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Thread: Cut Out Cards aka Viewing Mask

  1. #1
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Cut Out Cards aka Viewing Mask

    I have never used one, YET

    and read Howard Bond's tutorial about it right her on this Forum last week I WILL

    but not easy to refind on this page

    search is always hard

    Fortunately Alan Ross is easier to find and below is his treatise
    wear mask or NOT

    is ???

  2. #2
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Seattle, Wash.

    Re: Cut Out Cards aka Viewing Mask

    I don't leave home without my 4x5 viewing card.

    I use it for just about every composition I plan.

    It's the single most under-valued field tool among LF photographers. I've made this claim before, and I'll make it again. It's the single most under-valued field tool among LF photographers. ;^)

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Re: Cut Out Cards aka Viewing Mask

    I used viewing cards for about 35 years, but, nowadays, I use an app on my iPhone that also allows me to record a snapshot of the composition. I've found this to be quite handy when back in the darkroom, looking at a neg, and thinking... "Hmm, I don't remember that branch/rock/partial tree/whatever being right on the edge of my composition." I'll look back through the snapshots on my phone and, yep, there it is; just didn't see it at the time. Always have to remind myself to pay better attention to the edges of the frame!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2000

    Re: Cut Out Cards aka Viewing Mask

    A viewing card was good enough for Ansel, it's good enough for me. I am never w/o one for each of the formats I have with me. They do more than help me choose an image, they tell me which lens will do the best job of presenting my vision.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Oregon now (formerly Austria)

    Re: Cut Out Cards aka Viewing Mask

    My viewing tool of choice is the good old Zone VI viewing filter. I use it less for the filtration (the Wratten #90, which is supposed to render tones in a similar way to b&w film) and more as a compositional aid. It really helps me find the right camera position and focal length (viewing frame distance to eye) as well as helping predetermine what movements I might need (you can tilt and swing the viewing frame easily). All a real time savings in actual set up time (or convincing me I don't want to set up at all). I rarely move the camera/tripod after my initial set up position, determined while using the viewing frame.



  6. #6
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Stuck inside of Tucson with the Neverland Blues again...

    Re: Cut Out Cards aka Viewing Mask

    I used to use an old window mat that was too scuffed up to be presentable, or an empty 4x5 negative carrier. These days I just use my eyes. I think it mostly depends on how your brain sees, and what mood it's in.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

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