i think it is great that you are learning from the ground up ( using film and developers that you have heard of and want to have fun with )
but who knows, maybe someday you will want more than that? and that is where an intimate relationship between your materials comes into play.
even if you send to a lab, you know what they do, you do tests with your film and you get a relationship with the lab, nothing magical about that ..
so called magican-photographers are just people who know what they are doing because, well they have been doing it over and over again,
can mix and process film without thinking about it, expose film using intuition, or mix split toning chemistry after having a stroke, just by rote memory.
seeing you are near NYC schlep your work around to photographers whose work you like/admire/respect and assist for a while
( or go to NYSOP and take a class and pick professors' brains ) .. you'll learn much more than reading forums and "having fun"
enjoy the dayquil
Last edited by jnanian; 11-22-2013 at 09:51 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I really don't know why they did or why they didn't publish such, but I recall at least some of the picture books of my youth including shooting data on many of the photos. Seldom anything on the development or printing paper, though.
Originally Posted by StoneNYC
Some examples from a 1950s U.S. Camera annual:
I don't know if I ever really learned anything from this, other than that a 35 mm camera was "sort of ok" for limited types of things, and that a Rolleiflex could do just about anything that fit into its focal length range and didn't require a really fast lens, and that larger negs were just the ticket for highly-detailed shots when a lengthy setup was possible. But still, it was interesting to get a mental picture of how the photographer was working.
"For the picture of the Boulder Dam, [Edward] Weston used an 8 x 10 camera with a convertible Turner-Reich lens and Ansco Isopan fine grain film."
Or an Ansel Adams photo, The Fishing Cone
, in Yosemite, says "He used an 8x10 studio Ansco Commercial View camera, with a 12 1/2" Cooke Anastigmat lens. The exposure was made on Ansco Isopan film, at a shutter speed of 1/10th of a second at an aperture of f/45."
Another guy has photographed a window washer, he "used a Standard Rolleiflex with a Tessar f/3.5 lens, exposing at 1/100 of a second, at an aperture of f/16, using a K-2 yellow filter."
Leonard McCombe has photographed W. Somerset Maugham - "In the photo at right, he caught Maugham as he waited in vain for a taxi on Madison Ave. during the rush hour in New York. Using a Contax, McCombe exposed at 1/125 of a second with aperture set at f/4, on Super-XX.
In those days, published information was much harder to come by than it is today. There were essentially no bookstores where you could browse photo books. So perhaps that sort of info filled a void. Today, I think that films are so tremendously better that the playing field has been leveled quite a bit. Smaller negs can do a job that once required larger ones. And any modern name-brand lens can mostly deliver pretty near what any other can. So the camera/lens/film info is probably nowhere near as important as it once might have been.
If a large proportion of readers still wanted such technical information, I imagine that it would continue to be published. But perhaps not, I dunno.
ps; after posting, one other thing occurs to me - until they listed the specifics, it seemed possible that they had available magical equipment and techniques, such that I could never match their results. But once the hard data is revealed, I find that much is within my capabilities; I am not limited by my gear, only by my skill and preconceived limits. So in a way, it probably helped to inspire me.
Last edited by Mr Bill; 11-22-2013 at 09:50 AM. Click to view previous post history.
To me, the part about having fun is key. Never quit having fun. You can go to just about any lengths, and endure nearly anything as long as you see it as fun.
Originally Posted by jnanian
Yep still having fun thank goodness!
Originally Posted by Mr Bill
I think I wouldn't know as much as I know if I hadn't at least experimented a little bit. I certainly would have never tried FOMA film.
Believe it or not, I actually really like the look of FOMA100 but the emulsion issues I have with it, have made me decide not to use it which is unfortunate because as I said I really do like it, but not so much for long exposures cause it's got horrible horrible reciprocity failure... Lol
If I could get any film it would be Neopan400 in 4 x 5 sheet film and 120 if possible, I can't imagine why it was discontinued, it looks amazing.
Anyway when I publish my books I'm at least including the film type and possibly the developer. I certainly keep track of all that, so it's not something that would be hard for me to find.
There are some notable photographers who do include some technical info. It will often depend on whether or not the photographer also teaches darkroom skills. So for example, John Sexton - who gives lots of workshops - includes some technical info for each image at the end of each of his books. Usually for each image he gives the film, format, focal length, aperture, exposure time, filter, and development (in ZS terms eg: N, N+1, N-2, Comp. etc.).
It is also worth noting in some other cases it would be totally redundant. What good would it do for each and every image in George Tice's books to say Tri-X/D76?
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materials listed would only be of interest if j peterman wrote it
Originally Posted by StoneNYC
Read this article about how she got 4 of her most famous pictures. You'll understand why she was too busy to worry about tracking F stops.
Hah! Well he could at least include it in his forward :-p
Originally Posted by Michael R 1974
Because most people reading those books don't care a bit, and in the end it adds absolutely no value for most readers.
It could also be a very conscious effort on behalf of the photographer not to lead other photographers down the slippery slope of thinking they can somehow improve their photography by switching materials. That selection is something that should be figured out on our own, by practicing.
Look at other photographers' work for inspiration regarding lighting, composition, emotional impact, gesture, timing, approach, etc. The films is so insignificant in all of this that it almost doesn't count.
Originally Posted by StoneNYC
"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
There's the other side of this coin though. Supplying tech info could also potentially prevent people from going down the slippery slope, particularly when it comes to developers. People sometimes have the tendency, when they see a great looking print (or reproduction in a high quality book), to think there must be something in the process they're missing (Pyro, Amidol, whatever). If they knew many of the greats use(d) "boring" materials it might convince them to work harder instead of searching for magic films, developers, papers etc.
Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson