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View Full Version : A collection of LF ideas & discoveries that don't need a whole thread to themselves



Heroique
12-Aug-2014, 13:09
Yours is random, helpful, practical – and probably comes from personal experience.

It has a direct bearing on LF practice, whether for beginners or experts – in studio, field, darkroom, or scanning room.

You've been wanting to share it to help others, but have felt bashful about dedicating an entire thread to it. Here's a chance to get it across without remorse! I imagine one person's tip will mentally trigger additional tips from others.

Can you keep it to one sentence?

Okay, two or three max. :D

-----
A plastic garbage bag is instant protection for camera and lens against the unpredictable elements in the field. No cost, no weight, no space, plus 1,001 other uses in the bargain! I even carry two.

Kirk Gittings
12-Aug-2014, 13:11
For a windbreak back your SUV up to the shooting spot and raise the hatch.

vinny
12-Aug-2014, 13:11
I carry a fabric water bucket for camping in my pack that I fill with water or rocks to hang from the hook underneath my tripod head. Seatlle Sports makes them.http://www.seattlesportsco.com/produ...&idcategory=26
The image on my ground glass is upside down. Where can I get that fixed? the image on my ground glass is upside down. Where can I get that fixed?

Kirk Gittings
12-Aug-2014, 13:12
Really, you still see that upside down? :)

Heroique
12-Aug-2014, 13:21
For a windbreak back your SUV up to the shooting spot and raise the hatch.

If my hunch is true, "Where is the wind coming from and can I do anything about it?" is one of the most important questions LFers forget to ask themselves while choosing a composition and before setting up.

The vehicle-windbreak idea never occurred to me and I can use it.

To be sure, I could have used it many times before now.

Randy Moe
12-Aug-2014, 13:46
Talk out loud, saying the actual process while going through the steps to complete a shot.

Heroique
12-Aug-2014, 14:49
Talk out loud, saying the actual process while going through the steps to complete a shot.

Heh, if I had just said "close the lens" out loud more often, fewer screams of torment would have echoed through the Nat'l Forests over the years.

Here's a quick one that just occurred to me: When shooting, devote a dependable pocket to caps from lenses and meters – and don't put them anywhere else. Mine is simply my pants pocket, the front right one. I've never lost a cap. Not even temporarily.

My meter is another matter :(. I've wrapped a bit of orange tape around it.

Michael E
12-Aug-2014, 14:59
Those yellow self-adhesive Post-It sheets are great for labeling holders after the shot. Simply attach them to the darkslide.

Preston
12-Aug-2014, 15:58
Post-Its are also great for marking the spot on graduated neutral density filter where you want the 'grad line' to be. The spot can be easily seen on the GG.

--Caution-- Be sure to remove the Post-It before exposing the film. Not that I have done this, mind you.

--P

John Kasaian
12-Aug-2014, 16:55
Laugh a lot.

ic-racer
12-Aug-2014, 17:42
I put a dot on my focus knob. Now I can estimate how many "hours" I turn the knob. I have already calculated best aperture per millimeter of focus spread, and millimeter travel per knob rotation. Now I can use "hours" to estimate best aperture. For example 12 hours is f64, etc.

Nigel Smith
12-Aug-2014, 20:31
I use rubber bands to hold darkslides in holders. Those twist locks never stay put.

Kirk Gittings
12-Aug-2014, 21:12
I put a dot on my focus knob. Now I can estimate how many "hours" I turn the knob. I have already calculated best aperture per millimeter of focus spread, and millimeter travel per knob rotation. Now I can use "hours" to estimate best aperture. For example 12 hours is f64, etc.

Interesting

David Karp
12-Aug-2014, 21:13
Really, you still see that upside down? :)

Funny.

I don't think I see the image upside down or right side up when I am looking at the GG. But I always remember the image right side up, but flipped, the way it is on the GG. The only exception is if I am photographing something I know well, then I remember it as it really looks. Weird.

Great idea about the car.

Kirk Gittings
12-Aug-2014, 21:16
Since I'm looking at the scene beforehand I see the ground glass in the same relationship-unless I haven't used it in a while then it takes a little while to get it again.

Bruce Pottorff
13-Aug-2014, 09:13
I cut a hole in plastic food storage lids and put the spikes of my tripod through then to make snow shoes when I shoot in loose sand.

dsphotog
13-Aug-2014, 09:15
Use clothes pins, (or those large paperclips with the folding handles) to attach focus cloth to the camera.

Heroique
13-Aug-2014, 12:05
Those yellow self-adhesive Post-It sheets are great for labeling holders after the shot. Simply attach them to the darkslide.


Post-Its are also great for marking the spot on graduated neutral density filter where you want the 'grad line' to be. The spot can be easily seen on the GG.

Hurrah for post-its.

If you're a flatbed scanner, post-it stacks – in a pinch – can anchor a homemade mounting station (that is, the etched pane of glass) above the platen. You can even use them to determine the ideal height by peeling off [x] number of post-it sheets for each test scan.

The green ones work great!

lfpf
13-Aug-2014, 12:21
Use clothes pins, (or those large paperclips with the folding handles) to attach focus cloth to the camera.
Good one. I have just abandoned glued-on velcro in favor of on-hand universal binder clips.

vdonovan
13-Aug-2014, 17:04
This is a great thread!

TXFZ1
13-Aug-2014, 17:48
Since we are on a post-it kick, I use them to mark the near and far focus points on the flat bed. I have also used a pencil but don't always remember it.

David

John Kasaian
14-Aug-2014, 03:56
The #2 Phillips blade on a "Tinker" Swiss Army Knife really fits the #2 Phillips screws on camera gear extremely well, and is convenient to take to the field.

The (usually purple) thick rubber bands that come with asparagus and broccoli work great on Lee "Snap-on" Polyester filter holders.

A laundered cotton diaper won't leave lint behind so makes a good cloth for wiping your gear down.

polyglot
14-Aug-2014, 04:07
Don't go out to a new, hard-to-reach site with just the body (and film and darkcloth and accessories) and leave all your lenses in the cupboard at home.

Michael Graves
14-Aug-2014, 06:47
Don't go out to a new, hard-to-reach site with just the body (and film and darkcloth and accessories) and leave all your lenses in the cupboard at home.

Don't go out to a new, hard-to-reach site with your 8x10, a dozen film holders, a light meter and no tripod.

jb7
14-Aug-2014, 07:10
Don't go out to a new, hard-to-reach site with your 8x10, a dozen film holders, a light meter and no tripod.

If you decide to bring all your gear with you, including a cupboard full of lenses and all your film holders, make sure that heavy tripod you just carried for miles has that little screw on the top that allows you to attach a camera to it. I always check that now...

