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Thread: New Photography Project and Newbie to LF Photography

  1. #1

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    New Photography Project and Newbie to LF Photography

    Howdy friends.

    I just posted in the introductions a bit about myself. Well, I have a photo project that I am embarking on and I'd like some advice. Below are some shots that are similar to what I will be doing. Essentially, nicely composed architecture along with a silhouette of someone in the foreground that is out of focus.

    I am new to movements and would like some ideas on how to shoot some of these scenes better. I understand that "better" is a value judgement and can be subjective. Where I would start is by removing the converging lines using shift. But any ideas on what you guys would like to do with it would be food for thought for me.

    These I shot with a Pentax 67 & 165mm lens. To shoot in a similar fashion in LF, I am going with a 4x5 and 250mm lens.




  2. #2

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    Re: New Photography Project and Newbie to LF Photography

    Rather than a tutorial on camera movements (more in a moment), I'm unsure whether a view camera is the right tool for your project. To eliminate the converging lines ("key-stoning" because the film plane is not parallel to the buildings since you are pointing the camera upwards) you don't use shift, you tilt the camera back so that the film plane is vertical, just like the buildings are. But that is very hard to do hand held, you need the camera on a tripod, and based on the two images you posted, that may not work for your project ( a tripod in the sidewalk in midtown Manhattan may be a problem). OTOH, you could set up in advance with the tripod and camera back vertical, and then wait until someone walks past you into the correct spot, predetermined, at which point you trip the shutter. My main point is that a camera is a tool, and while a view camera is designed to let you eliminate the converging lines, it may not be the best tool for your specific project.

  3. #3

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    Re: New Photography Project and Newbie to LF Photography

    There are actually two ways to prevent converging lines. One is the method Peter described which is using back tilt to keep the film plane parallel to the buildings. The other is to NOT point the camera up, but rather keep the camera level (and the film plane vertical and parallel to the buildings), and use front rise or back fall (most likely you would keep the camera lower using this technique) to keep both the person and the upper parts of the buildings in the frame. This method might work better for you because the people in the frame won't realize they are in the frame unless they they know about rise/fall.

  4. #4

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    Re: New Photography Project and Newbie to LF Photography

    Thank you both for the replies. It's good food for thought.

    Also, the notion that a 4x5 field camera will be more obtrusive than a medium format one is well taken. We'll see how people in the street take to it.

    I'll start experimenting and post some of the work here.

  5. #5

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    Re: New Photography Project and Newbie to LF Photography

    why worry about keystoning? the building in photo 2 look GREAT with the shadowfigure.. I guess you could try and see if it gives you a different feel..but in photo #2..it looks like the buildings are 'closing in' on the figure.. very expressionistic

    also..if you put your camera on a tripod and frame the buildings.. you could be standing beside the camera with a cable release..pretending to be messing around with something as you wait for someone to cross your path...if you are all hunched over next to the camera..people may not want to walk in front of you, thinking they will spoil the photo....but if it looks like you are not taking a photo..you can take a photo

  6. #6
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: New Photography Project and Newbie to LF Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by DrTang View Post
    why worry about keystoning? the building in photo 2 look GREAT with the shadowfigure.. I guess you could try and see if it gives you a different feel..but in photo #2..it looks like the buildings are 'closing in' on the figure.. very expressionistic

    also..if you put your camera on a tripod and frame the buildings.. you could be standing beside the camera with a cable release..pretending to be messing around with something as you wait for someone to cross your path...if you are all hunched over next to the camera..people may not want to walk in front of you, thinking they will spoil the photo....but if it looks like you are not taking a photo..you can take a photo
    ditto!
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  7. #7
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: New Photography Project and Newbie to LF Photography

    I often carry the same combination: a 165 on a P67 for spontaneity, and a 250 for the 4x5 for the richer neg and use of movements. But as one adapts to not only
    the technical pro and cons of each system, but to the manner of visualization each facilitates, the compositions do tend to come out differently. In the darkroom,
    I would far rather print from sheet film any day of the week; but in the field, it's nice to have an option.

  8. #8

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    Re: New Photography Project and Newbie to LF Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    I often carry the same combination: a 165 on a P67 for spontaneity, and a 250 for the 4x5 for the richer neg and use of movements. But as one adapts to not only
    the technical pro and cons of each system, but to the manner of visualization each facilitates, the compositions do tend to come out differently. In the darkroom,
    I would far rather print from sheet film any day of the week; but in the field, it's nice to have an option.
    At this point, I haven't shot enough LF to want to go through the process of setting it up etc. So I think I'll have to put the medium format (or, if I were to adopt the lingua franca here, "tiny format") away 100% and only* shoot LF for at least a few months if not a couple of years.

    I sold that P67. But I really do love that system. I never really enjoyed any 85mm lens on a 35mm system but that 165mm on the P67 was definitely something special. I also have a Fuji GW690 which I love for traveling and will be keeping that .

  9. #9

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    Mar 2015
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    Re: New Photography Project and Newbie to LF Photography

    Hey guys -
    Just to share an image I took from this project. More to come.


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