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Archive 2013 · My 2nd 4x5 image, from the coast
  
 
dswiger
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · My 2nd 4x5 image, from the coast


What an UN-imaginative title!
But it was my second image that day, having posted the 1st one.
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1226626/0#11680500

I guess from now on, with the training wheels, off, it will have to live or die on it's own merits
I prefer this landscape orientation and was able to catch the surf/wave action
This took some cleanup as the neg had smudges(?) along with the usual dust.
I probably should have exposed it a 1/2 stop more as the neg appeared a bit thin.
I guess 20+ yr old film has it's flaws.

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3712/9357685798_56b705d710_b.jpg

Taken with a Toyo 4x5, 150mm Nikor, 1/10 & f32, Old Ilford FP4

C&C
Thanks
Dan



Jul 24, 2013 at 07:40 AM
JimFox
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · My 2nd 4x5 image, from the coast


Hey Dan,

A very cool composition you got here. Now I don't know if it's just me, my memory is fading or what. But what drew me to B&W was the Black and the White. Your whites seem okay, but the blacks are mostly just shades of gray. Not sure if you want to change that or can.

Jim



Jul 24, 2013 at 09:00 AM
dswiger
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · My 2nd 4x5 image, from the coast


Jim,
I had to strike a balance when scan/PP this one as either the details blew out in the surf or the shaded rocks went black.

Might just be my workflow but the light was pretty flat, pretty old film & I think I was a 1/2 stop under. I will re-visit this neg as I'm using to work on the scans & setup.

Thanks
Dan



Jul 24, 2013 at 04:43 PM
JimFox
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · My 2nd 4x5 image, from the coast


Hey Dan,

I agree when scanning, you definitely don't want to blow out the highlights. So you scan to save them. But then, in the your digital darkroom, just like in the old days of film when we had our own darkrooms and your are setting up to print, in your case with Photoshop in todays modern darkroom, that's where you then deepen the blacks maybe whiten up the whites a bit. Shooting film today for the most part still includes digital post processing, unless of course you have your own darkroom and enlarger to print your own.

Unless I misunderstood what you wrote, it sounded like you just scanned the neg, and posted the digital scan without post processing... Sorry if I misunderstood you.

Jim



Jul 24, 2013 at 06:36 PM
DABNIK
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · My 2nd 4x5 image, from the coast


Dan
A very beautiful image. On my monitor (and with my eyes ) the blacks seem fine to me - [longitudinal rock just in the water] I would gladly put this up on my wall.
Keep them coming!

Doug



Jul 24, 2013 at 06:44 PM
Jeffrey
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · My 2nd 4x5 image, from the coast


JimFox wrote:
Your whites seem okay, but the blacks are mostly just shades of gray. Not sure if you want to change that or can.

Jim



Jim,

What you are saying is exactly the opposite of the beauty of using BW negative material. It has the widest DR of any photographic medium. That's why the masters used it. Over twice of what transparency film gives and about 50% more than color reversal. When my blacks are mostly shades of gray, that's a great day! Of course, some areas do go solid black, but some should because they are.

As far as being able to translate all this to the digital age and website presentations, that's another complete science. The quality of the neg and the execution of the scan are paramount and certainly more challenging than making any digital image. This is an area that a very tiny percentage of people on this forum, and most people in general, know anything about.

Good for you Dan, for going LF. It's all about the craft of image-making. Why do Ben Horne's images (and many of mine) have 'that look'? It's all about LF.



Jul 24, 2013 at 09:16 PM
 

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JimFox
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · My 2nd 4x5 image, from the coast


Jeffrey wrote:
Jim,

What you are saying is exactly the opposite of the beauty of using BW negative material. It has the widest DR of any photographic medium. That's why the masters used it. Over twice of what transparency film gives and about 50% more than color reversal. When my blacks are mostly shades of gray, that's a great day! Of course, some areas do go solid black, but some should because they are.

As far as being able to translate all this to the digital age and website presentations, that's another complete science. The quality of the neg and the execution of
...Show more

Hey Jeffrey,

You bring up some great points about the DR of B&W... hmmm... maybe it's just because it's been too long now since I have shot with B&W film, it's been what 8 or 9 years since I switched over from film... but I do still think that having the blacks more black and the whites more white will make for greater visual impact. Of course, that's visual impact with my eyeballs...

Jim



Jul 25, 2013 at 07:28 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · My 2nd 4x5 image, from the coast


Jeffrey wrote:
Jim,

What you are saying is exactly the opposite of the beauty of using BW negative material. It has the widest DR of any photographic medium. That's why the masters used it. Over twice of what transparency film gives and about 50% more than color reversal. When my blacks are mostly shades of gray, that's a great day! Of course, some areas do go solid black, but some should because they are.

As far as being able to translate all this to the digital age and website presentations, that's another complete science. The quality of the neg and the execution of
...Show more

LF is "a" look, but not "the" look. There are fine photographers doing wonderful work with LF, but there are fine photographers doing equally wonderful work with other film formats and with digital media. There is no intrinsic aesthetic better-ness in either medium. They aren't the same - though there is a lot of overlap - and if your preference is to work in one rather than the other, that is fine, but don't confuse that with a general notion that your choice is better than that made by others.

