View Full Version : LFers -- why does K.I.S.S. help you, or hinder you?

2-Feb-2015, 14:13
As most here know, it means "Keep it simple, stupid!"

But just for fun, I'm curious if LFers think it's mainly helpful ... or interfering.

In your work, do you think the phrase is a discourtesy to a complex (scientific) understanding – even as it scoffs deeper, intuitive feelings?

Or if you've followed the admonition with success, what did it save you from ... or inspire you to do?

For the record, I'm a zealous advocate of K.I.S.S. principles, and I can't remember a time when it has led me astray. It's like a recurring whisper in the ear against over-thinking a shot – but it might also protect people from an over-reliance on intuition.

Please tell us, if you can keep it simple, what's your LF experience with K.I.S.S.?

2-Feb-2015, 14:16
To me it means never ever ever ever get married again. I gave up kisses for K.I.S.S. many years ago.

2-Feb-2015, 15:03
What is a LFer? :D

Just struck me as funny or ironic as the feedback thread and the reoccurring thread high-jacking for the definition of "large format" is still ongoing on the board.


2-Feb-2015, 15:16
"LFers" is the K.I.S.S. version of "Large Format Photographers."

But now that I think about it, LF-ers (with the hyphen) might look better. ;^)

For me, sunny-16 has often proved an effective K.I.S.S. technique, even when my ever-reliable Pentax spot meter accompanies me to the field and begs for multiple readings to the nearest 1/3 stop.

The simplicity of sunny-16 has allowed me to capture many fugitive shots! For example, my favorite K.I.S.S. moment is when a herd of 60-80 elk dashed through a meadow that I had framed and focused on my GG, but not yet metered.

2-Feb-2015, 15:17
I apply the KISS principle to equipment and method. This allows my brain to get as complicated as it wants.

In this case, an "LFer" is someone communicating on the LFPF -- just to KISS.

PS -- the Sunny-16 rule would be a great example of the KISS concept being miss-leading for me. Absolutely of no use to me other than to double check my meter on an average day. Not a whole lot of sun making it thru the centuries of redwood growth.

John Kasaian
2-Feb-2015, 16:29
It is very helpful to me.

2-Feb-2015, 16:43
It is one of the most difficult concept for me but one that I have to constantly remind myself when reviewing my photos. For me, the K.I.S.S is "say something" in my photographs.


2-Feb-2015, 18:43
Part of LF for me is studying photo history. I think the pictorialists and early modernists applied KISS to composition and what is in the photo in a way that seems quite relevant and beautiful to me.

2-Feb-2015, 19:19
I am sorry, all i can think about is that "you were made for loving me", because we know KISS means "keep it simple, Simmons".


2-Feb-2015, 20:42
One light fixture..softbox or whatever

less to pack, less to mess with, less to go wrong

2-Feb-2015, 21:21
Part of LF for me is studying photo history. I think the pictorialists and early modernists applied KISS to composition and what is in the photo in a way that seems quite relevant and beautiful to me.

Great idea, learning how to K.I.S.S. by watching others do it.

In addition to photo history, I think painting has a lot to offer. For example, Claude Lorrain (17th-C French landscape painter) kept his scenes very simple, though I'm sure a lot of thought went into making them appear that way. His trees and their serpentine trunks teach me a lot about subject selection, framing, and viewpoint perspective.

If only I had as much control over the light as he did...

John Kasaian
2-Feb-2015, 23:03
Ansel Adams writing in Morgan & Lester's Graphic Graflex Photography, 8th edition, chapter 5:
"...Study the monumental work of Stieglitz, Strand, and Weston will reveal the power and effectiveness of a simple technical approach to photography. These men use the simplest possible equipment and materials; their message "comes through" with the convincing impact of great art...as their experience grew their work became simpler and richer."

3-Feb-2015, 01:58
"stuff" just ends up being a distraction

Drew Bedo
3-Feb-2015, 06:53
I try to keep it simple by pre-calculating the correction for bellows extension for my most often used lenses. For the 210mm lens, each inch beyond 8 1/4 inches approximates 1/4 stop of increases exposure. For the 150mm, the correction is 1/3 stop per inch beyond 6". Outdoors, The 90mm is most often used at infinity in the field, so no mental math. When working outside in changing light this simplification works pretty well. When shooting still-life compositions indoors with lights, I take the time to do the math a little more carefully.

For film: In the field I try to only load films rated at the dame speed. The color goes into newer plastic film holders while the B&W goes into the older holders with metal tipped dark slides. This is to address the final "S" in the in KISS.

Robert Opheim
3-Feb-2015, 07:05
I have bellows factors written out on 3x5 cards for each of my lenses. This makes it easier to think about the image and have less calculations to do in the field. This is a KISS philosophy item for me. I do have to also factor in for reciprocity of the film of course.

Kirk Gittings
3-Feb-2015, 08:53
KISS to me is how I approach all technical matters related to exposure and development so I don't make mistakes particularly when I am half asleep, tired, distracted or in a hurry. KISS starts for me with using one film and one developer and knowing those components characteristics like the palm of my hand.

3-Feb-2015, 13:34
As a few posts have suggested, reducing math work to simple calculations (or rules of thumb) is an effective KISS strategy indeed.

To add to the list, I don’t worry too much about bellows correction unless the distance to my subject is 10x my focal length, or closer.

If this is the case, I add 1/2 stop for every 25% increase in bellows extension (beyond infinity).

Simple! :cool:

Example: I’m using a 240mm lens. 10 x 240mm = 2400mm (or 2.4 meters). So I will consider BC when my subject is 2.4 meters from the camera, or closer.

John Kasaian
3-Feb-2015, 13:37
"stuff" just ends up being a distraction

So true!

Drew Wiley
3-Feb-2015, 17:10
I'd get confused just trying to remember the "keep it simple" slogan. Too complicated for me.

9-Feb-2015, 20:30
To me KISS means ,,dont over think it just go by intuition and experience and it usually works out,,if not then think about it more,,,as simple as that.

Alan Gales
11-Feb-2015, 22:17
I'd get confused just trying to remember the "keep it simple" slogan. Too complicated for me.

That's a good one! ;)

Alan Gales
11-Feb-2015, 22:32
Keep it simple. I don't care if it's photography or something else. When you start complicating things there is more chance of mistakes.

If you don't believe me then just look at our federal government. They complicate everything.

12-Feb-2015, 13:51
Some things just are complicated. That doesn't mean they can't be broken down into manageable blocks that can be executed without f-ing up. At least, I really hope so, because I expect to go in for surgery again sometime in the next year or two.