Kirk Gittings
14-Aug-2014, 07:17
Don't go out to a new, hard-to-reach site with your 8x10, a dozen film holders, a light meter and no tripod.

In the days I was shooting 4x5 film commercially, I once drove from Albuquerque to a town north of Gallup to shoot a new school on the Navajo Reservation for the architect.........and forgot my tripod. Doh! Since then I always keep my tripod in a more obvious place in my truck cab, rather than the back, so I notice immediately if its missing.

analoguey
14-Aug-2014, 07:30
Those yellow self-adhesive Post-It sheets are great for labeling holders after the shot. Simply attach them to the darkslide.

+1
Recent practice I started following.
Getting the info concise and clear enough is a challenge.


Post-Its are also great for marking the spot on graduated neutral density filter where you want the 'grad line' to be. The spot can be easily seen on the GG.

--Caution-- Be sure to remove the Post-It before exposing the film. Not that I have done this, mind you.

--P

I havent really used ND filters, could you eleaborate on this?

Thanks.

pound
14-Aug-2014, 08:01
Bring along a friend who can help to carry some stuff like tat big tripod :)

Preston
14-Aug-2014, 08:19
Yet another use for Post-It notes...

Jot down the items you forgot to bring along with you. The Post-it is then ceremoniously pasted to your forehead. :-)

PS to Analoguey: Sent you PM.

--P

vdonovan
14-Aug-2014, 08:24
Bring along a friend who can help to carry some stuff like tat big tripod :)

But when the friend says "Yup, everything's in the truck", maybe double check.

John Kasaian
14-Aug-2014, 10:22
Don't go out to a new, hard-to-reach site with your 8x10, a dozen film holders, a light meter and no tripod.
Or your cable release:o

Kirk Gittings
14-Aug-2014, 11:44
I keep a separate, very flexible cable release permanently on every lens-just wrap it around the lens when stored. Its not permanently affixed as in glued on, but just firmly screwed in. That way it is one less thing to fiddle with when setting up the camera and also gives me numerous "extra" cable releases when one fails or gets lost.

analoguey
14-Aug-2014, 11:50
I have had a cable release fail while similarly coiled around - just not around a lens.
Wouldnt that affect the lens/shutter, if it did?

Kirk Gittings
14-Aug-2014, 12:14
Been doing this since Fred Picker suggested it in what 1979? If you are rough with it, I suppose you could damage the flexible tube of the release where it meets the the screw head thingy, but in 35 some years doing this I've never had such damage the lens or shutter.

analoguey
14-Aug-2014, 12:22
Wasnt questioning your experience with it, I was asking if you had any failures similar to mine and whether it caused any issues.

Randy Moe
14-Aug-2014, 12:25
Last year I found 2 dozen NOS German cable releases for $1 each on eBay, so I keep one with every lens. Makes perfect sense to me and I never knew Fred Picker. But he sounds like a wise man.

Kirk Gittings
14-Aug-2014, 12:26
Well my point is that I have extensively tested this and had them simply wear out and fail but never had any damage to the lens or shutter. I think that the difference between doing something for 35 years vs. say for a couple of months would mean something? It does to me when I ask a question. Just saying.

Kirk Gittings
14-Aug-2014, 12:34
Last year I found 2 dozen NOS German cable releases for $1 each on eBay, so I keep one with every lens. Makes perfect sense to me and I never knew Fred Picker. But he sounds like a wise man.

The closest I ever got to him was having my letters "rubber stamped". :)

analoguey
14-Aug-2014, 12:40
Sure.
I don't get why you do need to keep stating it over and over though, your experience of not having a failure, doesn't invalidate my experience of having had a cable release fail.

And if one needed to have an experience of 35 years to ask a question, most school kids would be adults before they asked a question.
Just saying.

Cheers.

Randy Moe
14-Aug-2014, 12:50
So do you have any idea how an inert and non moving cable release damaged anything?


Sure.
I don't get why you do need to keep stating it over and over though, your experience of not having a failure, doesn't invalidate my experience of having had a cable release fail.

And if one needed to have an experience of 35 years to ask a question, most school kids would be adults before they asked a question.
Just saying.

Cheers.

Heroique
14-Aug-2014, 12:50
I have had a cable release fail...

I keep cable releases on my three lenses, and in the past, I've wound them (repeatedly) too tight around the lens, and over time, they begin to fail. The cheaper ones, anyway. But one of them is a Linhof – I've had it from the start, and it has never failed despite the former abuse. The lenses, too, were never hurt or damaged. I keep each lens + loosely coiled cable in a lens wrap to reduce any mischief when I'm not supervising them.

Kirk Gittings
14-Aug-2014, 13:12
Sure.
I don't get why you do need to keep stating it over and over though, your experience of not having a failure, doesn't invalidate my experience of having had a cable release fail.

And if one needed to have an experience of 35 years to ask a question, most school kids would be adults before they asked a question.
Just saying.

Cheers.

From my perspective. There are a lot of new people here and I don't know you from Adam. When someone gives me some technical advice I want to know how long they've been doing it because the web is full of pretend or borrowed experience and made up knowledge. You asked me "Wouldnt that affect the lens/shutter, if it did?" I guess I could have said not in my experience and left it at that and that could mean anything from since yesterday to a lifetime. It doesn't mean anything to you that in some cases I've been using the same cable release in the same manner for so long with no problems? Ok cool. I'll try and remember that.

Heroique
14-Aug-2014, 13:45
I cut a hole in plastic food storage lids and put the spikes of my tripod through then to make snow shoes when I shoot in loose sand.

I like clever solutions that cost pennies. Your loose sand reminds me of the deep-damp-dark-loose-bouncy soil in the mature forests of my region – under the big firs, hemlocks, and redwoods. Did I say bouncy?? I'll add that the soil can be very bouncy. I'm convinced that an eye blink makes this ground vibrate.

Often I'll push my spiked Ries J600 down, down, down – as far as I think it'll go – to produce the stability I need; but all too often, my images suggest it was still sinking/settling at shutter click (often marring a favorite forest image). Most of the time, just an extra push on each leg and final push on the head would have arrested the tripod; other times, one leg needs to go much deeper than the other two.

I've come to believe that tripod stability needs ongoing vigilance as one proceeds w/ set-up. For example, just adding the camera, attaching the lens, adjusting the head, applying movements, attaching dark cloths & film holders, removing dark slides – these actions, individually or collectively, can loosen the tripod's original grip on the ground.

As many here know, LF can require multiple levels of simultaneous attention!

