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  1. #1

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    Waist level thinking and the F3

    I have to say I love my F3. Recently I took it out for a spin with the waist level finder and loved how it made me more inconspicuous when doing street photography and discrete photography.

    However, I find it very confusing to compose in reverse. My compositions don't end up how I want them. I see a scene but when I look down to focus and compose, I compose for the reversed image instead and it makes things... Well I notice it in my images.

    Any suggestions as to how to "think" when composing and using a waist level finder in the F3? I'm always using the magnifier so I can focus correctly...

  2. #2
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    Practice. Or use a view camera for a bit. it'll help.
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome

  3. #3

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    if anything, composing in reverse will improve your composition; learn to detach "composition" from "subject" and you may be on to something. just tonight, at AGO, an exhibition of 150 prints by Sudek, the curator never noticed that 3 were rotated 90 degrees on the wall--now that's composition, so obviously more important than the subject (which sudek, granted, never had, but that's another story). personally, i frequently flip the print upside down to judge composition...

    anyway, all that assuming that by "composition" you don't mean the mechanical motion of training the camera onto the subject (in which case, apply b.i.d. for two weeks or until the symptoms recede)

  4. #4

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    If you saw a composition you like 'in reverse' and providing there are no obvious words or numbers, why not print the negative back to front that way it will be the same as you say it.

  5. #5
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    Practice at home with not loaded film. After a while you will get used to it. I had same problem with TLR's - but after a while it was ok.

  6. #6
    AOCo's Avatar
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    I can only confirm : things improve over time. When I first used wlf on a medium format reflex, it was unsettling. Now it is completely natural. What's weird is when I occasionally pick a digital movie camera, with live view screen, it feels really wrong, all reversed.

  7. #7

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    Why not stop down a bit, and your DOF will increase, making critical focus less important?

  8. #8
    cjbecker's Avatar
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    Once you do it long enought it feels right, a wlf is all I have really used for the last couple of years a now I can pan with them and it's normal. It's takes no adjusting in my brain to compose.

  9. #9
    EKDobbs's Avatar
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    I know how you feel. Sometimes I look into a WLF and think it's an interesting composure just because it's reversed from what my eyes are seeing. However, as a avid medium format junkie, I agree that you eventually learn to "reverse" your thinking with a WLF as opposed to a normal prism. Just takes time is all ;P
    In other worlds he has
    darker days, blacker swells.
    Strokes that mix noir revenge
    on waves of grey.

  10. #10
    Whiteymorange's Avatar
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    Sometimes my wife accuses me of "waist-level thinking"... or just a bit south.

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