Shift in thinking...

Discussion in 'Photographic Aesthetics and Composition' started by J_calow, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. J_calow

    J_calow Member

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    So I went out this morning for the first time in 15 years with film as my main medium. The old 6x9 performed smashingly, but I noticed something in my workflow that I figured would happen, but wasn't truly prepared for. I found myself looking for the perfect composition rather than experimenting a bit more with subjects. With my digital workflow I often try compositions that I may not be wholly sold on at first knowing that there's little risk if things go awry. As such I was only able to trip 4 frames. I'll plan on shooting the remaining frames this week but it's not what I expected.

    I'm sure with a bit more comfort with the 6x9 I will end up trying more in the field, but right now I struggle a bit feeling free to shoot in the same way I'm used to.

    Just a few thoughts from someone making the flip back into analog space.
     

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  2. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Here's one idea. Go back to a smaller format, say 6x4.5 and in active practice, let the compositional message come to you fully and easily, without wanting, and when it has, move up to the next size, including but not limited to the aesthetically pleasing 6x6 format and the 'ideal format' after that, 6x7 and finally, 6x9. Each format will require a small shift in thinking to visualise the image within the frame and for many, this doesn't come naturally or easily.
     
  3. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    35mm cameras offer the same aspect ratio as your 6x9 camera. And 35mm can be much more economical to use. Consider working with both.
     
  4. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    "workflow"....meh.
     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hey jeremy

    the more you use your camera the more comfortable you get
    have fun !
     
  6. Valerie

    Valerie Subscriber

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    The best way to get comfortable is to just shoot! Don't be afraid to experiment with film--it can result in some lovely surprises.
     
  7. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Subscriber

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    I think the point of the OP was that he got more 'choosy' in his picture-taking and how he worked with composition, seeing he only have 8 frames available.
    - Happens to me to ^^
     
  8. OP
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    J_calow

    J_calow Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts on the subject, in the end I think it is more trepidation on my part, and some self imposed doubt or fear in buggering things up. Obviously that isn't a huge risk, as a botched image regardless of medium isn't really that big of a deal. I don't think its a concern with creating a composition within the 6x9 frame - I am fairly confident with my abilities to find and compose an image regardless of frame ratio. It really is more down to "is this really worth a frame?". As landscapes are my primary muse, I usually can adapt with the changing conditions and light - which may be more of a comfort thing with the film body. In that respect, I agree with you guys, in that the only way I am going to get more comfortable with the beast is to take her out and use her.. so that (thankfully) is something I can do rather easily!

    Thanks for letting me dump thoughts and stuff.
     
  9. paulbarden

    paulbarden Member

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    I take it I’m not the only one who wishes that silly, affected term would hurry up and die.
     
  10. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Member

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    6x9? With my 6x9 folder with frame finder here is never perfect composition. It is always guesstimate. But OP is right, IMO. The larger film format goes the more boring outcome shown is.
    This is why I ditched LF.

    But chimping on digital is totally boring and non-creative, IMO. I prefer 135 film for take it once, take it right. This one was taken with one dollar Smena-8M while driving the car. Obviously no chimpnig and retaking. :smile:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. OP
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    J_calow

    J_calow Member

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    sorry sorry... It's my IT PM background in full force.. at least I wasn't talking about synergies with differing formats and film stocks :wink:
     
  12. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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  13. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    :smile:
     
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  15. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Thinking before shooting is always good. I always do my cropping before shooting the photograph in any format. It makes darkroom work so much easier and more fun.
     
  16. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    What you are describing is having become accustomed to what I call digital diarrhea. Digital diarrhea is the result of combining the attention span of a gnat and 10 frames per second. The only way to overcome that is to shoot more film. Of course, when you shoot film you will be more picky, but that should heighten your awareness of what you are doing. When you get used to shooting film, you will probably be more picky with the digital camera too.

    I've said this to people probably a million times over the years. You don't need to take all the "good" pictures, only the "best" one.

    I agree with the above sentiment that "workflow" should die a slow death, along with "vision" and "stunning". Why do amateurs call it "work?" Shouldn't it be "funflow?"
     
  17. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    As a very flexible, generic term, workflow is quite useful. It provides a nice shorthand for something like "detailed list of the steps I take, in the order I take them, when I'm accomplishing a particular task.
    So it doesn't bother me.
     
  18. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    This is essentially what came to mind reading the OP. There is nothing wrong with this, you are simply paying more attention to what you are doing.
     
  19. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Thank you, I will add digital diarrhea to my technical term compendium.
     
  20. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    personally, i find the surprises the best thing about using film .. i don't really care about reality,
    or what "capturing" reality has to offer because if i was interested in reality .. i wouldn't be capturing it ..
     
  21. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I tend to use my digital cameras pretty much the same way I do my film cameras, I explore viewpoints and framing by eye, then make one or two exposures. I'll do additional shots with either medium freely, however, if what I'm seeing seems to warrant it. If the exploration is a whole roll, so be it.
     
  22. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    Tough to diagnose your state of mind over the internet. Didn't Socrates say: Know Thyself. Seems like good advice.
     
  23. hoffy

    hoffy Subscriber

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    I can totally empathise with the OP, based on what I went through and what I did when I picked up film for the first time (after getting back into photography via digital).

    Back then, I would find that I would shoot sparingly with film and go to town with digital..... and in general, the exciting compositions were those that I would shoot as an afterthought on the pixel burner, because I was just playing around.

    What I started to do was shoot film to learn, digital to experiment. After a while, there was a switch in how I shot - I would get more adventurous with film and I would get the shots that I was after. There was, though, an added benefit. I would think the shot through and visualise it BEFORE taking it. This meant that I was pressing the shutter less often, with a higher success rate. This has also flowed through into my digital workflow.

    I agree with those who suggested that you should play with 35mm for a while. Use that and once you are comfortable, step back into 6x9.
     
  24. OP
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    J_calow

    J_calow Member

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    I appreciate everyone's input, glad to see I sparked a discussion. This was more a discussion on my feelings while shooting film and me experiencing a bit of doubt on taking the shot. I don't shoot an abundance of digital frames when I am working, though I agree that the mindset of "digital diarrhea" still applies as there is nothing holding you back from shooting the frame other that yourself.
    Upon reflecting on the morning, I was rushing the whole shoot possibly forcing the issue which could have added to the feeling as well. We'll see over the next few days when I get more time to shoot and see if I am still experiencing the same questioning feelings.
     
  25. Two23

    Two23 Member

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    I find that the bigger the format, the choosier I become about what I shoot. With 5x7 several times I ask myself, "Is this composition really worth ten dollars?" I think shooting film forces you to think through a shot rather than simply blast away and hope it works. It instills discipline. The whole thing about photography is the ability to previsualize an image before you ever take it. This discipline has carried over to my digital photography--it takes me months to fill a card. The fact you passed on so many so-so photos shows you are making progress.


    Kent in SD
     
  26. ozmoose

    ozmoose Member

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    The best thread I've read this year!!! :wink:

    May I also add, the OP (and a few other posters) have also made some good points...
     
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