Maris Rusis
14-Aug-2014, 14:56
I have a fabric tape measure sewn into the edge of my focussing cloth for measuring those pesky bellows extensions. One less thing to pack, one less thing to forget.

Ari
14-Aug-2014, 15:13
I have a fabric tape measure sewn into the edge of my focussing cloth for measuring those pesky bellows extensions. One less thing to pack, one less thing to forget.

Post of the day.

Michael E
14-Aug-2014, 16:09
If my camera is too high to see the figures on top of the shutter, I use the display of my mobile phone as a mirror.

This thread is fun.

Michael

Kirk Gittings
14-Aug-2014, 17:28
If my camera is too high to see the figures on top of the shutter, I use the display of my mobile phone as a mirror.

This thread is fun.

Michael

I'll try and remember that. I usually just remove the lens, do my settings and put it back-never had any problems. If its an issue where it is simply too dark say to set the aperture I carry and use these: http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/foster-grant-light-specs-plastic-lighted-reading-glasses-%2B2.00/ID=prod6048904-product

Jim Galli
14-Aug-2014, 17:32
Take a chain saw for trimming branches that will be impossible to focus otherwise.

Alan Gales
14-Aug-2014, 18:18
Take a chain saw for trimming branches that will be impossible to focus otherwise.

Many years ago in early fall I was in Castlewood State Park shooting off a cliff. The Meramec river was below me with trees starting to turn in color. The shot just needed something so I broke off a small tree limb with leaves and held it in front of my camera lens to frame the shot.

Later I showed the photograph to someone who told me they couldn't believe how lucky I was that the tree limb just happened to be there in perfect position. ;)

vdonovan
14-Aug-2014, 18:41
I have a fabric tape measure sewn into the edge of my focussing cloth for measuring those pesky bellows extensions. One less thing to pack, one less thing to forget.

Two votes for post of the day.

Bob Sawin
14-Aug-2014, 20:25
Take a chain saw for trimming branches that will be impossible to focus otherwise.

I sometimes carry a pair of loppers in my car in case I need to photoscape.

polyglot
14-Aug-2014, 21:20
Been doing this since Fred Picker suggested it in what 1979? If you are rough with it, I suppose you could damage the flexible tube of the release where it meets the the screw head thingy, but in 35 some years doing this I've never had such damage the lens or shutter.


I have had a cable release fail while similarly coiled around - just not around a lens.
Wouldnt that affect the lens/shutter, if it did?

I suspect it would depend somewhat on the style of cable release socket. Those where the release screws into an external metal tab and pushes a protruding lever (like my Copal 0) and the cable runs tangential to the shutter seem pretty safe. But where the cable plugs radially into the side of the shutter (my Copal 3), I'm not so sure. I've had a bad experience with snapping a cable release off in an RZ67 lens; the camera was on a tripod in the back of the car with a cable on it and it shifted, snapping the release, which sheared about 3 threads back from the tip, leaving the tip buried in the lens and me unable to use that lens. I ended up being able to dig out the offending piece and was lucky that the lens was not actually damaged, but it came pretty close.

Kirk Gittings
15-Aug-2014, 06:22
All my shutters are the like the first you mentioned. I have had that happen too when carrying the camera over my shoulder on the tripod and hitting a door jam, but there is no such impact that happens for me simply putting the lens away in its case. I got the broken tip out with a small easyout.

Dirk Rösler
15-Aug-2014, 06:56
Heh, if I had just said "close the lens" out loud more often, fewer screams of torment would have echoed through the Nat'l Forests over the years.

I normally close the lens before putting the film holder in. As a habit, before pulling the darkslide for exposure, I cock and release the shutter once. If it doesn't fire, lens is still open.

Randy Moe
15-Aug-2014, 07:49
Yep always a test fire.



I normally close the lens before putting the film holder in. As a habit, before pulling the darkslide for exposure, I cock and release the shutter once. If it doesn't fire, lens is still open.

Colin Graham
15-Aug-2014, 08:17
Dumb little personal routine, but from back to front I flex the back springs a few times, tighten all the knobs, set the shutter and close the lens- all while looking through the ground glass to make sure focus doesn't change during these final steps. If I'm using a camera with insanely strong back springs, I remove the back from the camera completely before inserting the holder. Returning to the camera with the loaded back I get extra visual proof that the shutter is in fact closed.

About those cable releases though- when in a rush to get a shot I once inadvertently hoisted another lens out of the case, because the button of the cable release on the lens I reached for had gotten wedged into a nearby lens. By the time I noticed the extra weight, the hurried movement of my arm had put the other lens into escape orbit, snapping the little chrome button right off the end of the release. That lens flew a fur piece, as Faulkner would say. I've since learned to slow down (as shown by the highly tedious steps above.) I also kept the button-less cable release installed on the lens as a reminder to calm down and take a deep breath already.

Forgot to mention- to save setup time I made a sling from a quick-release strap and a carabiner so I can easily attach the whole show to a pack strap. The strap is free to slide up and down the tripod legs to balance the weight so it's fairly hands-free. Not recommended for really long distances (or places like cliffs that need a tight turn radius!), but this is much easier for me than carrying everything on my shoulder.

Peter Gomena
15-Aug-2014, 08:44
I wind strips of gaffer tape around pencils/sharpie pens instead of carrying a whole roll of tape in the field.

"Poster putty" is handy for temporarily attaching things to cameras and lenses if tape won't do the job. For example, I use it to attach a small circular spirit level to wooden cameras I don't want to drill holes in for permanent attachments.

Acetate from 4x5 film sleeves is handy for making temporary masks. Ditto a grease pencil for marking up a ground glass or temporary mask.

Harold_4074
15-Aug-2014, 09:55
Carry clothespins along, preferably the really stiff ones; a clothing wrinkle that would be innocuous in a snapshot can be very annoying when perserved on an LF negative.

And string--very useful for "adjusting" foliage without destroying a flower, shrub, or whatever. Sometimes in combination with clothespins!

Heroique
15-Aug-2014, 10:03
That lens flew a fur piece, as Faulkner would say.

A small paperback in the pack can help you wait for wind to subside, light to change, or weather to clear.

And build vocabulary.

I've walked a fur piece to get many of my shots.

Kirk Gittings
15-Aug-2014, 12:10
I put "hook" side Velcro on all my doodads like lens caps, pens, small grey card etc. and "loop" side Velcro on my tripod leg near the top in a couple of places. That way I can remove the cap and slap it on the tripod and not have to go rummaging through my pockets looking for stuff when I pack up or change lenses. As I also use Photobackpacker cases the caps etc. I can just slap on those in an obvious pace too since they are covered in fine loop Velcro type fabric. To get a good seal always clean the place you are adhering the Velcro on a cap etc. with alcohol to remove any grease.

