View Full Version : Understanging Tilt, Swing & PoF through some Reference Images

28-Aug-2015, 13:28
Hello everyone,

in order to better understand the usage of tilt and swing movements (I'm a beginner and haven't yet gained a real - let's call it "intuition" when to use which movements - as well as placing the plane of focus I'd like to turn to some pictures done by other photographers. I'd be super grateful if you could chime in and help me understand how those photographs were created (with regard to movements and PoF).

To start with, I'd like to post one of Philip-Lorca diCorcia's photographs:


Thanks in advance for your help!!

Jim Noel
28-Aug-2015, 14:18
Frankly this looks more like a typically over-sharpened digital image.
However, if it is with a large format, which with me begins with 5x7", no camera movements seem to be involved. Slightly longer than normal lens, focused on the face and wide open. Exposure and development account for the rest. Is it color negative or transparency film? Was it processed normally? I believe there is supplementary light on the face of the subject, other than that it is ambient.

28-Aug-2015, 14:32
It doesn't look "oversharpened" to me, but then I'm not sure also what a "typically oversharpened" image would typically look like.

As far as examples for how movements affect pictures goes, I would have thought any of the commonly recommended LF camera texts would have examples helpful to a beginner - my copy of Stroebel certainly does, and has helped me immensely

28-Aug-2015, 14:32
If I wanted to understand the techniques of a view camera, this is the last place I'd start.

28-Aug-2015, 14:58
Neither his biography nor his photos give any indication that they were shot in large format, so as Thomas Fallon said, you are looking at the wrong photos to gain insight into LF camera movements. If you really want to study the use and effects of large format camera movements, I will be predictable and suggest reviewing Ansel Adams' photographs.

Bob Salomon
28-Aug-2015, 15:57
Here is a free starter on movements.


Here is another.


28-Aug-2015, 16:04
Best to get a book dedicated to the subject. I'd recommend View Camera Technique by Leslie Stroebel or A User's Guide to the View Camera by Jim Stone. Stroebel's book covers every technical subject you could possibly want to know with respect to View cameras and does so with precision and accuracy.

28-Aug-2015, 16:43
Hi celtic9,
I believe that you would learn more and faster by taking out your camera and looking through the ground glass (with a loupe). Long ago I started with Stroebel's "View Camera Technique." I recall that there are some good illustrations about how the camera looks from the side and the top to make the picture that is shown. There is a proviso. In real picture taking, so very significant changes in the visual result can come from some very small changes in camera movements.

There is also a rule for you to remember: rear movements change the shape; front movements change the area of focus. That is half of the battle right there. Best of luck.

1-Sep-2015, 08:55

Thank you for those 2 links.

1-Sep-2015, 14:23
The example does not have a format dimension that matches any common large format camera of which I am familiar. I can see no evidence of tilt, swing or shift in the image. Am I missing something.

Drew Bedo
2-Sep-2015, 15:36
Steve Simmon's "Using The view Camera" has been rereleased as an e-book or a PDF to down load.


john borrelli
5-Sep-2015, 18:07
If you are interested in color landscape photography, I recommend Large Format Nature Photography by Jack Dykinga.

There are a few images where he shows you the effect of movements on a landscape image that are worthwhile for beginners to see. So many books seem to show you how to take great images of alphabet blocks or boxes but there isn't much of a general interest in that sort of thing. I will also take a description of the effects of movements used for a publishable image over a description of the effects of movements on a diagram any day.