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Thread: Does large format inhibit your creativity?

  1. #41
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    Does large format inhibit your creativity?

    No, I don't think LF inhibits my creativity. I don't think any equipment can inhibit my creativity. I only have me and my brain to blame. Too bad. I'd like to blame something else.

    -- Charlie Strack (charlie_strack@sti.com), January 11, 2002.

    Like a good photograph, clarity so often comes with brevity. Thank you, Charlie, for perhaps the most profoundly insightful answer of all!

  2. #42

    Does large format inhibit your creativity?

    Keith regardless of what my personal experience is(I find it a very creative medium) I would advise you to look up the Polaroid site and in particular look at the winners of their international competition, some of the work is small or medium format but a very large chunk of it is 4"x5" work, I bet you will get surprised a few times of how creative the large format can be. I've taught large format photography for many years along my personal practice of the large format way, I must say that my students always approached large format as a fussy camera, as you seem to suggest, a camera which you wouldn't use for fun ; almost invariably they grew to love and use after attending the courses greetings

  3. #43
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    Does large format inhibit your creativity?

    I reread several of the posts to this question (to which the answer is, simply, NO) and I think several of you have fallen in a very common trap. Creativity=novelty. Creativity is the other guy doing something YOU didn't think of, and by extension doing something that the popular authority (whomever that is at any societal juncture) hasn't yet endorsed. The only criterion for creativity is novelty. Once the novelty factor is zero, so goes the creativity. What large format lacks, by its intrinsic nature, is spontaneity. If you define creativity as the product of spontaneity, then large format will hinder creativity. But creativity is not spontaneity, only an element of it, and a non-essential one at that. Somebody recently made a reference in another thread to the handheld use of LF cameras. There's creativity at work. I think, respectfully, Walter has got it backward. Iconologizing the photograph does nothing to elucidate creativity; in fact it does the opposite. The forum members who hike in nature and make pictures, professing to not know wit (or care less) about "Art", ARE [the] artists. That their effort doesn't look like what(or even gets to) hangs on the wall in New Yawk, or LA, or Paree, or heaven forbid, Sydney, makes no difference whatsoever to their capacity to have produced art. Those that simply conspire in studios, galleries, directorial think-tanks, showings and various and sundry self-effacements are the dilettantes, because they have constrained their efforts to the business of photography, not the artistry of it. The paradox of art is that an artist cannot say whether or not he produces art. Its not his call. Art is the popular place that his body of work takes if the rest of us deem it so. The huge irony in this art-form (whatever) is that the finest examples of photographic art are never seen - they sit buried amongst the millions upon millions of photographs taken year after year by ordinary people, never to surface to bask in the light of popular adoration.

  4. #44

    Does large format inhibit your creativity?

    Jonathon Brewer... You mentioned how important speed can be in photojournalism, and that is true. But consider the important images that were immortalised on a 4x5 Graphic... The flag raising on Iwo Jima... The burning of the Hindenberg... Ruby shooting Oswald...

    LF is a great tool in experienced hands -Dave

  5. #45

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    Does large format inhibit your creativity?

    I feel like "large format" is taking a bad rap of late. Large format is a tool that lends itself to a certain type of image that some would brand dull. Springtime last I was out and about with the Deardorff 8X10 and in a hilly district I would herd a large group of wild horses each time I dropped into another canyon. Not the type that always follows rules, I set up a shot ahead of time, focus at infinity, sheet film in place, and at the top of the next rise, there they were. So I jump up on top of the pick-up with the Deardorff at waist level, and literally shoot from the hip.

    Great fun! But the picture sucks like the military service! I simply had the wrong tool for the job that happened to present itself. The Nikon FE-2 with some Velvia and the 300f4 AF would have gotten the job done splendidly.

    Part of creativity is choosing the right tool for the task.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

    http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com I am "tpahjim" on ebay See Something U Want, Talk 2 Me Here

  6. #46

    Does large format inhibit your creativity?

    To Paul Coppin,

    "Creativity is the other guy doing something YOU didn't think of."

    With all due respect sir I think it is YOU that has it backwards.

    Surely Creativity is YOU doing something the other guy didn't think of.

    Walter Glover

  7. #47
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    Does large format inhibit your creativity?

    I fear Walter took my comments too personally. My premise is that the 'label' of being creative is not something the artist can give himself, and it may not have any bearing on the 'act' of creativity that went into the work. [Some of]Those photographers whom we deem to be creative, may be so by virtue of being in the right place at the right time. Their 'creative' skill is fostering serendipity; their technical skill is capturing the image adequately. I can say that I am (or attempting to be) acting creatively, but I cannot say that I am creative. That's for others to decide. There is a tremendous lot of fluff promoted as creativity in the arts, that in my opinion, is primarily peer self-agrandisement. This is a tough topic, semantic quicksand, like the 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' thing, because it is not empirical.

  8. #48

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    Does large format inhibit your creativity?

    Dave....I agree with you 100%, but while we're at it, don't forget 'Weegie', the cigar smoking powerhouse most famous for his shots of gangland 'rubouts'.

    I wasn't talking about speed, or quickness only, but that under certain circustances all that the photographer had time to do was rely on his/her experience, insticts, and yet still come up with something magical.
    Jonathan Brewer

    www.imageandartifact.bz

  9. #49

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    Does large format inhibit your creativity?

    I am pretty sure the photo of Jack Ruby shooting Oswald was not made with a Press camera but with either a medium format TLR or a 35mm camera. There was a story about this photo in a magazine recently and the photographer recalled missing the photograph of JFK being assasinated because he was in the middle of reloading his camera as the limo went by and he recalled lookingup and seeing the rifle sticking out of the Book Depository window and see ing the gun jerk as it was being fired for the third time. (please let's not get into conspiracy theories here or bother e-mailing me to say Oswald didn't shoot Kennedy. I am just relaying what the photographer recounted in the article. I wasn't there and I am willing to bet a dollar, neither were you.)

  10. #50

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    Does large format inhibit your creativity?

    LF improves my creativity on a base level, because I am forced to create the image in my mind before I set the camera on the tripod and attempt to re-create the image on film and paper. Even if I don't have a camera with me, I now create images of the world about me in my head and mull them over for future reference. Using the considered approach with LF has also improved all my other work with the faster formats. "Does the large format camera actually inhibit creativity?" No - it improves it for me.

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