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Thread: How many of you are self-taught (in LF)?

  1. #11

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    Re: How many of you are self-taught (in LF)?

    Many (I bet most!) of us are self taught, at least in some subjects of photography. My father was a photographer, I learned the basics from him, but he never used a LF camera. I did it a time later. I learned with one of the bibles, the Stroebel`s "View Camera Technique". Another typical start is the reading of the Ansel Adams` trilogy.
    About mastering... well, some do it better than others. After more than forty years inside a darkroom, I`m still far from Pablo Inirio`s technique. I`m not talented enough...

  2. #12

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    Re: How many of you are self-taught (in LF)?

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  3. #13

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    Re: How many of you are self-taught (in LF)?

    Quote Originally Posted by xkaes View Post
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    This is precisely, 100% what concerns me. I have heard/seen this before, but I have never seen a real explanation of it - and I am concerned that if and when I do hear an explanation of it, it will involve enough technical information that I will simply need more than a book and the internet. Honestly not trying to be a complainer and am self-taught in a number of aspects of my life (including my career), but just mildly frustrated at having lost this resource that I was hoping to be able to rely upon...

  4. #14
    Nodda Duma's Avatar
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    Re: How many of you are self-taught (in LF)?

    I am learning LF by way of learning to make my own emulsion and coat glass plates. Glass plates seemed easier to coat than film (and that's kind of where folks started 140 years ago). My plates were initially 4x5 because large format cameras seemed more conducive to using the homemade emulsion coated plates, and I acquired a 4x5 format camera on ebay for $20. So that was my toe-in.

    As part of emulsion making, I learned to test the equivalent ISO speed. Honestly, other than that and the peculiarities of the format-specific equipment, I've found Large Format to be a rather shallow learning curve. Emulsion making was much steeper relatively speaking, although in the grand scheme of things even that was not too difficult.

  5. #15

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    Re: How many of you are self-taught (in LF)?

    "This is precisely, 100% what concerns me. I have heard/seen this before, but I have never seen a real explanation of it... "

    It is film photography basics. You just need a darkroom, a bit of patience and a couple of good readings. Believe me, nothing else.

  6. #16
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: How many of you are self-taught (in LF)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    I have been photographing with LF for almost 40 years -- never tested film for "personal film speed".
    I'm with Vaughn 110%.

    I've been shooting LF almost 60 years, always at box speed.
    If shadows have some particular detail of interest, I increase the exposure 1/2 or a full stop.

    The folks who make film have waaaaay more equipment, time, and expertise than you can ever hope for.

    The idea of "personal" film speed is a way to adjust for specific aspects of your processing methods.
    That is certainly a valid concept. It requires absolutely consistent processing to be of value.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  7. #17

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    Re: How many of you are self-taught (in LF)?

    I find it easy to learn from books, I can move along at my own speed. LF has been very well documented in print, and amazon provides a quick easy way to obtain good quality used books for very little money all you have to do is search and wait for the mailman :-)

  8. #18

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    Re: How many of you are self-taught (in LF)?

    I am self taught. Both from books and experience. I've been doing it for about 50 years. At first, there was no one available to teach me. I lived out in the country. So, I found books in the library, and read the data sheets that came with the film and chemistry. I too, mostly use the ISO that is printed on the box, and will adjust the exposure based on metering the shadows or highlights. Expose->develop->observe->adjust for the next time.....

  9. #19
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: How many of you are self-taught (in LF)?

    I've mostly been self taught with regard to LF... Youtube, websites, books, etc..
    I had plenty of experience with B&W 35mm, so the darkroom basics were a given.
    People even say I have my darkslides backwards with silver being exposed or empty.. Nobody taught me.. I decided what made sense and went to town with my labeler.

    I have taken a couple workshops on subtopics of large format such as pictorialism.

    If you wish to take a class or workshop to get up to speed quickly, it's probably money well spent. If you want to be a master of something, rather than good enough, that comes with time and evaluation of your mastery compared to other LF photographers which isn't a self-activity.

  10. #20
    Tim Meisburger's Avatar
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    Re: How many of you are self-taught (in LF)?

    I lived overseas, and taught myself LF, film development, and printing, through the internet and asking questions here. But that is hard. I think I could have learned more in one hour in a darkroom with someone that knew what they were doing than I could do in a year on my own. I still wish someone would take me under their wing as a protégé, but since I am almost 60, they would have to be a real geezer!

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