Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Something to think about from Edward Weston  (Read 12354 times)
Ellis Vener
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1851



WWW
« on: August 23, 2013, 10:21:38 AM »
ReplyReply

"The fact is that relatively few photographers ever master their medium. Instead they allow the medium to master them and go on an endless squirrel cage chase from new lens to new paper to new developer to new gadget, never staying with one piece of equipment long enough to learn its full capacities, becoming lost in a maze of technical information that is of little or no use since they don't know what to do with it." - Edward Weston

...So if you feel overwhelmed by questions about what to buy or what process or material to explore because you are being seduced by the siren of technology , or start rolling your eyes while reading  mind numbingly arcane and jargon laden discussions about tiny bits of technical minutia, just know that you aren't alone and are far from the first person to feel that way.
Logged

Ellis Vener
http://www.ellisvener.com
Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
RobSaecker
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 272


WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2013, 01:37:10 PM »
ReplyReply

+++

Smiley

Can't pretend I'm not guilty, though.
Logged

Rob
photo blog - http://robsaecker.com
NancyP
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1050


« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2013, 01:52:20 PM »
ReplyReply

I resemble that comment  Wink   
I need to study each software action more carefully (no presets for me until I eat study that okra action).
Ditto for focal lengths/perspectives and other hardware variables.
Logged
Isaac
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2956


« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2013, 03:00:57 PM »
ReplyReply

So that's been happening from at least 1929.
Logged
Peter Stacey
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 154


« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2013, 07:15:26 PM »
ReplyReply

He would never have made it in marketing. Lucky for us.
Logged

Isaac
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2956


« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2013, 07:31:37 PM »
ReplyReply

Apparently that was something which gave Ansel Adams' concern about Edward Weston.
Logged
BJL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5168


« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2013, 08:34:23 PM »
ReplyReply

Apparently that was something which gave Ansel Adams' concern about Edward Weston.
Yes, Adams and Weston were almost at opposite extremes in their attitudes to gear and technology, and I almost detect a dig at Adams in that quote from Weston.

It would be fun to have a record of them debating the issue.
Logged
Eric Myrvaagnes
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8202



WWW
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2013, 10:21:26 PM »
ReplyReply

Yes, Adams and Weston were almost at opposite extremes in their attitudes to gear and technology, and I almost detect a dig at Adams in that quote from Weston.

It would be fun to have a record of them debating the issue.
I'll have to retell one of my favorite anecdotes, told me by Minor White who once was out photographing with both Ansel and Edward.

At Ansel's insistence, Edward was carrying a Weston (no relation) Master exposure meter.

How did Edward use the meter?

According to Minor, Edward waved it around the scene and then looked at the suggested reading, and then muttered "It's wrong!" and proceeded to set the exposure his own eyes and experience told him to use.

 Grin
Logged

-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
iluvmycam
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 353


WWW
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2013, 10:23:27 PM »
ReplyReply

Thanks Ellis!!  Timely reminder.
Logged
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2013, 09:29:12 AM »
ReplyReply

"The fact is that relatively few photographers ever master their medium. Instead they allow the medium to master them and go on an endless squirrel cage chase from new lens to new paper to new developer to new gadget, never staying with one piece of equipment long enough to learn its full capacities, becoming lost in a maze of technical information that is of little or no use since they don't know what to do with it." - Edward Weston

...So if you feel overwhelmed by questions about what to buy or what process or material to explore because you are being seduced by the siren of technology , or start rolling your eyes while reading  mind numbingly arcane and jargon laden discussions about tiny bits of technical minutia, just know that you aren't alone and are far from the first person to feel that way.


Spoilsport!

Have you no heart; have you no soul?

;-)

Rob C
Logged

mezzoduomo
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 208


« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2013, 09:38:25 AM »
ReplyReply

"The fact is that relatively few photographers ever master their medium. Instead they allow the medium to master them and go on an endless squirrel cage chase from new lens to new paper to new developer to new gadget, never staying with one piece of equipment long enough to learn its full capacities, becoming lost in a maze of technical information that is of little or no use since they don't know what to do with it." - Edward Weston

...So if you feel overwhelmed by questions about what to buy or what process or material to explore because you are being seduced by the siren of technology , or start rolling your eyes while reading  mind numbingly arcane and jargon laden discussions about tiny bits of technical minutia, just know that you aren't alone and are far from the first person to feel that way.

I'll be back momentarily to carefully read this thread....right after I click the B&H banner to see what's new and read some gear reviews. Wink
Logged
Jim Kasson
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1036



WWW
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2013, 10:26:31 AM »
ReplyReply

"The fact is that relatively few photographers ever master their medium. Instead they allow the medium to master them and go on an endless squirrel cage chase from new lens to new paper to new developer to new gadget, never staying with one piece of equipment long enough to learn its full capacities, becoming lost in a maze of technical information that is of little or no use since they don't know what to do with it." - Edward Weston

You donít want to have to think about the mechanics of operating the camera; you want to think about the photograph you're making. A sufficient condition for achieving that level of unconscious, effortless, competence would be owning only one camera for your whole photographic lifetime and using it every day. But itís not necessary, at least if you make photographs the way most artists do.