I also keep a UV filter on all my lenses (all with step up rings to my largest lens>all lens caps are the same size too) but only use it when I am fighting slight rain. If it is raining slightly I will focus and compose with it on but remove it just before making an exposure. IF it is not raining I remove the lens cap and filter as one-unscrewing the filter and with the Velcro slap it on tripod and case as one.

As a result, I am a pretty forgetful guy but have only lost one lens cap since I stated.

anglophone1
15-Aug-2014, 14:01
Excellent thread- please keep it up guys............

Maris Rusis
15-Aug-2014, 19:36
Take a chain saw for trimming branches that will be impossible to focus otherwise.

The rest of the plan is to cut those bad branches, trees, whatever with the cut surfaces facing away from the camera. This way you don't have to spot out the pale circles of fresh-cut timber that identify the crime scene. Fred Picker was the originator of this ploy, I think.

Heroique
15-Aug-2014, 19:54
Fred Picker was the originator of this ploy, I think.

Even blade-wielding forest vandals can help prevent forest theft.

When leaving a shot location – despoiled or not – make sure all pockets on your pack are zipped shut.

Gravity is a clever pickpocket if you give him a chance.

John Kasaian
15-Aug-2014, 22:02
Creative camera cases that aren't camera cases, to out fox thieves when travelling.

dsphotog
16-Aug-2014, 09:15
Creative camera cases that aren't camera cases, to out fox thieves when travelling.

Styrofoam coolers can work for this...... Just not in bear country.

John Kasaian
16-Aug-2014, 09:37
Styrofoam coolers can work for this...... Just not in bear country.
True that. Also, bears can read "Coleman" and "Igloo" quite well:o

John Kasaian
16-Aug-2014, 09:50
A plastic shower curtain can come in handy. You can use a black one for a rainy day dark cloth and afford your camera a little extra protection, or use a white one as a reflector.
You can cut a slot in it to make a poncho, use it as a ground cloth if you're stuck out overnight, make a shelter. Bears are not fond of snapping black shower curtains either. You can get a lot of milage out of a shower curtain.

Jumbo size zip lock plastic bags are good dust protection for 8x10 film holders out in the field. 4 Holders will fit comfortably in one jumbo zip lock---you can fit in more but it the bag will wear out quickly.

A miniature bottle of vodka is a nice multi-tasker---you can use it for a lens cleaner plus it makes Wyler's Lemonade taste much better.

Hans Berkhout
16-Aug-2014, 10:39
When I've decided where to place my tripod, I drop my little framing device right there. It has a flaming red ribbon for easy finding again attached to it. Then I walk back (to the car or whatever) to retrieve my tripod, camera pack.
"Helpful" people have yelled that I lost something, or they pick it up and bring it to me.........But usually it works out fine.

Randy
16-Aug-2014, 11:44
I use a Mamiya RB67 chimney finder as my loupe for my 8X10 - It's adjustable for differing eye sites, just remove the metal bracket on the bottom, cut some black felt strips and glue or tape along the bottom where it comes in contact with the ground-glass. Probably a little big for 4X5.

Jim Noel
16-Aug-2014, 11:49
Creative camera cases that aren't camera cases, to out fox thieves when travelling.
A diaper bag with the end of a diaper sticking out is safe even in an airport waiting room. No one is going to touch it.

Nigel Smith
17-Aug-2014, 23:34
One bit of gear I included recently was a 2'x3' piece of plastic tarp. I bought a bigger one for $2 (that loverly blue stuff) and cut/tore it into 4 bits. Kept one for myself and gave the others to my shooting buddies to use for placing our bags/backpack on the wet ground. Using a hiking backpack (and photo ones too I imagine) means you put it down on the ground with the straps/etc to earth, only to put the wet and dirty straps on your back... well that's how I was doing it, now I've got my blue plastic protector!

Struan Gray
18-Aug-2014, 03:19
Cable ties are the new duct tape.

120107

mdarnton
18-Aug-2014, 04:24
I'm using 102mm/2.8 Ektanar-C slide projector lenses as GG magnifiers. I drill a hole in the side about 1/4" in from the back for a string. It's about 10X, works fine, and I don't have to worry about it. Bounces when dropped.

Also, I wanted to see what a fresnel would do for my 5x7, but wasn't ready to spend more for that than I had for the camera, so I found someone on Ebay selling reading fresnels for $2 each. It's coarse and doesn't sit flat on the GG, but it works amazingly well for the price, and the lack of flatness doesn't hurt anything, so I'm keeping it. If you don't have a fresnel, what's a $2 experiment, right? Last night I looked an found one for 8x10 for $10. That one's 2mm thick, so it might even lay flat.

Matsushime
18-Aug-2014, 10:27
Dumb little personal routine, but from back to front I flex the back springs a few times, tighten all the knobs, set the shutter and close the lens- all while looking through the ground glass to make sure focus doesn't change during these final steps. If I'm using a camera with insanely strong back springs, I remove the back from the camera completely before inserting the holder. Returning to the camera with the loaded back I get extra visual proof that the shutter is in fact closed.

About those cable releases though- when in a rush to get a shot I once inadvertently hoisted another lens out of the case, because the button of the cable release on the lens I reached for had gotten wedged into a nearby lens. By the time I noticed the extra weight, the hurried movement of my arm had put the other lens into escape orbit, snapping the little chrome button right off the end of the release. That lens flew a fur piece, as Faulkner would say. I've since learned to slow down (as shown by the highly tedious steps above.) I also kept the button-less cable release installed on the lens as a reminder to calm down and take a deep breath already.

Forgot to mention- to save setup time I made a sling from a quick-release strap and a carabiner so I can easily attach the whole show to a pack strap. The strap is free to slide up and down the tripod legs to balance the weight so it's fairly hands-free. Not recommended for really long distances (or places like cliffs that need a tight turn radius!), but this is much easier for me than carrying everything on my shoulder.

Why not loosen the springs a bit?

Michael Graves
18-Aug-2014, 11:01
I have a small, two-step footstool that I carry in the back of my car. When I want to extend the tripod to its maximum extension (which for my 8x10, puts the ground glass at 6'8" up) I can look silly while focusing the camera. I have discovered that the use of one of these causes your fingers to get slippery. Every time I use it, I drop my loupe just as I'm getting ready to fine-focus. So be careful which brand you buy. Get the ones with the non-slip steps.

Vaughn
18-Aug-2014, 12:43
Some good beers now come in cans -- lighter than bottles.

Warning -- ice boxes are occasionally targeted by younger thieves in campgrounds looking for beer.

