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Thread: Phases of an LF photographer??

  1. #1
    4x5 - no beard Patrik Roseen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Stockholm, SWEDEN

    Phases of an LF photographer??

    Hello, after exploring the wonders of LF-photography (4x5") for 18 months, I have realised that my photography is undergoing certain changes or maybe maturing into different phases?

    When I started out my main interest was to make as sharp and truly looking photographs as possible by altering plane of focus, restore falling lines, using smallest physical aperture etc.

    When reading different photobooks of advertising and 'fine art' photographs I was inspired to use the movements to create a narrow and tilted plane of focus with movements and largest possible aperture.

    Now I am looking at portraits and still life's where there is no movements used at all, short DOF using the largest aperture and long lenses. Sooo much different than when I started out 18 months ago.

    And to add to it, I am even tempted to beat up the negative in any way possible, Thank you very much F Skott ;-), to give the photograph that mysterious look.

    Should I be worried - or is this something we all go through? And what will I be doing my own lenses?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Massachusetts USA

    Re: Phases of an LF photographer??

    There are no rules in this game. Just enjoy yourself. We are lucky to have time to play.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    St. Simons Island, Georgia

    Re: Phases of an LF photographer??

    You should be very worried. It sounds as though you have been possessed by the spirit of that heretic Mortensen. Say three St. Ansels and wear a hair shirt for the rest of the day.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Seattle, Washington

    Re: Phases of an LF photographer??

    Hi Patrik.

    I've never been interested in the kind of ultrarealistic landscape stuff you mentioned, and getting enough sharpness has never really been a major concern of mine. I'm much more interested in emotional content than technicality, and most often make portraits at max. aperture, with minimal movements. I beat my negs up enough without trying, and am still working on making defect-free negs. Recently I've been working with VERY slow films and loooong exposures, which requires a skillset I'm still working to develop. Whatever your approach, have fun!


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Portland, OR

    Re: Phases of an LF photographer??

    Well said.

    Who knows, maybe someday you'll even develop great vision as a result of experimenting with things you enjoy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay De Fehr View Post
    ... Whatever your approach, have fun!

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    God's Country

    Re: Phases of an LF photographer??


    FWIW, I agree with all the above posters and, especially, those who advise that you just have fun.

    That said, I'm also of the opinion that you can't can't the system without having gone through it first. So, by going through the "traditional" methods (so to speak)... you can then start to deviate and develop your own path.

    There's certainly nothing wrong with the evolutionary process... all it requires is time!

    Life in the fast lane!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Baraboo, Wisconsin

    Re: Phases of an LF photographer??

    Everything you metion seems to me like progress except the idea of beating up your negatives. Messing up the negatives was a big thing in fine art circles 10 - 20 years ago. While it will no doubt become another generation's "next big thing" sufficient time hasn't yet elapsed for that to happen. So doing it now will only make you look unhip, uncool, etc. You need to wait at least another decade before it again becomes cutting edge.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  8. #8
    unexposed darr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Re: Phases of an LF photographer??

    Strange fascination, fascinating me
    Ah changes are taking the pace Im going through

    (turn and face the strain)

    ...etc, David Bowie

    Enjoy yourself!

    A Photo A Day Project:
    My Other Website:

    LF Print Exchange Gallery

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Baton Rouge, LA

    Re: Phases of an LF photographer??

    Remember to only mess up copy negatives.:-)

  10. #10
    tim atherton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1998

    Re: Phases of an LF photographer??

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Richards View Post
    Remember to only mess up copy negatives.:-)
    nah - film's cheap!
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn blog

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