP
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    WOW, all these blunders. Is it any wonder great photographs are ever taken? What about the flaming crash of the Hindenberg at Lakehurst, NJ? That was a great disaster in itself. But what if the photographer had blown the shots of that firery crash? He was shooting with a 4x5 Speedgraphic, 2 frame film holders. Did he have a meter? But he was able to shoot off I think 4 or 5 frames, inserting the film holder, pulling the darkslide, making the exposure, insert the slide, flip the holder, and do it all again! No 35mm, digital, autofocus, auto exposure, zoom lens, 5 frames/second motordrives in those days.
    Time & tides wait for no one, especially photographers.

  3. #43

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    I guess I owe a disaster after starting all of this.

    This was years ago with my old Pentax K1000 and I was in HI and up on a ridge about 10 feet from a cliff. I had been trying to take some bird pictures but decided to change to a 28mm and go for scenery (some mist was starting to rise in the valley and the sun was sinking).

    Sit down, get out 28mm, loosen the cap on the base of the lens, unlock zoom and remove it from camera, dump cap in my lap and set 28mm on camera, put cap on zoom lens, put zoom away, stand up, and watch 28mm drop off camera, land on it's side, and start rolling towards the cliff. I had forgotten to lock the lens to the body. My kid sister grabbed the lens and, after examining it, I realised that I had been lucky and there wasn't even much dust on the optics.

    I was in High School at the time and, needless to say, I decided that I should probably work out a better method for changing lenses.

  4. #44

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    RAP - It does amaze me how those old press photographers got the job done. Truly an art at that point. It also makes you wonder what was MISSED due to screw ups and errors. Most of those guys were just eyeballing everything. They'd zone focus, sunny 16 the exposure, and pretty much pray a lot.
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  5. #45
    RAP
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    There was an old saying for press photographers back then, "F/8 and BE THERE! Lenses were short focus/wide angle so infinity was pretty close, who needs auto focus. Exposure was pretty basic, one shutter speed pre set since most shots were done at infinity so depth of field was not that big of an issue, who needs auto exposure. FIlm back then had a much greater latitude then today's so there was more leway with exposure. They also had secret developing formulas for fine grain. Framing was intuitive but with the 4x5 sheet film, there was plenty of room for cropping. With such a tremendous lack of high tech as compared to today, they were still able to get those decisive moments, maybe even more so then today's photojournalists.
    Time & tides wait for no one, especially photographers.

  6. #46

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    I suspect an increasing percentage of missed opportunities are being supplied by digital cameras. Mike Johnston's most recent Sunday Morning Photographer column http://www.luminous-landscape.com/co...03-02-09.shtml got me thinking this way.

    I very often see digital photographers (digiographers?? them!&#33 gawking at the little screen on the back of the camera for a _long_ time after each shot. What are they trying to see? It's too small to see if the shot is sharp or if the decisive moment's been caught. I guess they're praying. At any rate, they ignore their subjects and surroundings.

    And that leads to the second part; Mike indicates that a digital camera allows one to immediately see if the shot's gotten and that's a really good thing. Well, I suppose so, but I think these things conspire to not only create missed opportunities but to also ignore the possibility that the best shot hasn't been shot yet. The snapper, whether digital or saurian, takes the snap and walks away, content in not working the subject.

    Think about it. Does the best shot happen in the first, 10th or 100th? Does that additional shot you didn't take constitute yet another missed opportunity?


  7. #47

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    John - Interesting point. I was recently shooting at a protest rally, and there was a big mix of shooters there. You had pros from the newspapers alongside people who think The Zone System is the name of a new video game. And I did notice a lot of gawking at screens from the digi crowd. My rule for any type of event shooting or street shooting is "ignore the camera". I tend to put my camera in aperture priority mode and shoot off that. I will sometimes change my aperture for a certain effect, but otherwise I just ignore the camera and try to look for some good photos.

    Interestingly, the pro digital shooters (the newspaper guys) never seemed to look at their screens until they had shot off a whole bunch of images and were able to take a break. Even then I don't know if they deleted anything. If they did they were fast about it. The modus operandi still seemed to be firmly entrenched in the film world. Of course they also most likely had 10-20GB Microdrives so they could do this.
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  8. #48
    Aggie's Avatar
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  9. #49
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    Back in the 70's I was travelling with a friend in the SF Bay area, We met this photographer who had a shot of then candidate Jimmy Carter holding up a street sign that read "end Ford Begin Carter." Carter asked if he could get an enlargment of it. He wanted it for a big press event. So this guy makes a 24x30, mounts it (I saw it it was a great shot) and gives it to Carter's campaign people. The event happens and is on all the news etc, but this guy's blow is nowhere to be seen. It turns out someone had leaned it face down against a wall and when it came time to show it off no one could find it. I understand it was also visable, back side only, in some stills from the event .

    I have far too many missed opertunities and not enough time to relate them.

    *

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