Randy Moe
18-Aug-2014, 13:00
Great idea!

I have never used diapers, I will look into this, maybe a little stain...


A diaper bag with the end of a diaper sticking out is safe even in an airport waiting room. No one is going to touch it.

Colin Graham
18-Aug-2014, 14:03
Why not loosen the springs a bit?

Adjustment on my camera back design would require testing different sets of torsion springs with different load ratings. There are not a lot of stock options in the size that would both fit the mandrel diameter and spring housing on my back, and I got the strongest that would fit. I did have a single pair initially and they were once much too loose, so I doubled the springs and arms, now they are too strong. I'll take too strong.

I suppose I could experiment with the heating the springs to reduce the force but would likely ruin them. If you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them. I often can't see the forest for the trees so I could be overlooking something obvious.

Anyway, sorry for the lazy hyperbole in my original post, they're really not that bad, but I do worry sometimes that I'll nudge the focus putting in a holder.

Ari
19-Aug-2014, 16:53
I have a small, two-step footstool that I carry in the back of my car. When I want to extend the tripod to its maximum extension (which for my 8x10, puts the ground glass at 6'8" up) I can look silly while focusing the camera. I have discovered that the use of one of these causes your fingers to get slippery. Every time I use it, I drop my loupe just as I'm getting ready to fine-focus. So be careful which brand you buy. Get the ones with the non-slip steps.

Just get a non-slip loupe!


:)

mdarnton
19-Aug-2014, 17:13
I have a 5 gallon bucket with lid in my studio. For low shots it's a good stool, for high, I stand on it. I often think it would make a nice road case with some fittings inside. I mean to try to fit my 5x7 in it. . . A couple of holders and a lens or two, maybe would fit, too? The opposite of a "steal me" case?!

For transit I could sling it over my shoulder like a tramp's pail on my tripod.

Randy Moe
19-Aug-2014, 17:30
Watch out for me doing the same thing, only I use orange Home Depot buckets, also in Chicago...


I have a 5 gallon bucket with lid in my studio. For low shots it's a good stool, for high, I stand on it. I often think it would make a nice road case with some fittings inside. I mean to try to fit my 5x7 in it. . . A couple of holders and a lens or two, maybe would fit, too? The opposite of a "steal me" case?!

For transit I could sling it over my shoulder like a tramp's pail on my tripod.

dsphotog
19-Aug-2014, 23:15
I like the 5 gal. bucket idea, maybe a used paint bucket (clean on inside) with some dry paint on outside- to be stealthy.
I have used milk crates, they can be bungie corded to a cart, stacked, also can be sat on, stood on.

Matsushime
22-Aug-2014, 09:03
Adjustment on my camera back design would require testing different sets of torsion springs with different load ratings. There are not a lot of stock options in the size that would both fit the mandrel diameter and spring housing on my back, and I got the strongest that would fit. I did have a single pair initially and they were once much too loose, so I doubled the springs and arms, now they are too strong. I'll take too strong.

I suppose I could experiment with the heating the springs to reduce the force but would likely ruin them. If you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them. I often can't see the forest for the trees so I could be overlooking something obvious.

Anyway, sorry for the lazy hyperbole in my original post, they're really not that bad, but I do worry sometimes that I'll nudge the focus putting in a holder.

Ahh, I see. I don't have any suggestions besides what you've already mentioned, trying different springs. I thought your camera back design could have had adjustment screws similar to mine for the pressure adjustment. Too bad everything can't be a little easier, eh?

I did take some advice you gave on your post from earlier though! You said that you take the back off to verify that you closed the shutter before you expose the film. I modified that idea. Since my tripod is a cheapo that supports a 20+ pound Horseman monorail, it sometimes moves when I slide the film holder in. I don't know why I never thought of it but now I remove the film holder back from the rear standard, insert the film holder and then mount it back on the camera. I tried this the other day while shooting a model and got exceptionally sharp images!

Colin Graham
22-Aug-2014, 11:29
Er, yeah- that's the whole point of the routine, making sure that the focus isn't disturbed. Getting the extra visual confirmation that the shutter is closed is just a bonus.


Dumb little personal routine, but from back to front I flex the back springs a few times, tighten all the knobs, set the shutter and close the lens- all while looking through the ground glass to make sure focus doesn't change during these final steps. If I'm using a camera with insanely strong back springs, I remove the back from the camera completely before inserting the holder. Returning to the camera with the loaded back I get extra visual proof that the shutter is in fact closed.

al olson
24-Aug-2014, 08:34
After getting some light spill on my negatives while using the Grafmatic, I realized that I was likely separating the holder while operating the slide. I use the Grafloks, even when slipping the Grafmatic into the back, to hold it down and the problem has gone away.

David Lobato
24-Aug-2014, 10:13
Nothing to buy or make, but a few pushups, abdominals, and maybe light dumbbells 2-3 times a week makes doing things in the field easier. Hauling gear from the car and setting up the camera on a tripod just go a little better. A regular walking habit helps while accessing a photographic site. I will be 59 shortly and need any advantage to handle my 8x10 and 11x14 cameras.

Dan Fromm
24-Aug-2014, 11:58
Since no one has mentioned it yet, I keep my lenses in plastic food storage containers with foam buffers added. Keeps dust away, protects them from bumps.

Heroique
24-Aug-2014, 14:19
Ries J600 "backpacker" tripod users (like me) boast of disassembling their tripods and strapping the compact Ries case onto their packs.

It's a great convenience when hiking through thick brush.

However, holding the assembled tripod makes for a fantastic "balancing rod" when hiking over a terrain of roots and rocks.

Steve Goldstein
24-Aug-2014, 17:12
Pre-slit foam pipe insulation is cheap, weighs next to nothing, and comes in a variety of sizes. You can use it to turn your unpadded tripod legs into padded ones in a jiffy. This made my Gitzo 1227 Mk II so much more pleasant to carry on my shoulder!

neil poulsen
24-Aug-2014, 18:07
If my camera is too high to see the figures on top of the shutter, I use the display of my mobile phone as a mirror.

This thread is fun.

Michael

I carry a dentist's mirror and a pen lite for this purpose.

neil poulsen
24-Aug-2014, 18:12
Probably kind of obvious: make up a check list of everything to take. Or at least, go through the steps of taking a mock photo before leaving home to make sure everything's been packed.

I bought a package of heavier duty rubber bands to length-wise wrap around my film holders. Helps insure that a darkslide won't slip open, either before or after an exposure.

polyglot
24-Aug-2014, 18:45
Mobile phones make a passable light meter and long-exposure timer. Also handy that you can google the reciprocity behaviour of some film while in the field...

alavergh
24-Aug-2014, 20:38
Mobile phones make a passable light meter and long-exposure timer. Also handy that you can google the reciprocity behaviour of some film while in the field...

