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Thread: Books and other educational resources for large format beginners

  1. #1
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Books and other educational resources for large format beginners

    In the last few years there seem to be more posts from folks who want to get into LFP: but have no idea what is involved . . .and that is fine. We need new people moving into this aspect of photography. They are welcome.

    And yet, I'd like to see a bit more effort in the way of self-education. There are many great books on film photography and
    specifically large Format photography. Perhaps there could be a sticky with a bibliography of intro books. Wikipedia has articles on just about every aspect of photography . . .and of course there are intro articles on this site.

    I welcome newcomers and their questions. The talent pool of knoledge and experience here is deep and wide. We want to help.
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




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  2. #2
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Please Read The Book First

    These days I use YouTube videos myself

    Some can actually 'tell less and show more'

    Our EXPERT Canadian is very good, but right now I forget his name!

    One reason I use 'Tin Can'......... very easy to remember
    Tin Can

  3. #3

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    Re: Please Read The Book First

    Not a bad suggestion for a sticky or update to the homepage, Drew. Timeless classics as well as newer books offer a wealth of guidance in all sorts of ways. I would think that such a list might be annotated as a guide, since so many books are likely to be suggested. Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced could be broadly defined and technical books, at least, generally categorized, even though some span the range, and the annotations serve as a further guide to what may be found within.

    I expect that some may reply to your post with complaints about how "those yung'uns don't read no more," but I hope to be proven wrong. Recent threads and posts expressing openness and welcoming to all comers will, I also hope, lead to some reconsideration about how the forum like this can be most beneficial to those seeking and sharing knowledge. This forum is what it is. As Einstein said (if I have the quote accurately), what is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right.
    Philip Ulanowsky

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)
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  4. #4
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Please Read The Book First

    I know some folks don't think as highly of them as I do, but I usually recommend new LF practitioners or any film cameras really the 3 classic Ansel Adams books (Camera, Negative, Print). At least the first two - learn the basics of the tool, then the basics of the medium.

    I read the first two back-to-front before shooting my new 4x5 camera when I first got into LF, and I think they gave me a firm grasp of the basics that I was able to expand upon and utilize as a jumping-off point.

    As for online material, not sure. Myself, I have trouble digging in to much online instructional material.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram | Portfolio
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  5. #5

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    Re: Please Read The Book First

    I found the Simmons book pretty good and approachable. Lots of pictures to demonstrate concepts in the text. The Stroebel book is great and packed with detail, but probably not as approachable for beginners since it frequently goes deep into the weeds. Adams “The Camera” is actually (IMO) a very good introduction.

    I know a lot of people learn better with video, but I can’t stand YouTube, and find enough of it feels like fingernails on a chalkboard, so I just avoid it. I’d much rather read text than see someone talk, but I’m a minority in that opinion.

  6. #6
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Please Read The Book First

    Just read the free EXPERT advice on LFPF

    https://www.largeformatphotography.info/
    Tin Can

  7. #7

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    Re: Please Read The Book First

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    These days I use YouTube videos myself

    Some can actually 'tell less and show more'

    Our EXPERT Canadian is very good, but right now I forget his name!

    One reason I use 'Tin Can'......... very easy to remember
    The expert Canadian you mean may be Todd Korol. If so, I agree that he would be a great resource for newbies.
    Bill Poole

    "Speak softly, but carry a big camera."

  8. #8

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    Re: Please Read The Book First

    People learn different ways. While I don’t disagree with the original premise… it makes us sound like a bunch of grumpy old farts. Me included; I especially get peeved at questions about advanced exposure techniques when there is sooooo many resources to learn the basics first. We should be more tolerant and supportive of anyone willing to waste time on LF photography!

  9. #9

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    Re: Please Read The Book First

    I guess I'm the only one that finds Matt immensely frustrating. I was looking at a Sinar P online, and was having a hard time finding a manual (eventually found one, it just didn't come up in my searching.) There was a 12 minute video on Youtube where Matt talked about the P (actually P2 in his case). And it felt like an advertisement. I wanted to know about the controls, which knob did what, how you used the pieces together, why there are two tilt controls, etc., and all he talked about for 12 minutes was how cool it was and that it was a "system camera" that could be pieced together.

    I guess I like things that are "information dense". I'm glad other people find his stuff useful, but I definitly don't. (Maybe I'm not a beginner anymore, but I still feel like one.)

  10. #10

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    Re: Please Read The Book First

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    ...I usually recommend new LF practitioners or any film cameras really the 3 classic Ansel Adams books (Camera, Negative, Print). At least the first two - learn the basics of the tool, then the basics of the medium...
    +a googolplex

    Then, after digesting that (written by a real expert), perhaps reading the books several times, search the archive here. There's not much that hasn't been covered extensively at this Web sit over the last quarter century or so.

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