Speaking of which, the number of folks who cut their teeth in the film era (I'm one of them) and switched to digital is much larger than the number moving the opposite direction. This includes a number who started on LF (4x5 and larger) film who have since moved to digital MF or even full frame camera systems and who now prefer to print with inkjet. Others work in what we might term hybrid media - scanning film and doing post in Photoshop and printing digitally. Or, as one person I know sometimes does, scanning negatives, digitally reproducing larger versions of them on transparent media on digital printers, and then contact printing platinum prints!

I have a great deal of respect for those who have and who still do produce great photographs using film/optical/chemical processes, but I have no less respect for those producing equally brilliant work using other media. Ultimately I care about the final print and not what technology was used to create it.

Regarding the question of tones in the image presented in this thread, I had a response the first time I saw the post but initially thought that it might be better to not share it. There are things that are admirable about this image. One is, of course, that it represents an experiment with the classic black and white large format methods. Compositionally, I find some interest in some elements - the stacked diagonals of lines of surf, edge of water, and two differently toned rocks, for example. There are, too, some issues that catch my attention - the intersections between near and far rocks that many photographers might try to avoid, the loss of detail (in the online version at least, which is not a fair representation of what might be in a print) in the shadow areas in the center and right, a few quibbles about stuff at the boundaries of the frame including the "weight" of all the dark rocks at the right. An overall response of mine is to wonder what the central subject of the image is.

Digital or film, the lighting and atmosphere here and at this time was very, very tough - with low and flat light under what appears to be rather thick overcast or high fog. I can visualize how the image might get some additional "punch" in the foreground, where more contrast (via curves, if processing digitally) might bring a bit more relieve to those rocks.

About the "blacks and whites" question, I'm thinking of something I heard John Sexton say earlier this year at a talk where he discussed a number of Ansel Adams' prints. If I recall correctly, he suggested that there is often something that is truly black and something that is truly white in Adams' prints, but that most of the image is neither, but instead the majority of the image consists of those in-between tones. Here we do have Adamsian black and Adamsian white, but the in-between tones, where the real action can take place, could have a bit more life, I think.

In the end, I sense both pluses and minuses in this image:

Minuses:

- The low contrast and flat light is problematic - perhaps a bit of a brighter interpretation (a la Alan Ross?) could make this work more successfully.

- It is hard for me to see the composition as a coherent whole - there are a lot of interesting elements, but for me they don't quite work together and it might be that there is just too much in the frame for this subject. (Someone probably said something like 90% of composition is deciding what to leave out.)

Pluses:

- I applaud you for trying something that I've thought about but not gotten around to doing - actually going out there and making a photograph using the classic techniques and gear. :-)

- Given one chance - unlike the nearly infinite chances we get with digital gear - you managed to find and grab an interesting slice of time along this coastline. (I've done the same with digital gear, thinking carefully about the right moment... but I virtually always get to record many "right moments!")

Take care,

Dan


Edited on Jul 25, 2013 at 08:19 PM · View previous versions



Jul 25, 2013 at 08:15 PM
dswiger
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · My 2nd 4x5 image, from the coast


Firstly, thanks for comments & critique. This is an encouragement to continue these efforts in film. BTW, why do us old guys embark on this retro stuff anyhow?

Jeffrey/Jim you both made good points .
As I mentioned, this was shot w/23yr expired film. I should have over exposed it a bit to try to compensate for the degraded chemistry. Bringing the B&W was a last minute idea after watching the weather and I should have been thinking about that sort of correction. I could tell the negative was a little thin (right terminology?), lacking contrast when trying adjust in the scan. I was able to get a bit more out of it in P/S. I could have also pushed it in development but didn't.....

Dan,

I agree with your assessments mostly. What is "brighter interpretation (a la Alan Ross?)"?
I wondered about the balance too, but wanted some breadth to the scene as I also shot vertical. I often shoot this area much tighter, but alas, the lenses I have to work with are all less than 100mm equiv!

This collection of issues speaks to the idea of being more planful towards our photographic adventures. This is especially true with film but certainly applies to digital. Whatever film I bring, it's age, development considerations, etc.needs to be thought about in advance. I'm sure there's a similar list for digital work, just different.

Dan



Jul 25, 2013 at 08:19 PM
Jeffrey
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · My 2nd 4x5 image, from the coast


Relax, G Dan, the phrase was 'that look' meaning that look of large format. No mention was made of other formats (of which I also use most of the time), or what is better. That would be an opinion, and not stated. Every format has it's look.

I experienced no confusion regarding any general notion that any choice is better than that made by others.

Sometimes I see (or produce myself) a print from a LF camera that is truly startling. And then I have some from my digital equipment that I react to equally. Sometimes the stars simply line up and the dozens of various technical and aesthetic factors become friends. That's a good 'look', too, but I won't give it a name to prevent argument.

Edited on Jul 27, 2013 at 09:44 PM · View previous versions



Jul 25, 2013 at 09:45 PM
morris
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · My 2nd 4x5 image, from the coast


I agree about the exposure Dan and also feel a much faster shutter would make this more dramatic as it would stop the action

Morris



Jul 25, 2013 at 10:13 PM





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