Sometimes I wonder what film photography would be like today if it were the only kind of photography. I've got the app for reciprocity that helps me time an exposure depending on what film I'm using, if there is any bellows extension coming into play, and still leaves room for exposure compensation. How different would processes, chemistry, enlargers, and other things be if all of a company's R&D was still going into this kind of thing?

Anyways, that's just a suggestion that the reciprocity timer that I use for my apple phone is awesome.

polyglot
25-Aug-2014, 00:24
Not forgetting of course the BTZS app and things that allow you to take notes on your shot.

polyglot
25-Aug-2014, 00:25
Not forgetting of course the BTZS app and things that allow you to take notes on your shot.

steveo
26-Aug-2014, 04:16
I recently bought an Android App called Exposure Assistant which has the reciprocal calculations for all the films I use programmed in. What a time saver when shooting Foma now if someone would open a coffee shop at the top of the hills I shoot in I could do something useful whilst I wait...

Jerry Bodine
26-Aug-2014, 14:52
A laundered cotton diaper won't leave lint behind so makes a good cloth for wiping your gear down.

Now at 80, I hope this purchase doesn't mean I have to endure strange looks at the checkout counter. And I refuse to have kids to justify it.

al olson
27-Aug-2014, 10:30
Pre-slit foam pipe insulation is cheap, weighs next to nothing, and comes in a variety of sizes. You can use it to turn your unpadded tripod legs into padded ones in a jiffy. This made my Gitzo 1227 Mk II so much more pleasant to carry on my shoulder!

It also makes it more comfortable on the hands in freezing temperatures.

Toyon
27-Aug-2014, 10:42
Take a chain saw for trimming branches that will be impossible to focus otherwise.
Destructive and illegal.

Heroique
22-Dec-2014, 14:37
Destructive and illegal.

Well, certainly immoral.

One can use a chainsaw to remove fallen trees from forest roads.

Constructive, neighborly, moral, and legal!

Heroique
22-Dec-2014, 14:45
For Epson 4990 + Epson Scan users...

As you may know, the 4990 features a single fixed lens, so choosing between "Film (with Film Holder)" and "Film (with Film Area Guide") doesn't change the performance of the lens. (It's a different story, of course, with Epson's later models such as the V700/750.)

However, the choice does make a difference on which part of the platen is covered by the 4990's lens. Naturally, the "Film Area Guide" provides a larger area, especially toward the bottom where I like to place my homemade film holder.

So I use the "Film Area Guide" choice -- even though I'm using my homemade holder.

ShannonG
26-Dec-2014, 13:36
Great thread
-I carry a compact makeup mirror for setting the lens from behind the camera or when one is using a recessed lens board .

- i carry a small flash light

- i put brightly color tape on my shutter release

Amfooty
26-Dec-2014, 20:02
The bags photo paper comes in also happen to be good for keeping loaded film holders safe.

John Kasaian
26-Dec-2014, 23:13
A Swiss Army knife---especially the one with a #2 Phillips--- is always good to have along. The one with the cork screw is good too especially if you have to wait for the light to change.

ShannonG
27-Dec-2014, 07:55
when i shoot out of studio i always have some light stands and clamps to hold reflectors or flags sometimes a black background cloth to block out the rest of the scene from the subject

i carry card holder clamps wit black matt board ,to attach to the front standard for a lens shade

Ari
27-Dec-2014, 09:03
I have a fabric tape measure sewn into the edge of my focussing cloth for measuring those pesky bellows extensions. One less thing to pack, one less thing to forget.


Post of the day.


Two votes for post of the day.

This was such a good idea that I did it almost right away.
Instead of sewing a tape measure, I used a black laundry marker to write the increments (in inches) on the white side of my dark cloth.
It's already proven very useful on at least four different occasions, and while it's rough, it eliminates all the guesswork.
Pair this with the Reciprocity app, and bellows extension almost calculates itself!
Thanks again, Maris.

C. D. Keth
27-Dec-2014, 11:27
This was such a good idea that I did it almost right away.
Instead of sewing a tape measure, I used a black laundry marker to write the increments (in inches) on the white side of my dark cloth.
It's already proven very useful on at least four different occasions, and while it's rough, it eliminates all the guesswork.
Pair this with the Reciprocity app, and bellows extension almost calculates itself!
Thanks again, Maris.

Ari, you can do one better. Precalculate 1/2 or 1/3 stop incremental bellows compensations and just stick them to your lens board. My 150mm board, for example, has the following on it in P-Touch label tape:

150mm

+1/3 - 168mm
+2/3 - 190mm
+1 - 212mm
+1 1/3 - 237mm
+1 2/3 - 268mm
+2 - 300mm
+2 1/3 - 335mm
+2 2/3 - 379mm
+3 - 424mm
+3 1/3 - 477mm

kintatsu
28-Dec-2014, 06:43
Since I have 6 film holders I use, I have 12 shots. I made up a shot record with the exposure and lighting information for all 12 shots on 1 sheet, a second sheet for notes on each shot, and a third for development information. I keep this on a steel clipboard with reciprocity charts, a Planckian Locus of color temperatures, and a sheet with common light temperatures laminated onto one side. On the other, I have a chart of the visible light spectrum from about 450nm to 710nm, with a chart of my filters and factors below corresponding wavelengths and colors. At the bottom are some fact about factors for quick reference in the field.

The shot record contains much of AA's original published record sheet, modified to suit my needs and "brain flow." I also keep an extra copy of "Scales to Determine Magnifying and Exposure Corrections..." just in case I "brain fart" the calculations.

The clipboard fits in a soft laptop "briefcase" with my holders, filters, meter, loupe, spare pack of smokes, mini-maglight, mini-Philips/straight screwdriver, 2 pens, seamstress's measuring tape, electrical tape, and miscellaneous sundries.

jnanian
28-Dec-2014, 07:01
keep a rock climbing diaper ( harness ) big carabiners, and some thick rope ( high deadweight tested ) handy
so when you are on the edge of a cliff or quarry you can tie yourself to a tree in case
"10feet from the edge" isn't enough room and the ledge breaks

Joe O'Hara
29-Dec-2014, 06:18
I use a large spring binder clip from the stationery store to fasten my dark cloth to the carrying handle
on the top of my field camera. In between pictures I clip it to the lanyard that my spot meter is on so
it's always handy when I'm setting up.

NoBob
29-Dec-2014, 07:12
I carry

1. string to hold tree branches and anything else that can be held out of the way with string.

