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  1. #101

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    I agree with Don, I do see better with my view camera. I had an M6 and Hassie for almost 10 years and when I look at my compositions from those times I am shocked at my lack of seeing. Being isolated by the darkcloth while viewing a large screen helps a lot! I experience and see better.
    Francesco

  2. #102

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    Don't you think it has a lot to do with the fact that the view camera is more deliberate? The image is upside down, the darkcloth - "blocks" (for lack of a better term) the distractions and since it is a one sheet of film, one image situation you spend more time 'seeing'. With the little LF that I have done, I have noticed a Big difference - the mistake I make is trying to shoot at least LF and MF or 35, which I have found does not really work. Just some thoughts....
    Mike C

    Rambles

  3. #103
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    doughowk - if you had been at the camera club meeting tonight rather than fooling around here on APUG, you would have learned a new way of seeing - from a judge who, somehow, looked at a landscape slide and accused it of being lighted from two different directions.

    After we all had a great bellylaugh, I asked the photographer what planet she had visited with two suns. A fun time was had by all.

    juan

  4. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by photomc
    Don't you think it has a lot to do with the fact that the view camera is more deliberate? The image is upside down, the darkcloth - "blocks" (for lack of a better term) the distractions and since it is a one sheet of film, one image situation you spend more time 'seeing'. With the little LF that I have done, I have noticed a Big difference - the mistake I make is trying to shoot at least LF and MF or 35, which I have found does not really work. Just some thoughts....
    Mike,

    I think that you identified a key point...at least in my opinion. The fact that the image is upside down gives enough time to keep the mind from immediately saying "ahah...that is...(fill in the blank). It is this pause that allows one to get into composing forms and voids...light and shadow...as opposed to trees and sky...building and grass. In other words the "naming" is a block to experiencing directly.

  5. #105
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doughowk
    I think there is a disjunct between Weston's view of himself as an intuitive photographer and the reality of how he worked. For example, he spent days working on a toilet bowl image using numerous exposures & prints - even trying cropping - before he was satisfied with one. This is a very methodical photographer, not a seize the moment Cartier-Bresson. Over 30 numbered prints of peppers indicates a perfectionist.
    A great deal in this discussion lies in the concept of "Methodical". To me someone who is "methodical" is a step-by-step planner; someone who sets a particular procedure and follows it inflexibly. "Perfectionism" does not automatically follow. It is entirely possible that an intensely "methodical" type is easily satisfied with sub-standard results (no, I'm not going to elaborate on what those are here); as long as the plan is adamantly followed, the task has been completed successfully.

    Charis Wilson speaks of Weston's tenacity, more than methods. When he was "empassioned" (If that is not a word in the English language, it should be), he would place a LOT of effort - joyfully - in transferring that fascination / passion to a finished work.

    Cartier-Bresson worked differently, but anyone using an 8" x 10" view camera would not have the dexterity afforded by the hand-held 35mm. Charis Wilson does comment of Weston's delight in knowing his equipment so thoroughly... another quote, from her article:

    "He was never more pleased with his picture-making than when he could set up his camera in the "right" place, and have no need to move or adjust the tripod or change the focal length of the lens. He also took great pride in the speed and efficiency with which he focused, took a light reading, decided on exposure, set the shutter, inserted a film holder, and pulled the slide. He was especially delighted is someone equipped with a small camera and a bagful of gadgets proved to be slower than he was at setting up and making a picture."

    This doesn't match the image of a plodding, thoughtful, every-step-must-be-perfect type at all. In fact, given the neccessities involved in the use of the 8" x 10", his methods might just have been close to the idea of capturing "The Decisive Moment".

    Weston speaks about "Purism":

    "Developing and printing should be a reasoned carrying out of the original conception. I much prefer to make a negative from which I can make a straight, "uncontrolled" print, but this is not always possible."

    "On rare occasions, I have even removed a tiny but disturbing highlight on a landscape. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, I can avoid such troubles when I make my exposure. If I can't on the 100th time, and if it can't be removed from the negative without destroying photographic quality, then I take it out.
    As to the subject of trimming, I admit I am a "Purist". I can't recall a single print from over a thousand negatives made last year which I trimmed to change my original seeing. Obviously, this is an important part of seeing your finished print on the ground glass. (However, it must be understood that if I saw a subject I wanted that would not fit the 8x10 size of my ground glass, I would photograph it, and trim.)"
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  6. #106

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    One thing I have done to help with vision is to use a darkcloth when using my 645. Really amazing that it does help 'focus' (no pun intended) the image. Prefer to use a waist level finder for the same reason, feel more 'immersed' in the photograph than when using a 35mm.

    Ed, much of what you say makes since, and we are all familiar with AA's Moonrise, if it were not for the fact that he knew his equipment, I feel that the image would not exist.
    Mike C

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  7. #107

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    Michael Smith somewhere said that he never returned to the same subject in order to improve on his original vision. Ed Weston was the opposite for he tenaciously "worked" his subjects. In his vegetable series, he would get upset if someone ate the vegetable before he was finished with it. Frequently, they rotted before he was done with it. Whether it is a particular location, eg.. Point Lobos, or a model for an abstract view of the female form, he worked at it to improve on his conception.

    Unless we're gadget hounds, most of us take pride in knowing our equipment, lighting situations, etc. to the point where we can dispense with some of the gadgets including even a light meter. But that is not the same as intuitively knowing your vision. Ed Weston may have talked in such a manner, but his actions frequently didn't match his intellectualized view of himself. We could compile enough quotes of Ed Weston to produce a "Zen & the art of photography" book, but it wouldn't match the reality of Ed Weston.
    van Huyck Photo
    "Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"

  8. #108
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doughowk
    Ed Weston may have talked in such a manner, but his actions frequently didn't match his intellectualized view of himself. We could compile enough quotes of Ed Weston to produce a "Zen & the art of photography" book, but it wouldn't match the reality of Ed Weston.
    What I am doing here is mixing the articles by Charis Wilson and Edward Weston. Charis writes from her observations of Weston... and the one conclusion that I come to is that there is *NO* ambiguity between Weston's description of his philosophies and the way he actually worked.

    Weston became "empassioned" by the essence and the forms describing that essence in vegetables. That led to an instant decision to "do" the photograph. Charis reported that he would work to get the *perfect* finished print on the goundglass - even if the finished work would have required manipulation - which he hated to do.

    He did produce "series" - among them many works of vegetables ... but not to get "*one*" perfect image ... otherwise the sub-standard negatives would not have been printed, and if they were, and later found not to be of his vision" they certainly would not have been titled, numbered and exhibited.

    Weston often became enthralled by the essence of his subjects. Once he wrote, "Today I photographed the most extraodinary pumpkin - unusually beautiful. Tonight I will enjoy it again - as a pie." He often delighted in incorporating the "essence" into his own being ... and with his models ... uh ... I won't go there. Some things are better left unsaid.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  9. #109
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    Michael: I shoot 35mm film... 12mm lens (f/1.8 mind you!). Then I compose with a Dahl cutter.

    Andy

  10. #110
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    That brings up the question- what camera does Dr. Lector use? :twisted:
    "Just because nobody complains doesn't mean all parachutes are perfect."

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