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Thread: Question on New-to-4X5 Schooling

  1. #1

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    Question on New-to-4X5 Schooling

    I've got a number of 4X5 books. The standards.

    Several detail the camera movements using a set of ABC blocks. And because of that - which of course is new-to-me like the whole of 4X5, I'm thinking there might be something to actually going to the trouble of doing these demos as an exercise in self-education, and maybe I should go out get some blocks, a ball, etc. and just set up to see demonstrate this stuff to myself in the here and now. Not having had the luxury of so many here who studied this in school, I'm wondering, "This must be standard teaching technique? Maybe that's what I should do?"

    I'm willing. Just wondering whether it's worth the squeeze? Sure seems like there's some sort of consensus that this is the way it's done. Am I missing something? Whaddya think?

  2. #2

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    Re: Question on New-to-4X5 Schooling

    Quote Originally Posted by roscoetuff-Skip Mersereau View Post
    I've got a number of 4X5 books. The standards.

    Several detail the camera movements using a set of ABC blocks. And because of that - which of course is new-to-me like the whole of 4X5, I'm thinking there might be something to actually going to the trouble of doing these demos as an exercise in self-education, and maybe I should go out get some blocks, a ball, etc. and just set up to see demonstrate this stuff to myself in the here and now. Not having had the luxury of so many here who studied this in school, I'm wondering, "This must be standard teaching technique? Maybe that's what I should do?"

    I'm willing. Just wondering whether it's worth the squeeze? Sure seems like there's some sort of consensus that this is the way it's done. Am I missing something? Whaddya think?
    Be sure to read about movements about the type of movements your camera has. While the results are all the same the way the subject behaves on the gg will be different.

    Base tilt, optical axis tilt, assymetrical axis tilt.
    Yaw free, not yaw free.

  3. #3

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    Re: Question on New-to-4X5 Schooling

    If you already have the "bibles" of LF photography, then you really have all you need to understand camera movements; they really aren't that hard. Instead of using blocks, balls, etc, I'd recommend setting your camera up and pointing it at your intended subject matter, and then play. For example, let's say you intend to do outdoor landscape/natural scene styple photography: 1) zero out all movements and level the camera, focus about 1/3 into the scene, then watch the gg as you stop down, 2) point the camera up as if photographing a building, then use your front standard movements to correct the converging verticals and to re-position the scene on the gg, 3) point the camera down, then use either the front and/or rear standards to learn how to focus properly within a re-positioned focus plane, 4) what happens to the subject matter when you tilt the front standard?, 5) what happens when you tilt the rear standard?

    You'll get the hang of it quickly and, depending on what you plan to shoot, major camera movements are rarely used. Architectural and still life photography require move advanced movements, thereby a more through understanding of these movements.

  4. #4

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    Re: Question on New-to-4X5 Schooling

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan9940 View Post
    If you already have the "bibles" of LF photography, then you really have all you need to understand camera movements; they really aren't that hard. Instead of using blocks, balls, etc, I'd recommend setting your camera up and pointing it at your intended subject matter, and then play. For example, let's say you intend to do outdoor landscape/natural scene styple photography: 1) zero out all movements and level the camera, focus about 1/3 into the scene, then watch the gg as you stop down, 2) point the camera up as if photographing a building, then use your front standard movements to correct the converging verticals and to re-position the scene on the gg, 3) point the camera down, then use either the front and/or rear standards to learn how to focus properly within a re-positioned focus plane, 4) what happens to the subject matter when you tilt the front standard?, 5) what happens when you tilt the rear standard?

    You'll get the hang of it quickly and, depending on what you plan to shoot, major camera movements are rarely used. Architectural and still life photography require move advanced movements, thereby a more through understanding of these movements.
    Front tilts and swings will not correct image shape, like converging verticals. They are corrected by back movements. If you tilt your camera up to shoot a building then you tilt your back to make it parallel to the building.
    Front movements, and rear ones, control Scheimpflug.

  5. #5

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    Re: Question on New-to-4X5 Schooling

    I would try the book exercises, but without film, and without buying anything new. Simply use objects you already own, and try to replicate some of the book exercises. There is no need to take actual photos, just look at your ground glass as you do the exercises. They will quickly give you a feel for how the movements work. In general, the amounts of swings and tilts you use on “table top set-ups” will be greater than those you need outdoors, but that makes them better for learning.

  6. #6
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    Re: Question on New-to-4X5 Schooling

    Plenty of YouTube videos to help.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  7. #7

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    Re: Question on New-to-4X5 Schooling

    People learn by seeing, hearing and doing. Many times the best teaching combines all three.

    There's nothing wrong with balls and blocks, but pick things that you want to photograph and work with them. Go find a cracked parkinglot and some trees in the background and experiment with front tilt, point up at a building and experiment with rear tilt. Use your front shift, rise and fall.

  8. #8

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    Re: Question on New-to-4X5 Schooling

    Thanks! All good suggestions - especially to not buy gear I don't want to shoot anyway. Guess I hadn't looked at the Youtubes specifically on camera movements, but see there are indeed some ones that look promising. Great thanks!.

  9. #9

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    Re: Question on New-to-4X5 Schooling

    Movements aren't really all that difficult to get your head around. You just have remember that it is the orientation of the back to the subject is what determines if lines are parallel or not, e.g., if you want that building fašade to be square, the back has to be parallel to it. Tilts and swings change the position of the plane of sharp focus in the scene. Tilting or swinging the back will do two things: reposition the plane of sharp focus in the scene and change the perspective of the scene. Tilting or swinging the lens only does the former.

    Years ago I wrote an article for the now-defunct View Camera Magazine that was a primer on movements for field cameras (the principles apply to all cameras, but the article was targeted at bare-bones field camera capabilities). It used to be up on their web site for download, but the entire site is gone now. If you would like a copy (complete with the typos introduced by the View Camera staff), PM me and I'll send it along.

    Best,

    Doremus

  10. #10

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    Re: Question on New-to-4X5 Schooling

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    Front tilts and swings will not correct image shape, like converging verticals. They are corrected by back movements. If you tilt your camera up to shoot a building then you tilt your back to make it parallel to the building.
    Front movements, and rear ones, control Scheimpflug.
    Yeah, thanks for the correction Bob...I knew that. Sometimes I think my brain is ahead of my actual typing! To be honest, many years ago I used to use many movements, but nowadays find small simple camera adjustments are all that's needed; at least, for the stuff I shoot.

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