If youíre a mere mortal, you donít get up every morning with a completely new idea for a photograph, and spend the day making that image. You evolve ideas for photographs over months or years, each image building on the many mistakes and few successes of the previous ones. You work in series of pictures, each one quite similar to the others. If youíre muse takes you to the studio, you may spend years making images with one camera and lens at nearly the same aperture, shutter speed, and subject distance. Thatís an extreme case, but even situations that are considered unpredictable, such as street photography, fall into a routine with little variation as a photographer assiduously pursues a creative thread. You pick a favorite body and one or two lenses that seem to suit the project. You get to know what youíre going to see through the finder before you raise the camera to your eye. You know what the light will do to the image without metering. Your movements become fluid through practice. This learning happens quickly, because the boundaries of the project create boundaries in the way you use the camera. You use a subset of the capabilities of the camera. The smaller the subset, the quicker you learn what you need to know to make the images you want.

Thereís a useful analogy between a camera and a powerful computer program. Microsoft Word is a monster of an application, capable of doing a variety of things. Most people only use the subset of Wordís features that they need to get their work done. If youíre writing a thesis or a paper for a scientific journal, you need to know how to create and manage footnotes and endnotes, so you learn the necessary arcane incantations. If youíre writing poetry, you probably have no idea how to produce a footnote, and you are not disadvantaged in the slightest for your ignorance.

There's more on this subject here.

Jim
Logged

MarkL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 343


« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2013, 05:38:18 PM »
ReplyReply

Every camera has shutter speed, aperture and iso. I've never had any problem going from Nikon FM to 4x5 to D800.
Logged
RFPhotography
Guest
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2013, 05:44:33 PM »
ReplyReply

Every camera has shutter speed, aperture and iso. I've never had any problem going from Nikon FM to 4x5 to D800.

Actually, with the FM and 4x5 it's the film that has the ISO.  Wink

I agree with what you're saying, though.  I've got a Texas Leica and a Fuji X100s.  As different as they are, both serve the same purpose.
Logged
MarkL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 343


« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2013, 06:45:02 PM »
ReplyReply

Actually, with the FM and 4x5 it's the film that has the ISO.  Wink

I agree with what you're saying, though.  I've got a Texas Leica and a Fuji X100s.  As different as they are, both serve the same purpose.

Reminds me of the guy that emailed me after buying my RB67 asking where the iso setting was...

I probably spend 90% of the time worrying about model, hair, makeup, wardrobe, location and the rest technical photography stuff.
Logged
BJL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5168


« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2013, 08:09:24 PM »
ReplyReply

Eric, that sounded familiar ... and so I dug up this corroboration:
"I can recall seeing Edward Weston, who was not particularly of scientific persuasion, using his meter in rather unorthodox ways. He would point it in several directions, take a reading from each, and fiddle with the dial with a thoughtful expression. 'It says one quarter second at f/32, I'll give it one second'." --- Ansel Adams, "The Negative", p. 30.
Logged
K.C.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 662


« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2013, 09:33:37 PM »
ReplyReply

I probably spend 90% of the time worrying about model, hair, makeup, wardrobe, location and the rest technical photography stuff.

That sounds right to me. Photography is easy. Producing a shoot is the real work.
Logged
NancyP
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1050


« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2013, 11:30:09 AM »
ReplyReply

I have problems all the time going from Canon 60D to 6D when shooting in the dark (astro). The cameras feel almost identical, but the few button placement changes get me confused when I am fiddling in the dark with the camera on the tripod, aimed at zenith. When I am actually holding the cameras, no problem. Upside down, in the dark, problem.  Grin
Logged
stevebri
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 173


« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2013, 02:02:26 PM »
ReplyReply

An interesting and aptly timed thread Ellis, thanks.

I recently changed system after many yrs with a P25 and afdIII and DF.

LIke many I bought into the D800E, as a long term Nikon user from way back, even if it was for less than 15% of my work, it wasn't a huge hill to climb.

It took time to come up to speed with it and it still isn't totally natural yet, both in shooting and in post, and it isn't a MFDB file.

But what it is is a camera that is easier to use and by being that it is less of a barrier between what I see and feel and what I create, end result....? I'm shooting more and more and now I'm (almost) up to speed I'm shooting better work.

I have 5 lenses, I'm not on eBay for photo stuff at all now, I'm not at dealers or even on the forums.... I'm out shooting, or planning the bigger productions...

As Stan Rox said recently when he did a similar thing.... 'sometimes it's good to reboot...'.

It's taken this change to make me aware of, as you say, this gear obsessed caminho we get sucked into following...

He are a few quotes (from kit sellers and forum trolls)you might find funny....

'D800E.....Huh You'll get loads of moire mate '. Nope, had none at all yet even with patterned fabric.
'D800E....Huh? You'll need loads more memory cards, and much bigger ones...!' Nope, what I had before was fine, and will be fine here.
D800E.... you'll need the very best, most expensive glass money can buy...' Nope, a few Nikon primes at f1.8 are stunning.

Since making the switch I have found a less obtrusive box that exposes light and in turn re ignited my love for photography..... Not gear...

Time to look at some Weston and Adams work for inspiration...


S

Logged
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2013, 04:55:19 PM »
ReplyReply

There's another factor too, Steve: the camera you use alters the way you shoot.

I used to use Nikon F and F2s and Hasselblad 500 series cameras, and they turned me into different photographers in the same day. I'd offer that they were almost as a big a swap in midset as colour or back/white.

Regarding lenses: I have no quibble with my older-style Nikkors. They are all manual AIS primes bar the newer 2.8/180 which is AF, and more the pity for that: it just feels 'wrong', somehow, even though it isn't a bad performer...

Feel is so important.

I never owned any Leica, but from brief use in my last employment in '65, the M3 also had a magical quality called 'feel', and the 21mm was something else.

Rob C
Logged

Pages: [1] 2 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad