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Meekyman
7-Jul-2014, 06:27
Hi Folks,

I've been using a LF camera for around 18 months and am still learning lots. This will probably go on for some time I guess!

Anyway, previously with digital equipment I was never a "machine gunner" - I waited for the light to be what I thought I wanted etc. But, I've just been away for 4 days in the northwest Scottish Highlands (not really that remote - 1 hour flight from home, 3 hr drive) and over those four days took 12 images on sheet film. The thing is I am sure that not all 12 of these will come out technically perfect nor exactly what I envisaged (still learning after all) and so won't necessarily be 12 "keepers". Does that still make me a "machine gunner"? I guess I'm just after re-assurance!

Here's the sort of image I took (a minute or so after pressing the shutter from a different perspective so only one mountain in the background and taken on my phone so please don't judge the quality!!):


https://flic.kr/p/ocLqD5

Cheers

Graham

bob carnie
7-Jul-2014, 06:32
Richard Avedon took 17000 exposures on 8x10 film, and ended up with approximately 140 prints for his show. In the American West. So I think you can be assured you are not a machine gunner.

BrianShaw
7-Jul-2014, 06:37
Only 12 sheets in 4 days -- you're not shooting enough, perhaps. :o

Regarding the sample image -- nice; very nice!

Stop worrying and have fun.

Meekyman
7-Jul-2014, 06:39
Well I don't process the images at home - 17,000 would be one hell of a processing bill!

Leigh
7-Jul-2014, 06:42
If I'm shooting a subject I like, and it took some effort to get to it, I'll take several exposures, because sh*t happens.

These usually involve different speed/aperture combinations to change DoF, and over/under bracketing (usually over).
I also love to play with filters, to see what effects I can achieve.

If I really like a shot and think it's a seller, as opposed to just a keeper, I'll take a safety exposure in a different film holder. I think that ensures the safety of the shot to the greatest possible extent.

All of my holders are numbered, with the sides labeled A and B, corresponding to my shooting log entries.

I always process the A sides first, then all of the B sides in a separate run.
That way if there's a process problem of some sort I'll still have some of the images.

I don't consider this "machine-gunning" or "shotgunning". It's experimentation and learning.

- Leigh

John Kasaian
7-Jul-2014, 07:38
No. You'd need something like a Fairchild K-17 9-1/2" roll film aerial camera with electrical motor drive (with the current supplied by an attached B-29) to "machine gun" large format.:)

bob carnie
7-Jul-2014, 07:46
Yes this type of project is extremely daunting , there was another thread going on about Mr Avedon and this project. Lots of slamming of his work.
I only have huge respect for the man and his work.

Getting a deep tank system going in a laundry room can be had for under $500 UK pds, by processing yourself you can offset a lot of the costs. Very easy to do btw.


Well I don't process the images at home - 17,000 would be one hell of a processing bill!

bob carnie
7-Jul-2014, 07:52
I take two exposures on each holder like Leigh and I hold back one in case sh*t happens , or I want to adjust my process.
In my case I do a slight bracket , very minimal and I try to keep track which is the slight overexposure and I hold this one back.


For Solarization work.

I load two holders with 4 films , and slightly bracket each holder. One holder I process only one sheet normal in ID11 and keep a back up.( this negative is then for consideration of print solarization only) The other holder I will process both sheets and solarize half way through the development, and choose the image with the best maki line(black on Print) and then solarize the print to give me the white maki line.




If I'm shooting a subject I like, and it took some effort to get to it, I'll take several exposures, because sh*t happens.

These usually involve different speed/aperture combinations to change DoF, and over/under bracketing (usually over).
I also love to play with filters, to see what effects I can achieve.

If I really like a shot and think it's a seller, as opposed to just a keeper, I'll take a safety exposure in a different film holder. I think that ensures the safety of the shot to the greatest possible extent.

All of my holders are numbered, with the sides labeled A and B, corresponding to my shooting log entries.

I always process the A sides first, then all of the B sides in a separate run.
That way if there's a process problem of some sort I'll still have some of the images.