2. Blu-Tack, as well as electrician's and duct tape (black, white and clear) to hold cables out of the way when photographing interiors. The duct tape can hold up a large black out cloth I carry around.

Ari
29-Dec-2014, 07:39
Ari, you can do one better. Precalculate 1/2 or 1/3 stop incremental bellows compensations and just stick them to your lens board. My 150mm board, for example, has the following on it in P-Touch label tape:

150mm

+1/3 - 168mm
+2/3 - 190mm
+1 - 212mm
+1 1/3 - 237mm
+1 2/3 - 268mm
+2 - 300mm
+2 1/3 - 335mm
+2 2/3 - 379mm
+3 - 424mm
+3 1/3 - 477mm

Thanks, Chris; I like that.
It eliminates the need for an extra gadget; faster and more streamlined.
Excellent!

dsrthorne
27-Mar-2015, 19:56
If you use a backpack, go to REI and get some ripcord and an s-hook. Attach to backpack. Hang backpack from tripod during shooting. This has a beneficial side effect with packs that open at the back - you don't have to lay it on the ground to access your gear and makes it easier to reach into it to fetch equipment.

Generic waterproof backpack covers from REI are great for both your backpack, and your camera if it's already set up.

If you're going to be shooting in a semi-public place, wear something festive. You know those other photographers are going to take more pictures of you taking a picture than they will of what they're actually there to see.

When you carry a lot of darkslides, use stickies from office depot to identify which kind of film is in each. The stickies I'm referring to are the ones you use to mark pages or locations on a contract where you need to sign. They are cheap, come in 4 colors per pack. I use yellow for ektar, green for velvia, red for provia, blue for portra, nothing for b&w. I only carry one kind of b&w at a time.

Number your darkslides. Reference these numbers in a notebook used to write down subject, focus notes, exposure notes, SBR as metered, which filters were used. This particular technique has saved my pictures too often to admit, as it has allowed me to develop one before the other, and then ask the lab to adjust the development of the 2nd exposure accordingly, if I screwed up the metering. This allows me to identify which darkslides have persistent light leak issues and need to be retired, etc. The same data can be used on a notecard archived with the slide after processing.

Get a filter holder pack. I don't have mine handy to give the brand name, but there are packs out there that can hold up to 10 filters and they're only $50. Keep them organized, keep them clean. I went to a machine shop and for a 6-pack of guinness got 2 rectangular cuts of aluminum that I placed in front and back to protect the pack from impacts.

Never trust a new release cable. Ever. Always have 2.

It's easy to forget to tighten the focus knob.

Replace the focus locking knob (if it's your standard knurled knob that you spin to tighten) with a lever-based mechanism from mcmaster-carr. This is easy, just measure the threads on your camera and order a $3 plastic part. It prevents the friction from locking down the focus from *moving* the front standard.

I cut out the elastic around the camera-end of the dark cloth and replaced it with rip cord from REI and a backpack cord lock (the kind you push to loosen, let go to let it tighten, you've had them on jackets before). The struggle of getting the dark cloth over the rear standard can move it if you don't have it tightened down hard enough. This eliminates that problem.

It hails in the middle of summer in Yellowstone. Wear a hat.

Osprey makes hip belts that are much better than any attached to readily-available photography backpacks. At least, better than my Dakine and f-stop huge bag. I'm going to get one and take it to a tailor to attach, as those bags are definitely not made for everybody.

Make sure that roll film is tightly wound on the receiver spool on that 6x17 back for your 4x5 before pulling it out. Light leaks galore. Do not squeeze roll too tightly when moving it into storage.

Skip the 6x17 back. My Da-Yi on my shen-hao tz45 can only handle up to 90mm lenses. I regularly want to shoot 150mm. Come to terms with the fact that a good 6x17 setup will probably run you $2k in the end.

Make a mark on the backside of the film box for every sheet you remove and load into a slide holder. This will help you plan your film purchases. "Am I out of velvia? No, I've only got 3 ||| marks, there's 17 left."

If liquid scanning, .003 mylar is too thin, .005 is just right.

If liquid scanning, a 12-pack of guinness is a good price for an aluminum matte to put around the slide to enhance contrast and prevent light leaks from softening your scan. Take a slide in for the machinist to measure.

If liquid scanning, that Kami fluid will get you super awesome high, and then induce suicidal thoughts with an almost immediate migraine. Lumina is much better.

When placing a grad, up the f-stop to at least 22 to be able to see it on the ground glass.

Don't forget to change your light meter settings when you switch films (if you're carrying a selection). Ektar 100 does not expose the same as velvia 50 or portra 160. But you could always pull it or push it, as long as you kept notes on the exposures in your notebook.

At the back of your notebook, keep tables of exposure compensation from the technical data pdfs or forum posts (for films that don't publish exposure comp numbers) for the films you use and carry. Go significantly higher than you think necessary if you carry a 10-stop ND, because you may be pairing that ND with a polarizer and a color filter for b&w. You can't predict these things, and those can add up to almost 15 stops.

Don't forget your polarizer's density. Mine is 1... and a third.

Test lenses you bought from ebay japan as soon as possible. I picked up a "perfect" condition 300 with serious blurring anywhere off-center, and used it for the first time several months later, in the field, on top of a hill in yellowstone, completely destroying my shots of grand prismatic. That's not just a couple hundred thrown away, that's an entire day wasted.

Heroique
27-Mar-2015, 20:48
It hails in the middle of summer in Yellowstone. Wear a hat.

Dsrthorne,

Your many practical tips make you a champion practitioner in these parts.

They are a treasure trove, a mother lode, a garden of LF delights.

Thank you. ;^)

-----
My favorite is the one about Yellowstone quoted above.

neil poulsen
27-Mar-2015, 23:24
I bought a package of 3/4"x4" removable labels that fit conveniently on at the top of the film holder, one on each side for each sheet of film. I jot down relevant info (e.g. N+1, location, f-stop, etc.) right when the sheet is exposed. Being removable, they can stay with the sheet of film for future reference.

dsrthorne
28-Mar-2015, 00:01
I bought a package of 3/4"x4" removable labels that fit conveniently on at the top of the film holder, one on each side for each sheet of film. I jot down relevant info (e.g. N+1, location, f-stop, etc.) right when the sheet is exposed. Being removable, they can stay with the sheet of film for future reference.

Whatever system works, good sir.

I write exposure info down in a notebook with removable pages. One exposure per page. When I remove the film from the holder and put it in a film box for exposed film, I rip the page for that exposure out of the notebook and place it in a stack of other pages for the other exposed film sheets that are in that box. The pages are clipped together in the same order that the sheets they refer to are ordered in the box. There is never any confusion as to which sheet of film is being developed. This also allows me to reorder the pages when I get home and decide what order to have the film developed in - just unclip the bundle of exposure notes and clip it back together when done.

