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Photographic doldrums
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Nick



Joined: 16 Oct 2002
Posts: 494

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about Weston's Daybooks? Out of print I think. Or Adam's The Making of 40 Photographs?

Maybe set yourself a project. Who was it that photographed the same view for 365 days? Documenting the changes. You don't need to go that far -)
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Graflex Sid



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 221
Location: London,England

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nick is right in one way..Oh,how I wish I'd photographed my town even 40-years ago-but I never did!
Even pictures of London I shot (Hasselblad)25-years ago I can see the changes to modern day.Im sure this happens all across America.

The rapid change in cars for instance-by the end of the year it becomes a 'classic'...

We have the cameras,but what do we do,let history pass us by.I could kick myself sometimes for some of the golden opportunities that I've missed.

We see things today that we believe will be with us forever,so we don't bother,tomorrow the thing has gone.

Looking at such rapid progress,it's a wonder the Graphic is still with us,thanks to collectors the old workhorse is still around.

May she reign for many years to come..
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Graflex Sid



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 221
Location: London,England

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make you smile...like the biggest international airport HEATHROW as today,yesterday,old shacks & tents and cows roaming over the fields (today the main runway)...and Im living a mile or so away,did I photograph it NO!

...mark you,a few years later,from the same shacks,I went out onto the runway & pictured Marilyn Monroe going up the steps of a TWA plane leaving for NY with an old Graphic (and glass plates).

How the World has changed...memories!
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clnfrd



Joined: 26 Mar 2002
Posts: 616
Location: Western Kentucky Lakes Area

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graflex Sid...you...yourself...are a classic! Bless your heart for the love you display for these good old American cameras!! May you continue to feel the way you do...and may all your negatives be perfectly exposed!!. Fred.
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"why not buy more"? Ohhh, I only wish I could! No more money and no more room... But I'm sure there will be a deal here and there that I just can't refuse and there are still a couple of lenses I would like to get...

Weston's Day Books? Ya know, I even heard of them a while ago and never looked into it. Maybe I should. I also only recently found out that he shot more than his models Although if I had the time, I would venture into figures. An area I seriously wanted to explore when I was young and just never managed. I don't know how understanding my wife would be about that now though But I will look into these Day Books now!

And it is funny how age can turn a snapshot into a photograph. I am amazed when I look at my granfather's photos. I haven't looked at my early photos in better than 30 years... Maybe I should just run around town and do some documentaion? It would not only be fun, but we lose old buidings as fast as we lose the old trees...

And just for an example. Remember when I said I would get out on Moonday with the 8x10 to test the Polaroid and it would get me started? Well, I am getting out on Monday, but with the wife on business... Bet it rains on Tuesday... Ohh, if I could just get this little kitty to sit still long enough I'd be happy and wouldn't have to go out at all


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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a quick addendum...
The Daybooks apparently are still in print. Ordered it tonight through Amazon along with "The Making of 40 Prints" and some others that looked interesting. Unfortunately, the ones I wanted (including the Daybooks) take a couple of weeks...
And in case anyone wonders why I never read this stuff before, well, I've never read anything in photography. I always had the opinion that studying someones elses work or technique was the easiest way to wind up copying and not developing your own style. The only books I ever read were technical in nature. Until I went LF anyway. Then I bought the Adams series (first time I ever read anything about or from Adams). Enjoyed that and started buying more. Now I enjoy reading photo books, and take less photos... May be a moral there? Should have stopped with View Camera Technique and The View Camera, and then actually used the cameras... But it should all balance out soon (?)...
Thanks for the recommendations!


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Graflex Sid



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 221
Location: London,England

PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2003 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a postscript to a previous point-a couple of weeks ago I photographed (with the Graphic)a very famous London Theatre on color neg-the production being The Rat Pack,you know who Im referring too...I past the same theatre today,low & behold it's covered in scaffolding.

Like I said,if you don't photograph things today-tomorrow you go back and it's completely changed (or gone)progress is so rapid...

On another point,an old steam engine with coaches (on a day trip)pulls into London Bridge Station,with the 'baby'Graphic and B/W film loaded I shoot the thing.
I showed the owners of the engine-they thought the pictures were exceptional,(a)it caught the atmosphere befitting the train,looked like the 40's 50's,and (b)everyone shoots in color,although the preservation engine looked lovely in it's new paint,it does'nt capture past times.

But,the bitingly sharp image of the Graphic proved what a formidable camera it was & still is,showing every nut & bolts and detail in the iron roof of the station...the picture on the internet jumps off the screen.

p.s.120 via a roll film back.The power of Black & White pic over color.
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clnfrd



Joined: 26 Mar 2002
Posts: 616
Location: Western Kentucky Lakes Area

PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2003 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graflex Sid....Do you have a web site for your photographs? Thanks. Fred.
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Graflex Sid



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 221
Location: London,England

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2003 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Fred:
You should have a private message waiting...

Long live the Graphic...
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2003 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a postscript:

Books do help, and are fun. The "Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs" by Adams is a good read. Weston's "Daybooks" are a more chaotic collection of mental notes filled with abreviated names but should be a good read when I have the time to devote to it. The "Tao of Photography: Seeing Beyond Seeing" by Gross and Shapiro is a great read if you have any understanding at all of the Tao (although it does explain it). Also quite inspiring. And for the artists, "Art & Fear" by Bayles is a good 'just go out and do it' inspiration that's a quick & easy read.