I don't consider this "machine-gunning" or "shotgunning". It's experimentation and learning.

- Leigh

Lenny Eiger
7-Jul-2014, 08:38
I figure that after 50-some odd years I should know how to use a light meter. Special things like solarization, or very odd lighting situations aside, I take one shot per image. If its odd I'll take 2, 3 or whatever it needs. I understand wanting to take a lot off images, being somewhere new and wanting to make the most of it.

However, I can take 20-24 images in a full day. Yes, it turns out they are all well exposed and developed. I often shoot about 12. It depends how much I like where I am. There are plenty of places where I want to photograph something everywhere I turn my head. It's a good thing...

I find that it isn't the number of shots that increase the "keepers" but the more times I get to go to a place. I have to "understand it" to get below the superficial level.

Lenny

ROL
7-Jul-2014, 08:50
Lots can go wrong between loading and developing, some if it, like "dust" in monotonal regions (i.e., sky), seemingly unavoidable. Even good light meters "lie" once and awhile, like a coyote trickster, defeating the most accomplished practitioner. I kick myself early and often for not doing backup exposures and treating each holder as a single unit. But, like you, developing is costly for me in terms of time, if not actual expense. And then there is an element of committing to the moment and the measure of your skill, which I find a necessary lacking component of photography otherwise. Has one authentically committed to the moment, "decisive" or otherwise, if there is a backup to rely on? It's kinda like being at the top of the rapid – you are committed to your decisions and then must react to the chaos the river dishes out. Can photography be appreciated as an extreme sport? For me, that is likely a necessity.*

I don't find your 'haul' small, especially not knowing your goals. Often I come away with nothing, particularly with LF, after days. Sometimes, as conditions and previsualization align, 10 holders are not enough for a single day. So, I applaud your selectivity. When matched with aesthetic and skill, a yes a bit of luck, one's sense of accomplishment can be great, not to mention, the weight of one's wallet being undiminished. Through your apparent focus you will learn, are learning, or have learned to hone your visualization and skill. But, I also scold you (and me too:o) in a 'do as I say, not as I do' manner, to do backups, whenever possible.







* I know, it's all to philosophical. Just trip the damn shutter.:rolleyes:

Mark Sawyer
7-Jul-2014, 09:28
I've been using a LF camera for around 18 months and am still learning lots. This will probably go on for some time I guess!


As you said, you're still in the learning phase. When the equipment and process become second nature, you'll shoot less and keep more.



I find that it isn't the number of shots that increase the "keepers" but the more times I get to go to a place. I have to "understand it" to get below the superficial level.


Same thing. As Leigh said, "I don't consider this 'machine-gunning' or 'shotgunning'. It's experimentation and learning." And after you get all the experimentation and learning down pat, you'll change lenses or formats or processes or subject matter, and start the whole learning and experimentation thing again... Welcome to the club! :rolleyes:

Drew Wiley
7-Jul-2014, 09:45
Sometimes you can find outdated or discount sheet film for the learning curve. But sometimes you'll regret that if you happen to bag a really exceptional shot and
it turns out less than ideal due to the film quality issue itself. And this obviously depends on your budget. I don't like shooting something unless it's worth printing. But sometimes you gotta practice regardless. For just film testing per se, I prefer to try smaller formats first, to get the bugs out. I only average about one 8x10
shot a week, maybe less. I've been on week-long trips hauling an 85 pound packs over mtn ridges and icefields where I only took two shots and regretted wasting one of them, which was probably a backup shot anyway. Then there are those days where I truly need to goof off - but that implies a Nikon, not 8x10 film at ten
or fifteeen bucks a pop. I was reading something the other day about how many tens of thousands of sheets of 4x5 Fujichrome Shirahata shot on just one of his
expeditions, all to cull out about fifty of them for a book. But he was probably being sponsored by Fuji in the first place, or someone else with a big budget. For
the rest of us, machine-gunning is simply not an option. And in my opinion, a sniper with one good bullet usually bags a far more impressive trophy on his outing than any of the machine-gunners.
any

jp
7-Jul-2014, 09:46
I'd say shoot more to learn more. 6 hours of driving in with inflated gasoline/(petrol to you perhaps) prices, what's a few more sheets of film atop that. Think of perfection as a consuming process not a declaration. Even snipers expend much ammo in practice.

Drew Wiley
7-Jul-2014, 10:44
Learning to properly expose and develop film in various situations obviously requires an expenditure of film as well as time. But as far as composition is concerned,
you can spend all the time you want gazing at the groundglass from different perspectives and framing options without actually shooting film.

Alan Gales
7-Jul-2014, 11:42
You should be shooting a lot at first. It's how you learn.

I admit that I was guilty of this and a lot of newbies are. We buy a camera and then start our lens collection when we should be burning through film.

Leszek Vogt
7-Jul-2014, 12:06
Several years ago on DPR one guy shot 10,000 pics of dogs (over a weekend) in motion with his D3....incidentally, he repeated this phenomenon several times. It wasn't just 'machine-gunning' but also (spray-pray) hoping that something useful comes out of this. Many of us learned to arrest the motion with SLR or DSLR with a single exposure....while handholding and manually focusing :>). Anyway, the more shots you make the more you have to process.

I'm with Leigh and others on this. Back ups are good to have and even the saint AA practiced this.

Les

Drew Wiley
7-Jul-2014, 14:01
So who rents the elephants to take you on location with that many holders? Or do you guys just shoot from the road?

Leigh
7-Jul-2014, 14:04
So who rents the elephants to take you on location with that many holders?
Or do you guys just shoot from the road?
I normally drive to the shooting area, then walk to the best vantage point.

Do you walk to the shooting area???

- Leigh

BrianShaw
7-Jul-2014, 14:13
I often use a folding two-wheeled luggage cart to haul my gear from the car to shooting area. But a pacyderm would be a very interesting alternative.

Greg Miller
7-Jul-2014, 15:05
Machine gunning isn't a number, it is a mind-set.

Drew Wiley
7-Jul-2014, 15:20
Some of the places I go a wooly mammoth would be more appropriate.

Bill_1856
7-Jul-2014, 15:29
What does it matter? The only thing that's important is whether you like the results. If you don't like the results, learn from it and throw it in the trash.

Drew Wiley
7-Jul-2014, 16:07
Depends on the trashcan. If it goes ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching just like a cash register every time you throw an unwanted negative in the bin, that kind of sound
might get rather annoying. But I nevertheless endorse it. The more film people buy, the longer it will remain viable for the manufacturer to keep making. So for those
of you who can afford to machine-gun, you have my blessing!

Leigh
7-Jul-2014, 16:57
Machine gunning isn't a number, it is a mind-set.
+1 Well-said.

- Leigh

jnanian
7-Jul-2014, 17:54
enjoy the film, enjoy shooting
and don't worry about how much film you are using.
the only way to get better at anything is by doing it alot .
people who do things well, effortlessly / 2nd nature will tell you
it is because of the time and effort doing it ...
if you are worried about expense ( color and even b/w film can be expensive if fresh and you have to pay for processing )
learn to process your self ( it isn't too hard ) and if you are practicing with the camera, and not necessarily making "images"
use paper negatives, much less expensive ... ( and easy to process )

Alan Gales
7-Jul-2014, 21:30
Machine gunning isn't a number, it is a mind-set.

+2

munz6869
7-Jul-2014, 21:34
I make two shots of everything, which has reduced my 'self-inflicted error' rate down to nearly (nearly) zero. When I went to Europe in May, I shot 58 sheets of TXP, which was 29 shots of different things, and at least 8 of them I'm quite pleased by. The way I see it - film is cheaper than aeroplane tickets, accommodation, etc etc... and the extra sheet is nothing compared to the time and effort setting up the camera.

Shoot as much as you need :-)

Marc!

Meekyman
7-Jul-2014, 23:25
Thanks everyone for your input and thoughts.

I like Greg's thoughts.."Machine gunning isn't a number, it is a mind-set". I guess there was one location where the camera didn't move and I took two photos - but essentially these were 15 minutes apart in very different lighting conditions. As for duplicates, well I guess I am taking a bit of a risk. I don't have to to take photos for a living, don't need to sell any and in essence it is just lovely to be out there away from everyday life (work!), being in surroundings I love and enjoying a hobby that gives me pleasure on so many different levels. I know I am trying to get it right one time in camera (right for me of course!), religiously note details about the photo - lens used, how I judged metering, filters used etc. and am learning, believe me. Films costs, but so does everything. Plus, if an image doesn't work-out, well after understanding why it becomes a good reason to return another time!!!

Cheers

Graham

Iluvmyviewcam
8-Jul-2014, 07:20
OP...Beautiful!

Iluvmyviewcam
8-Jul-2014, 07:22
What does it matter? The only thing that's important is whether you like the results. If you don't like the results, learn from it and throw it in the trash.

Yes, I agree. There is too much egomania with photogs.

Just press the button and freeze time. Leave the prejudices and ego at home.

Drew Wiley
8-Jul-2014, 09:19
It's all relative. Nobody hits a home run every time, or even close to it. Nobody. People down the street would probably call me insane for wasting ten or twenty bucks per shot on film. But then they've probably spent a hundred grand over the last decade fixing up old cars and speedboats, which never seem to run right anyway. 90% percent of the reward in this game is the sheer experience of just doing it. And sometimes you'll succeed in capturing that moment for others to enjoy.
Sometimes you won't. But the experience itself can't be taken from you. You lived it. I've said it over and over, but the hunt is just as important as the kill.

tgtaylor
8-Jul-2014, 09:46
Bring to mind what was written by Kurt Vonnegut's son back in the late 60's or early 70's: "The journey is better than the arrival" or something like that.

Thomas

ROL
8-Jul-2014, 10:07
Bring to mind what was written by Kurt Vonnegut's son back in the late 60's or early 70's: "The journey is better than the arrival" or something like that.

Thomas

The journey is the destination. (?) Somebody said it. Maybe only me? :D

Meekyman
8-Jul-2014, 11:36
"But the experience itself can't be taken from you. You lived it. " Very true Drew!

Graham

Drew Wiley
8-Jul-2014, 11:37
It's the concept, anyway. You learn to track the game, become intuitive in its ways, learn its seasons, start thinking like the light itself, if it does think. Rather, it is. Then you learn its ways on the groundglass, and then in the darkroom. Lots or rewarding experiences. Pity the lardassographers who just patch stuff together in Fauxtopshop. Maybe it trendy and artsy at the moment. But who wants to be tethered to a high-fructose corn syrup IV drip all day. ... Well, actually, I'm daydreaming a bit about my next run to the Wind Rivers. Stuck here tethered to my own computer a couple more months. But at least every weekend I get out and enjoy the light. Sometimes I never take a shot. Sometimes I set up the camera and just look into the groundglass. A mercenary attitude ruins all that. Gotta live, gotta look.

Alan Gales
8-Jul-2014, 11:48
A real machine gunner.

http://www.biography.com/people/machine-gun-kelly-507610

tgtaylor
8-Jul-2014, 11:59
The journey is the destination. (?) Somebody said it. Maybe only me? :D

Nope - more on the order of what I quoted above by Mark Vonnegut who set out on a journey to set-up a hippie community in British Columbia in 1971 where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and committed to a mental institution in Vancouver, BC.

Thomas

analoguey
13-Jul-2014, 04:27
The journey is the destination. (?) Somebody said it. Maybe only me? :D


Pretty much all travellers! :P

Dan Fromm
13-Jul-2014, 06:32
The journey is the destination

The idiot who said this (not you, I hope) never spent fourteen hours on a plane flying, in theory, from PHL via JFK to Hartford, Ct and back again.

cyrus
13-Jul-2014, 16:19
Bottom line is, you're going to screw up and miss some shots.

It happens.

You can't win them all.

But sometimes you run into "happy accidents" too.

Like jnanian said, just enjoy the process.

This is the Tao of LF.

But some of your missed shots will haunt you.

years later, I still kick myself.