Peter Spangenberg
4-Apr-2015, 12:17
If you shoot black and white, you'll be surprised how many "intrusions" can be covered up with your dark cloth when you are ready to expose. Bits of white PVC pipe, bright boulders, etc can magically disappear when covered by the cloth....and you'll be happy that it's not noticeable in the print if placed carefully. This has saved several images I was ready to walk away from.

Randy Moe
4-Apr-2015, 12:46
If you shoot black and white, you'll be surprised how many "intrusions" can be covered up with your dark cloth when you are ready to expose. Bits of white PVC pipe, bright boulders, etc can magically disappear when covered by the cloth....and you'll be happy that it's not noticeable in the print if placed carefully. This has saved several images I was ready to walk away from.

Good one!

Bill_1856
4-Apr-2015, 17:18
I
The image on my ground glass is upside down. Where can I get that fixed? the image on my ground glass is upside down. Where can I get that fixed?

Move move to to Australia New Zealand.

Drew Bedo
5-Apr-2015, 05:59
Talk out loud, saying the actual process while going through the steps to complete a shot.

I have used this technique while teaching students to use medical imaging equipment in a hospital setting. I suppose it would work for keeping myself from skipping a step, like remembering to close the pre-view lever before drawing the slide.

Drew Bedo
5-Apr-2015, 06:12
Many LF photographers are methodical and detail oriented . . .this is good and necessary in LF photography. I am not.

To combat this tendency to be slap-dash, I use several strategies, not always successfully. One thing I do is to wrap or pack each accessory item in something before it goes into the camera bag. Some items go into a velvet CrownRoyal bag, some things go into a storage box from PhotoBackpacker, maybe the thing just gets dropped into a plastic baggie.

The point of this is that when rigging-down to move to another location, if there is empty bag, wrapper or box. then thee is still some piece of equipment that must be accounted for and packed safely away.

Drew Bedo
5-Apr-2015, 06:23
A Swiss Army knife---especially the one with a #2 Phillips--- is always good to have along. The one with the cork screw is good too especially if you have to wait for the light to change.

A pocket knife as you suggest or a Multi-Tool (Leatherman, Gerber, etc.).

Jac@stafford.net
5-Apr-2015, 10:12
If you shoot black and white, you'll be surprised how many "intrusions" can be covered up with your dark cloth when you are ready to expose. Bits of white PVC pipe, bright boulders, etc can magically disappear when covered by the cloth....and you'll be happy that it's not noticeable in the print if placed carefully.

That's a tip that never occurred to me. A lifetime keeper. Thank you!

sepstein17
6-Apr-2015, 12:06
I wear my meter around my neck and, unless my head detaches from my shoulders, I always know where it is.

Photobackpacker
14-Apr-2015, 14:49
I have my Pentax Spotmeter attached to a retractable lanyard. With all of the care and attention paid to exposure and development testing, I am paranoid about dropping the meter.

Bruce

Doremus Scudder
15-Apr-2015, 02:12
I have my Pentax Spotmeter attached to a retractable lanyard. With all of the care and attention paid to exposure and development testing, I am paranoid about dropping the meter.

Bruce

+1
I work "tethered" to my meter as well. It lives in a pocket in my photo vest or coat and has a lanyard that is attached to a ring at chest level. The lanyard is just long enough to get the meter to my eye comfortably, but short enough that the meter won't hit the ground when dropped (unless I'm low on my knees...). This has saved it a time or two.

I also tether the viewing filter and have my glasses on a line, so I can just drop them when in the field and don my 4x reading glasses. Usually the only time I drop my glasses is when I return to "civilization" and wear my glasses normally without the line that I've got used to...

Best,

Doremus

Tobias Key
15-Apr-2015, 02:59
I installed a vibrometer (for earthquakes) on my smartphone. I then can mount the phone on my camera with some blu-tack and see whether light winds or nearby traffic are vibrating the camera enough to ruin the exposure.

Jody_S
15-Apr-2015, 05:14
I installed a vibrometer (for earthquakes) on my smartphone. I then can mount the phone on my camera with some blu-tack and see whether light winds or nearby traffic are vibrating the camera enough to ruin the exposure.

Brilliant! (and: done!)

jnanian
15-Apr-2015, 06:13
if you don't have a meter you can sunny 11 and if you are using b/w film
you might be - close enough ...

neil poulsen
15-Apr-2015, 12:41
Talk out loud, saying the actual process while going through the steps to complete a shot.

I do this when I photograph people. :)

ShannonG
15-Apr-2015, 17:54
i use common sence,,,,,and annything i call ,,,,a new skill...

chris jordan
15-Apr-2015, 18:02
I always carried a big gnarly Bowie knife in my LF camera bag. Turned out I never needed it for anything, but it sure was bitchin' to know it was there, just in case, you know, I had a piece of thread that needed cutting or whatever. Or I got attacked by a crocodile (in Seattle). ~cj

NoBob
16-Apr-2015, 11:30
Guitar plectrum to lift film out of the holder. I bought the thinnest type. Someone mentioned using them on this forum I think, but I can't find the post.

cjbroadbent
16-Apr-2015, 13:56
A laser fixed precisely and permanently to a quick-release plus a mirror fixed to a book-end. When the beam comes back and hits the laser, I know the the tripod head is aimed square on to walls, table edges and such.

David_Senesac
16-Apr-2015, 15:45
Most of my work has always been out in the field thus need to be self-sufficient once hiking out. Have always wound a length of construction grade duct tape (now use Gorilla Tape) around the upper wider end of one tripod leg and over years have used it to remedy a range of issues like when a screw apparently fell out from my Wisner's front standard extension levers. Of course there was a time when I would just chuck a roll in my daypack but it had a tendency to leave that location and then I would not notice it was gone until being needed.

I set exposure a bit differently than others who use a digital lightmeter in that I've always set aperture and shutter speed from EV levels. So set my meter to show EV levels without any of the usual f-stop and SS further help. Thus have learned to totally think in EV light levels that at least I think has advantages and that is mostly incident reading so don't use spot modes too often except in situations like late/early light skies. And also have always tended to use ASA 100 transparency film. Accordingly have taped a table on tripod legs for ASA 100 of aperture (X) versus shutter speed (Y) with EV data values on chart body. Thus when shooting for years have used that to set exposure when it is at a setting I'm not familiar with that is usually during dimmer situations of longer exposure. Being right on a tripod leg makes looking at it easy and hand's free while in the heat of battle.