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Thread: Newcomers to LF: First Read The Book

  1. #1
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Newcomers to LF: First Read The Book

    We are welcoming many newcomers to large format photography on this board lately. This is wonderful. New blood in traditional view camera photography keeps us all fresh. Many of us here are now ageing-out of the art and craft of imaging with film in fully manual cameras. The creative process and work flow are little different from the days of Jackson and Curtis back in the 1870s.

    The pool of talent, experience and knowledge here is deep and wide. Access it whenever you need to.

    I would however urge anyone new to LF to first read some of the classic instructional works by Ansel Adams (genuflect), The Camera, The Negative and The Print. Another less sacred source is Using The View Camera by Steve Simmons. There are others. Doing some initial reading will help new photographers with the basics and allow them to ask more informed questions on this board.

    Don't ever stop asking questions though. We all have things to learn. . . . all of us.
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  2. #2

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    Re: Newcomers to LF: First Read The Book

    Also 'View Camera Technique' by Leslie Stroebel is a good reference work.
    Brass is a metal alloy, not a lens type - MichaelE

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  3. #3

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    Re: Newcomers to LF: First Read The Book

    Id recommend to a new Paterson to read Simmons or Stroebel first. There plenty of time later to worship St Ansel.

  4. #4
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Newcomers to LF: First Read The Book

    And since there are all different styles of learning -- if reading books is not one's style, screw the books and ask away!
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  5. #5

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    Re: Newcomers to LF: First Read The Book

    The New Zone System Manual by Minor White and Richard Zakia-Lorenz is an excellent source for anyone interested in that topic. Explains it better than any other I encountered.

  6. #6

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    Re: Newcomers to LF: First Read The Book

    Mat Marrash's YouTube series "Large Format Fridays" can also be helpful as well as entertaining. https://www.youtube.com/c/MatMarrash/videos
    Brass is a metal alloy, not a lens type - MichaelE

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/jacketch/

  7. #7
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Newcomers to LF: First Read The Book

    In my OP I tried to express the idea that a LF new commer would find it helpful to read a basic text to introduce them to the fundamental aspects of this creative process before accessing the pool of experience and information available here on LFP. This suggestion is not meant to be condescending or exclusory. It is meant to be helpful.

    It has been suggested here in this thread that that Adams' three books may be too detailed . In thinking it over, this may be so. The Simmons book and others would probably be a better first choices for introductory information. If that is the case, immersing the beginner in the intricacies of the Zone System or another exposure/development/printing system (BTZS?) could also be considered to be too-much-too-soon.

    The idea is to bring in the LF new commer with a series of achievable goals, not overwhelm them with undigested information. I recall my delight at getting any image at all on my first exposures.

    My concern is that someone who has invested a chunk of cash in camera, Lens and accessories, and another chunk of money on film will be put off shooting by over exposure to the depth of subtly that one can become involved with in LF . . after all, that continuing exploration is what keeps many of us going I think.
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  8. #8

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    Re: Newcomers to LF: First Read The Book

    LF-specific, I always recommend Stroebel for any level and as a reference.

    I would dispense with the rest.

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  10. #10

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    Re: Newcomers to LF: First Read The Book

    My thought is that the Ansel Adams series is too complex and detailed for a beginner, and in this day of variable contrast papers and split filter printing I’m not sure how valuable the Zone System is for a beginner. As some have pointed out, Steve Simmon’s book is much easier to digest, and I would throw in a vote for Fred Picker’s “ZoneVI Manual.” And while I don’t have a specific reference, I suspect that YouTube would be an even better starting point than books. (FWIW, I have two full sets of the Ansel Adams series, one the original, and one the updated set released much later. But I still wouldn’t start anyone with them.)

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