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Author Topic: The Square Challenge  (Read 1434 times)
tokengirl
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« on: January 22, 2011, 09:57:34 PM »
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I woke up this morning not planning to go out shooting, as it was supposed to be windy and cold (by Florida standards).  But the front was slow to arrive, and I woke up to some pretty thick fog.  So I grabbed The Beast and hustled down to the Everglades.  By the time I got there, I pretty much missed all the fog action, but it was still pretty gloomy out.  But sometimes lousy light is not so lousy.

I had what I consider a successful day.  I shot one roll of Pan F+ and ended up happy with 6 shots.  I'm not saying all six are good, I'm just happy with them.  I'm starting to get used to composing in the square format, but still a long way to go.  It's a hell of a lot easier to shoot with a DSLR and just put the square anywhere in the shot after the fact - I am finding it a real challenge to place that square before I fire the shutter.

It was raining a little when I got there.  I must have looked pretty funny trying to set up while holding my umbrella.  Grin












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langier
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2011, 10:18:22 PM »
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Nicely done!

They have a consistent look and feel on each and each is interesting on its own.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2011, 10:37:24 PM »
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Very nice set indeed. The compositions are all very convincing.

Eric
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Riaan van Wyk
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2011, 10:52:33 PM »
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Very nice set indeed. The compositions are all very convincing.

Eric

+1!
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2011, 11:16:47 PM »
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Thanks for sharing your work, Claire.  Have you ever reviewed Clyde Butcher's work?  Might give you some ideas.

Mike.

P.S.  I love my old TLR camera, but remember that the square format need not be kept square - one can visualize a portrait or landscape image within the square.  (I hope Russ didn't hear me say that...  Wink  )  There's also: http://www.flickr.com/groups/tlr/ for more 'square' people.


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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2011, 11:23:15 PM »
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Impressive work, as always. Thank you for sharing these.
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Bruce Cox
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2011, 08:03:00 AM »
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Not to slight the other photos, but I am quite taken with "cypress & bromeliads".  Bruce
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RSL
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2011, 08:04:41 AM »
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I love my old TLR camera, but remember that the square format need not be kept square - one can visualize a portrait or landscape image within the square.  (I hope Russ didn't hear me say that...  Wink  )  There's also: http://www.flickr.com/groups/tlr/ for more 'square' people.

Mike, Believe it or not I did a lot of shooting with a TLR, beginning in 1953 with an Ikoflex, and later, with a Rollei. In fact, all but one of the Korean pictures in my B&W spotlight were made with the Ikoflex. And the kid on the crutch, heaven forfend, is cropped. The two little girls in the washbasin, were shot with a Kodak Pony, which proves, once again, that the best camera is the one you have with you.

I think the square format has a lot going for it in the kind of static situation Toke was working with. I'm not big on photographs of vegetables, but I like these. Good shooting, Toke.
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Rob C
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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2011, 10:15:27 AM »
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Toke, when you've got it, which you obviously have, format doesn't matter. You adapt to the 'beast' in hand every time, as you have often proved.

I would suggest one thing: try shooting some Ektachrome and scan it. If you have a good lab, they are consistent and you learn what to expect from your film.

I say this despite loving b/w and the reason is that processing b/w film yourself is great if there's a good throughput, but not so charming if there is a gap between goes. I used to do everything in D76+1; it worked like a dream, but when I gave up doing it professionally I rapidly ran into problems: the conc. solution goes off quite soon and consistent results become hit and miss, and you can't afford that if you take it seriously. That stuff has to be made, used and dumped as quickly as possible. I then tried to use those tiny Neofin containers and I could never get it together with the look I got - it just didn't work for me at all, so in my case, the reliability that one should get from those secure little doses wasn't really helpful. Ektachrome can give you the best of both worlds; I used to say that about Kodachrome on 35mm (I never used it, but I'm informed that 120 Kodachrome sucked, depending on batch.)

There is much nonsense spoken and written about the difficulty of 'seeing' in either colour or b/w and how different these disciplines are; well true, but it's all a matter of understanding what a tone is: once you realise that you have to differentiate planes/objects via simple strength of tonality and not with the ease of colour itself, the 'problem' vanishes. Or it damned well should!

