The photograph itself doesn't interest me. I want only to capture a minute part of reality.

~Henri Cartier Bresson



Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tip For The Budding "Pro".


Sometimes people get ensconced in an area and continue on thru life as is. I pity them, honestly I do. Take the great art of photography; some grab a camera, digital or analog, doesn’t matter, and with a mighty hi-ho they set that critter on auto-pilot and off they go..professional photographers now abound by the clam flat full. Now, I have seen some amazing photographs being produced BUT how many out there know what to do when their batteries crap the sheets? Well, for all you digital shooters out there…bye-bye. See, with an fairly secure background in electronics I can say that digital needs some of those nasty electrons bouncing all over the place like a one legged dog lover herding cats..wild vision now, ain’t it…I digress. So when that necessary voltage goes south and you stay north..pffffftt..dead. Now, you got the shooter with the Nikon Whiz-Bang 2000 that he/she mortgaged the ranch for and, yes, the batteries died, the mirror is locked up, certain parts of the photographers anatomy is clenching tighter than you thought possible. Probably if you were to try and open the back cover to try and retrieve the film in a darkroom a small dart filled with curare will come shooting out and render the photog…dead..just like the damn batteries. Now, you got the guy with the camera that shoots multiple modes and, gasp (At this time please picture look of amazement) will operate manual. You know the “mode”, right? It involves the human computer, your brain (which also operates with electricity, but when those batteries die hopefully someone nearby remembers that 911 is a handy number to call). Ok, manual mode; DIN numbers of the film (or ASA as known by us dinosaurs), f-stops and shutter speeds. Three important factors that even the digital shooters should have basic knowledge of with their factors in producing acceptable images. How they all correlate is important folks. When I started at 11 years old, my dad, who was an ex-commercial shooter from the Boston North (Portland) district of Maine, sat me down with pencil and paper time and time again, after drilling into me the Triad of important numbers, and worked me thru scenarios after tossing out lighting conditions and ASA numbers. I passed. You see, with a Yashica D TLR shooting 6X6 CM Verichrome Pan your lucky if you remembered to save the box the film came in and you carefully tore open in the correct sequence and WOW, there was a exposure chart, of course Dad thought this was cheating, so he tossed most of the boxes in the garbage as soon as I opened them….OK, OK, where is this fool going with this mess of rambling, I feel that anyone worth their weight of being able to call themselves a “pro” should at least know what their camera is doing for them and why its doing it! Don’t be afraid to ask someone about the basics, as the old saying goes, “Learn to walk before you learn to run”. Over the past 45 years of shooting I have seen to many ‘runners’ fall flat on their faces, and stay there I am afraid. I love the smell of fixer in the morning, and 28% acetic acid, cleans out most stuffed sinus passages really fast!

1 comment:

Nightfly said...

Great blog entry Dick. I've been known to use a battery in my light meter. In one exposure, sunny 16 said 1/125 f/16. My light meter said, f/11, but those shadows in the viewfinder told me to open just a little more. Result? Perfect. Being part of the process makes it so much more rewarding.

Yea, film....