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  1. #41

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    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

    john
    Last edited by jnanian; 11-22-2013 at 10:51 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    I don't expect to see all the details Aperture, shutter, light measurements, etc., but I at least expect to see what type of film it is and what developer was used to develop it if it's black-and-white.
    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.

    Some examples from a 1950s U.S. Camera annual:

    "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.
    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.

    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 10:50 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    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 )
    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.

  4. #44
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bill View Post
    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.
    Yep still having fun thank goodness!

    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.
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  5. #45

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    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?

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    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.
    materials listed would only be of interest if j peterman wrote it

  7. #47
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    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.
    http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/fe..._excerpt200810

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    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?
    Hah! Well he could at least include it in his forward :-p
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  9. #49
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    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.




    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    I'm not sure if this is in the right section, mods, please move this if it's not.

    I'm constantly surprised and frustrated when I'm looking through a book of photographs by a famous photographer, and almost never is there any indication of what film it is or what developer was used.

    I don't expect to see all the details Aperture, shutter, light measurements, etc., but I at least expect to see what type of film it is and what developer was used to develop it if it's black-and-white.

    It's always sort of bothered me but never really came as a question until I happen to pick up Annie Leibowitz book "A Photographers Life". i've seen the book a few times before on the shelves, but with that he used bookstore and was able to pick it up at a reasonable price. The front cover has a bunch of different pieces of film on it all taken on Kodak TXP 6049 presumably taken on a Hassleblad considering it's medium format film in 6x6 format. (Or possibly Mamiya RB/RZ67 with 6x6 back? I only say that because later on in the book I found some Polaroid test shots that appeared to be with the 6 x 6 back that has the edgings that look like the Mamiya and not the Hassleblad but I don't have any kind of research to tell me what Annie's preference in cameras were over time when she wished shooting in studio, I know that her 35mm work was with a specific camera, but I don't know about her studio me and format stuff).

    So now I know that Annie at some point really like shooting with Tri-X Pan Professional. But only for those photographs, the rest of them though a lot of them seem to show the edgings of the film rather than them be cut out perfectly, but don't show the full edge markings so I can't tell what they are. Especially since many of the photographs in this particular book our large full-page images, not those crappy little tiny ones in some photo books which as an aside those really bother me, someone publishes a very large book, charges a lot of money for it, and then you open it up and there's tiny little squares inside a giant white page, but that's just personal preference for me.

    Anyway many of the photographs show very beautiful green and especially this early work of hers that she showing, and I wonder what type of film it is some of it a shot in very low light situations but seemingly have a wide DOF so I'm wondering if it was pushed, or if it was some kind of fast exposure film like Royal X Pan or something else. But I have no way of finding out it's very frustrating.

    I suppose since I'm confused about cameras it would also be nice to know what kind of camera they shot with as well as the film, not that it really matters but at least it would kind of gives some insight into the kinds of shooter they are something that I think people might be interested in.

    Does anyone know why this is such a failure in photographic books to not include something as simple as the type of film it is?
    "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

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    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
    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.



 

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