Best -

Rob C
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2011, 01:14:07 PM »
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And the kid on the crutch, heaven forfend, is cropped.
Russ,

As penance you must say 500 "Hail H C-B's."

Eric
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Rob C
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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2011, 01:23:14 PM »
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Russ,

As penance you must say 500 "Hail H C-B's."

Eric


I never knew they made those, Eric; C and CM and other iterations, but not H C-Bs.

Rob C
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John R Smith
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2011, 02:28:16 AM »
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Claire

I really like this set of pictures, which form a very coherent group and have their own internal logic. They are also a wonderful demonstration of how to work with soft light, which is a whole discipline in itself. I shot for many years with the square format, but I have to confess that I often used to crop the end result, partly because you can't buy square paper. And printing square on the 'A' sizes we have here in Europe is so wasteful (I know that is a really silly reason for cropping). But I got so used to the square the I always had a real struggle adjusting to a 35mm SLR at work.

I like the way you never put anything up here which is not consumately professional.

John
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tokengirl
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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2011, 08:18:45 AM »
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Have you ever reviewed Clyde Butcher's work? 

I have one of his prints hanging in my living room.  And the coffee table books.  And the calendar.  I attend the Swamp Walks on his property in Big Cypress every Labor Day weekend.  I am a BIG fan of his work.
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tokengirl
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« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2011, 08:24:38 AM »
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I'm not big on photographs of vegetables, but I like these.

Thanks.  I've never really thought of them as vegetables, especially the young mangroves or dwarf cypress.  Generally, I find these trees to have a lot of personality - I see the limbs and roots always reaching out to or pointing at something.  Always happy to pose for a portrait too.  Grin
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tokengirl
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« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2011, 08:36:49 AM »
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I would suggest one thing: try shooting some Ektachrome and scan it. If you have a good lab, they are consistent and you learn what to expect from your film.

I say this despite loving b/w and the reason is that processing b/w film yourself is great if there's a good throughput, but not so charming if there is a gap between goes. I used to do everything in D76+1; it worked like a dream, but when I gave up doing it professionally I rapidly ran into problems: the conc. solution goes off quite soon and consistent results become hit and miss, and you can't afford that if you take it seriously. That stuff has to be made, used and dumped as quickly as possible.

I hope you don't mind that I prefer Astia to Ektachrome?  I shot a roll on Saturday, will have it processed this week at my sort-of-local lab.  They do a good job.

As for the B&W chemicals, Rodinal is my developer of choice, best used as a one-shot developer.  The concentrate lasts F O R E V E R - rather than a shelf life, it has a half life.  The results are extremely consistent when used consistently (same temperature, same agitation routine).  I've not had any "surprises" when using it.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2011, 09:06:41 AM »
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John said it very well.

I keep coming back to this set. They are all so beautifully seen.

If I had only seen these and nothing of the rest of your work, I would instantly have assumed that you had used the square format exclusively for many years.

Eric
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Rob C
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« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2011, 03:03:49 PM »
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I hope you don't mind that I prefer Astia to Ektachrome?  I shot a roll on Saturday, will have it processed this week at my sort-of-local lab.  They do a good job.

As for the B&W chemicals, Rodinal is my developer of choice, best used as a one-shot developer.  The concentrate lasts F O R E V E R - rather than a shelf life, it has a half life.  The results are extremely consistent when used consistently (same temperature, same agitation routine).  I've not had any "surprises" when using it.

Never used Rodinal, though some LF people were very devoted to it. D76 used 1+1 was also single shot, but the problem was keeping the stock (without the added +1) alive in the winchester; it would go brownish quite rapidly. I, too, used a standardised processing technique like a slave! Only way to do anything, and that's partly the bonus with E6: they have to standardise unless you ask them to push or pull. Never used Astia, but I always found Ektachrome 64 fairly good on the 6x6.

Rob C
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jasonrandolph
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« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2011, 03:22:20 PM »
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I'd say it was a very successful shoot!  As for the difficulty of composing for the square format in-camera, I imagine that if/when you ever go back to a DSLR, composing for square will be that much easier.  Nice job.
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