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  1. #21
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    The magic does not lie in your choice of film.

    The magic lies in what you do with it.

    It's amazing how much we learn by exploring the absolute limits of our materials, by working with all sorts of ways of treating it. I claim that if we change materials often then we never really learn them fully, but we just scratch the surface.
    I'm very grateful to have learned a lot from experienced mentors over the years, with several hundred years of photographic knowledge combined, many of them with several decades in print making and portraiture, and the approach that has forwarded my own art and print quality the most has been to dial in my film exposure and film development so that it fits the paper and paper developer that I use.
    The amount of variation I can get by treating film exposure, film development, and how I print, goes very far beyond what can be achieved by switching films. It gives infinitely more creative freedom to have this knowledge than to have an arsenal of different films, supposedly with different 'looks'. Basically, don't lock yourself into believing that switching materials will somehow transform your photography. The only thing that will happen is that you'll be swearing for a while when are in the process of figuring it out, and then you'll arrive at pretty much the same point you left off. Creativity and inventiveness must come from within, from you brain, your intellect, your emotions, and your heart. That is what I call keeping it fresh, alive, and truly creative. No materials can ever substitute for that.

    The biggest mistake I ever made was to experiment with many different films and film developers, because it was frustrating beyond belief to get a good print from so many inconsistent negatives, and resulting in a lot of darkroom waste, and prints in series of photographs that look terrible together as a group. But the worst part was that I ended up being so focused on the materials themselves that I forgot about the most important part - the subject matter. It ended up being a huge distraction and an obstruction.

    Again, the magic lies in what you do with it, not what materials you choose.





    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Feldstein View Post
    Quote from Tom:

    . . .If you can shoot the same film in all lighting conditions, then everything becomes much easier at the printing stage, because you know what to expect, and in my experience that saves me a lot of wasted (expensive) paper. If you don't like Tri-X grain, that's too bad, but that is again not what the OP was asking about. It doesn't actually matter what film the OP is using, or what aperture they use, because it's a question that applies universally regardless of materials used."

    Yep. I get it now. Clearly THAT must be your Zen, the underpinnings of your photographic philosophy. While I'd strongly recommend you try another film of a lower ISO simply for thrill of doing something different, what you said above is your opinion as opposed to mine. And I have to say that generally, it leads to stagnation and a body of work that looks, well, (at least from a technical perspective) pretty much the same.

    So, I gotta ask; How can you possibly learn anything when you don't try new approaches to the same issues? In essence, that can't lead to "Good art". It seems to act as a barrier toward expansion and more complete use of the mind and the camera as a tool of the mind and that in turn, I think, obviates excellence simply by leading one to act strictly out of habit. To me, that all leads to boredom and would lead me to question why I chose a profession so intimately associated with art and finding new ways of visual expression along with creativity and a universe of technical variances. And yes, that's my opinion too. yet to some, mind boggling I'm sure.
    Mark

    As the Great Buddah once said: "Don't just DO something SIT there !!!" Jay Weinstein, Ph.D. Northwestern University 1976.
    Last edited by Thomas Bertilsson; 08-12-2013 at 02:27 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  2. #22
    Mark Feldstein's Avatar
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    (I'm still waiting on the web page)
    CAN I GET THE CHECK PLEASE ?
    _________________________________
    Without guys like John Coltrane, Count Basie and Duke Ellington, life....would be meaningless.

  3. #23
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Feldstein View Post

    (I'm still waiting on the web page)
    CAN I GET THE CHECK PLEASE ?
    Any time you want it, just say the word.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  4. #24
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    The biggest mistake I ever made was to experiment with many different films and film developers, because it was frustrating beyond belief to get a good print from so many inconsistent negatives, and resulting in a lot of darkroom waste, and prints in series of photographs that look terrible together as a group. But the worst part was that I ended up being so focused on the materials themselves that I forgot about the most important part - the subject matter. It ended up being a huge distraction and an obstruction.
    How true.

    “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

  5. #25

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    This is all a bit baffling and ass backwards.

    The OP wants extra contrast, which is normally dealt with by choices of film>exposure>developer>time and dilution. But he is using a yellow filter for contrast and stacking it with a polarizer to block some light. Stacking two filters will increase the possibility of flare, which will reduce contrast. Unless a polarizer is constantly tweaked to bring back highlights it is at best random in effect, at worst it will reduce the mid tone/micro contrast by removing highlights and reflections. If the polarizer is constantly tweaked it can only mean the lens hood isn't being used (unless a slow working formal portrait session perhaps), which will reduce contrast. So for the sake of buying an ND filter of the right strength, and developing the film for extra contrast, every action taken is mitigating against increasing contrast.

    Steve
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/steve_barnett/

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