Beyond that, the recomendations to 'just go and do it' are always the best. I went out in the backyard and shot of few 8x10's to 'test' a lens and some film. It's nice to 'just do it' now and then

And on a side note: Weston's nudes are in fact pretty bad (just my opinion), but the fruit & veggies are pretty good I bought other books out of curiosity...


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rsdean



Joined: 27 Jun 2002
Posts: 52
Location: NE Maryland

PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2003 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm really too new to have gotten to the doldrums yets, but I have been playing with a project of photographing the town I live in for the past year. Now I need to start playing with the porject of printing the negatives, so that I can see what to go back and shoot again. (-: It helps that Port Deposit is almost a time capsule. Roaming photographers are not an infrequent sight. My brother once lived in scenic Bloomington Indiana, and realized about a week before he moved that he'd wished he'd taken pictures.

Back to the darkroom...

Rob Dean

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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2003 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2003-10-11 05:45, rsdean wrote:
I'm really too new to have gotten to the doldrums yets, but I have been playing with a project of photographing the town I live in for the past year. Now I need to start playing with the porject of printing the negatives, so that I can see what to go back and shoot again. (-: It helps that Port Deposit is almost a time capsule. Roaming photographers are not an infrequent sight. My brother once lived in scenic Bloomington Indiana, and realized about a week before he moved that he'd wished he'd taken pictures.

Back to the darkroom...

Rob Dean



Ahh, you see, there's that "darkroom" thing again. I'd be very content to have a dark place to work & hide, although difficult to read in I think part of the whole 'doldrum' problem is being able to take photos, but not being able to work with them. Polaroids are great, but they leave little to work with after they're shot. I can develop negatives, but that's about it. I haven't even worked out the contact printing part yet which I hope to get done in the bathroom. I haven't been at all happy scanning negs, but I also don't have a scanner with a transparency adapter. The darkroom is steadily working it's way up the priority list, but there are things that will always be ahead of it. And so far I multitask about as well as 'Windows'
Sounds like you'd got a great project though. Good luck with it and enjoy! I wish we had a real town to photograph... But maybe that's a key point? Someday it may be and shooting it as it is now would make sense!


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Graflex Sid



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 221
Location: London,England

PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2003 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yesterday,while standing on London's Kings Cross station waiting for a 'special'steam train to arrive..a little old lady,silver hair,carrying a bag with tripod hanging out,camera around neck,& holding a stool to sit down on,saw my Graphic and said "are you press?"...I felt like saying you are nearly 40-years out of date.

It's amazing really,when people see the Graphic it brings back floods of memories to anyone that has owned a camera,and they come over to speak to you.

You end up wondering,what is more important,your Graphic or the steam engine standing in the station.

Both born at the same time & with loads of loving care,they are the centre of attraction with the old & new generation to this day.
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rsdean



Joined: 27 Jun 2002
Posts: 52
Location: NE Maryland

PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2003 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2003-10-11 07:43, RichS wrote:

Ahh, you see, there's that "darkroom" thing again. I'd be very content to have a dark place to work & hide, although difficult to read in I think part of the whole 'doldrum' problem is being able to take photos, but not being able to work with them.
...
Sounds like you'd got a great project though. Good luck with it and enjoy! I wish we had a real town to photograph... But maybe that's a key point? Someday it may be and shooting it as it is now would make sense!



My darkroom space is about as minimal as it gets, although I do have the advantage of living in an old house with odd spaces. One of them is a room (or closet?) about 6x8 which my wife didn't want for anything else, so it's been my space since we moved in. I have a desk with the enlarger on it (a Beseler 45 given to me by a pro who had gone digital), a swivel chair, a small shelf stack with the processing trays arranged vertically, and a larger shelf stack with my wargaming miniature soldiers. Final print washing is done in the bathroom. It's tight but not too bad--though not as light-tight as I'd like. Set up time as a darkroom was not much. I came home with an (other) enlarger at Christmas last year and bought the rest of my supplies the following weekend as I recall.

As for the town project, you're right. (-: If you're thinking about scanning anyway, though, you could always shoot transparencies and send them out for processing. At least you can look at them on a light box without further equipment until you're set up on scanning.

Rob Dean



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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2003 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My new darkroom has been changing dimensions for weeks now and probably won't get built till next year at the rate we're going. It's smallest dimension now is approximately 6'x4'. I planned it with some very quick mental visuals so I could tell the wife that I might be able to squeeze into such a space... Although my old darkroom was in a large room, I only used an area of about 6 feet long. And I actually liked the stacked trays and switched between having them spread out or stacked. Color took the least space using an old rotating drum/water bath setup. So I don't mind small spaces. My current "darkroom" is a second half-bath that isn't more than 4 feet wide with a sink in the middle. It works fine for negs and I hope to contact print in there soon.

I've had some luck with scanning B&W negs without a transparancy adapter. But they do tend to lack contrast and it works much better with a light neg. Never could get the color reversal right for color negs and they are always too dark. Slides might work, but I've never really liked them. I still have a box of 4x5 laying around here someplace. By the time I found out how to get them processed, I lost interest in them. Although I have thought about finally trying them on the leaves, but it looks like I'll run out of time before I get the time...

On the other hand, splitting a bedroom and temporaily walling off our dining room is giving me a good amount of experience to finally get that darkroom built!


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