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Thread: Keepers

  1. #11

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    Know what you mean about 35mm thinking; since I started LF, I slowed down and concentrated so hard on the technical aspects of the image, after a while it started becoming an end in itself. Now, the 'concept' is more important. and invoking a feeling out of it, is very important.

    The closer the original idea and the final result are matched, the more likely it is to be a keeper for me. If you can do it every time, then the success of the images are only restrained by the imagination. That's gotta be photographer nirvana!
    There's sometimes an amount of chance in making the picture a success (for me), but when all the considerations at the time of exposing the film come together and are apparent in the final picture, then I'm usually far more satisfied with it. And if the chance part comes off - that's a BLAST! Unfortunately, odds are there will be a significant gap between initial concept and final result.

    Regards "significant" images. Those are defined by other people, who get to see your image. There have been quite a few interviews with Elliot Erwitt of Magnum over the past 6 months or so. In every one I've heard, (without prompting) he mentions a photo of an Iraqi prisoner standing on a box with a hood. He says it is the most "significant photograph of recent times, and will be viewed and remembered time and again for decades". Some might say Mr Erwitt's 6th floor aprtment with ground floor studio/darkroom overlooking Central Park NYC perhaps is testament to his ability to pick a 'significant' photo. So the basic theory is that any image that invokes a feeling or thought in people is significant. The more feeling it conveys, and the wider the audience it relates to, the more significant it will be.
    So it's just a matter of deciding what feeling you wish to convey. . sorry soap boxing a bit ... just my 2c.
    Last edited by John McCallum; 09-30-2004 at 11:18 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #12

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    John very much like Nick Ut's which is one many of us will carry to our grave. Although hopefully none of us will have to capture another image like that one to have a significant picture.
    Last edited by TPPhotog; 09-30-2004 at 07:12 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Dam typo's

  3. #13
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmac
    Just a note, the 35mm mindset is my concept of how I used to shoot when I did a lot of 35mm stuff. Basically machine gun style shooting. It wasnt meant as a dig.
    Best thing I ever did was get away from the 35mm rapid-fire technique. Even when I first got the 4x5, I was still under its influence and its effects were even more evident. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of work where that style of shooting is necessary, but not in what I am doing. The 8x10 really opened my eyes.

    Adams may have been speaking from the perspective of having the high-end patronage that he had. Twelve "significant" photos, those that sold in quantity at New York prices, would certainly be a blessing.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
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  4. #14

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    Hmmmmm!!! Since I have really done a couple of transitions this year this is interesting. Have moved from 35mm to MF and have started moving to LF. I agree with the comments about 35mm - it is more like a rapid fire exercise. That said, one of the keepers I have came from 35mm last year. I have to fight to keep the mindset out while shooting MF sometimes - now I spend too much film trying to get the exposure right -still lacking the skill to get what I see in the minds eye on film.

    Keepers, these are images that still interest me after the develope + print stage. These are images that the subject, feeling is still there - my working prints. Significant keepers - don't have any yet, close as I have come are the ones that have gone out in the print exchange - this would be an image that is moving in some way, one that makes someone stop for a look, not just to see it but to want to find out more. Like most here, that is what it is all about..don't care how many I can produce in a year - right now 1 would be nice. Hopefully, moving that direction. Does not matter if it is with LF/MF or rapid fire 35, if the image is moving, has the 'vision' I saw when I made the image - then it will be a significant keeper.
    Mike C

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  5. #15
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    Moving from 35mm to med. fmt. to LF seems to have a positive influence on most people who have made the transition. I think that LF has made my MF and 35mm work better...more "keepers" if you will. Do you think that's true of you?

    S

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shmoo
    Moving from 35mm to med. fmt. to LF seems to have a positive influence on most people who have made the transition. I think that LF has made my MF and 35mm work better...more "keepers" if you will. Do you think that's true of you?

    S
    Totally.
    hi!

  7. #17
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shmoo
    Moving from 35mm to med. fmt. to LF seems to have a positive influence on most people who have made the transition. I think that LF has made my MF and 35mm work better...more "keepers" if you will. Do you think that's true of you?
    S
    I certainly do as I have already said. In terms of images recorded, the ratio of "keepers" to "junkers" is a lot higher with LF than when I was shooting 35mm. All too often with the 35, I would just shoot and hope one frame out of the roll would be good. In fact, the concensus of many shooting 35mm was one good one out of the roll was considered a good success ratio. In terms of the actual amount of film shot per keeper, the ratio is nearly equal because one sheet of 8x10 is equal in surface area of film to a 36 frame roll of 35mm.

    Keeping statistics of this type is depressing to me though. I'm an engineer and could obsess over the numbers into infinity, but that's not what is important to me. The important things are that I make good photos that I like and hopefully others will too. Obsessing over the keeper/junker ratio destroys the joy I experience from photography and is counterproductive. I will just leave it by simply saying that I make more photos that I like using LF than I did using 35mm. I have several "keepers" from the 35, but I find it easier and more intuitive to achieve and feel success with the 8x10.

    As I said earlier, my eyes were opened when I looked through the ground glass of the 8x10.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
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  8. #18
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    I hope this doesn't come off as overly "negative" (groan)- but I feel that am not 100% happy with a single photograph I've made thus far.

    Matt

  9. #19
    Cheryl Jacobs's Avatar
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    If it speaks, I keep it.

    If, when it speaks, it says something meaningful, it's significant.

    Yes, it's photography by feel. Girly photography.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheryl Jacobs
    If it speaks, I keep it.

    If, when it speaks, it says something meaningful, it's significant.

    Yes, it's photography by feel. Girly photography.
    Ok, that's it, I'm a girly photographer now!

    Seriously, though, that's pretty much how I do it, by feel. Or looks. Or something. I can't put it in words (which doesn't mean I'm making an "artistic statement" about my craft, it means my vocabulary is weak).

    I tend to do things by projects, and the last one I've shot is the Xique-Xique, Santo Inácio, Miguel Calmon series. I shot about 1000 frames there, and would be happy with 30-50 keepers, and maybe 5-10 excellent shots. Time will tell, though.

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