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Old 03-22-2019   #41
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I only use film and I only own one camera with a motor drive, which I very seldom use so I don’t spray by any stretch of the imagination. I do shoot more or less depending upon the subject, the surroundings and the camera I’m using. On the whole I think I expose fewer frames than I used to and I could probably benefit from exposing fewer still. I can’t say I can remember ever sacrificing quality by slowing down.
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Old 03-22-2019   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dourbalistar View Post
My F3P rigged with a MD-4 motordrive and AH-4 handstrap was mistaken as a handgun by some passerby who ran for cover. I was in Queens Plaza, NYC near one of the largest public housing projects in the world.

Also not far away my Gossen Luna Pro was mistaken as a cop's badge holder by a truck driver who had dialed 911 in an industrial section of Long Island City.

Realize that a street vendor was shot 41 times by NYPD because his cell phone was mistaken for a handgun. The cops were acquited of any wrong doing BTW.

I would hate to be shot by mistake, but things happen.

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Old 03-22-2019   #43
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These are not good times to be using a Pentax Spotmeter V either.
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Old 03-22-2019   #44
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Chip,

I went to art school in the 70's. I was a fine art painter back then, but I also explored photography. I was pretty good back then and was a really good printer.

What I learned in art school was practice and discipline. The path to becoming an expert was developing craft and by doing things repetitively and by developing critical skills. Pretty much self discipline and at the same time being encouraged to run with the ball and create one's own sense of style.

So I'm not afraid in consuming lots of film, paper, ink or chemicals. My early training taught me to go all the way. For example in digital photography I print big. 20x30 image size on 24x36 sheet. Not easy to do, and in my case I am fully exploiting every means for high IQ. Big prints don't lie.

Today I look upon my work as more of an ethnographer who documents urban living in NYC. Not really as an artist but as a historian and archiver. For me time is the best editor. Much of what I shoot is either changed or gone. Best to have the shots and see what happens.

BTW my archiving is not well understood, and many argue that it is pointless because I don't publish, I don't exhibit, and with film have a total disregard to printing, which I say can always be done at later date. I believe, "Time is my friend."

The past decade since the credit crisis and housing bubble is really remarkable. NYC has change so much over the past 12 years. The old New York is gone, and a new one is emerging...

Cal
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Old 03-22-2019   #45
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Originally Posted by Dogman View Post
These are not good times to be using a Pentax Spotmeter V either.
Dogman,

Especially if you are a person of color.

Had NYPD guns drawn on me twice. It is not polite being profiled and mistaken for someone else. Could have been exicuted in this case. If I ran, which would of been just instinct I surely would have been shot. I remember the Rolling Stones song "Heartbreaker" which was popular at the time that this happened to me.

I have a black friend from Yonkers who says about a dozen times he has had police guns drawn at him. Sometimes like an exicution.

The second time I almost was "collateral damage" during a robbery, pre SWAT team. Luckily the robber's gun was on top of the box of cash that was emptied from the safe and not in his hand, otherwise I likely would have been ventilated. I was inbetween the storming cops and this robber. If a hostage was taken it would have been me.

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Old 03-22-2019   #46
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We live in paranoid times. I've had the police called on me simply because I was taking pictures in a parking lot across the street from a school (and only a few hundred feet from my home). Recently I had a man chase my car down a country road because he thought I was spying on his house with binoculars when I was just shooting photos of clouds and contrails.

It's bad enough to just be a normal civilian wandering around trying to mind your own business but God forbid you actually do something someone else notices.
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Old 03-22-2019   #47
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We live in paranoid times. I've had the police called on me simply because I was taking pictures in a parking lot across the street from a school (and only a few hundred feet from my home). Recently I had a man chase my car down a country road because he thought I was spying on his house with binoculars when I was just shooting photos of clouds and contrails.

It's bad enough to just be a normal civilian wandering around trying to mind your own business but God forbid you actually do something someone else notices.
Dogman,

Very sad indeed, but on a more positive note with all this turmoil and changes it truely is a wonderful time to be a photographer.

I remember the 70's when NYC was almost like Detroit: a bankrupt city left for dead. Over the decades since I see more change here over the past decade or so than any other time. Really a great photo opportunity.

On one September 11th I was harassed by this Police Sargent when just walking on the sidewalk in an industrial area in Long Island City. I lived nearby. I had a Rolliflex and was not taking pictures when I was berated by this Sargent in front of a van full of his men.

He started the conversation by asking me, "What are you doing here?" but things pretty much got out of hand, and I knew better than answer back to a power freak who reminded me it was September 11th again and again and repeatedly asked me "What are you thinking?" many times.

I tried to be mindful and mentioned that I live not far away, and that I purposely stayed out of Madhattan so the police could get through this difficult day, but I wanted to ask the Sargent, "What are you thinking?"

I was just a man walking alone with a camera. The Sargent was driving, and a black cop in the front passenger seat I caught rolling his eyes. Sadly and evidently September 11th was a trigger for this Sargent. I kind of understand. It was a brutal day and it still effects me.

On a lighter note when walking in the Bronx with some other photographers a local takes note of all our cameras and asks, "Where is the crime scene." LOL.

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Old 03-22-2019   #48
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Cal I learned with a similar approach. If you look back at my Film is Cheap rant in the thread about Fuji raising prices I was taught that film is cheap, at least relative to not learning/growing or not getting the shot.

For me it really is though. I don't shoot people so really don't burn a lot of film.

I wanted to finish this roll the other day because it has some shots I'm dying to see of this old abandoned house I shot a few weeks back. If you know what Shiprock looks like in the Four Corners, if Shiprock was a house this would be it. Old, tall and skinny. Weathered. I passed it a couple years ago and did stop but the light wasn't with me and I was in a rush. This time I knew I'd be passing it, knew I had some time. And the light was great! I took my time, exposed 2 frames of two views. That was it. Cost $3.50 in film?

So how has NYC changed? I have a cousin who lives in Yonkers she said they're tearing down old neighborhoods and building new expensive stuff for people that commute into NYC. Kinda like Brooklyn went through




Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
Chip,

I went to art school in the 70's. I was a fine art painter back then, but I also explored photography. I was pretty good back then and was a really good printer.

What I learned in art school was practice and discipline. The path to becoming an expert was developing craft and by doing things repetitively and by developing critical skills. Pretty much self discipline and at the same time being encouraged to run with the ball and create one's own sense of style.

So I'm not afraid in consuming lots of film, paper, ink or chemicals. My early training taught me to go all the way. For example in digital photography I print big. 20x30 image size on 24x36 sheet. Not easy to do, and in my case I am fully exploiting every means for high IQ. Big prints don't lie.

Today I look upon my work as more of an ethnographer who documents urban living in NYC. Not really as an artist but as a historian and archiver. For me time is the best editor. Much of what I shoot is either changed or gone. Best to have the shots and see what happens.

BTW my archiving is not well understood, and many argue that it is pointless because I don't publish, I don't exhibit, and with film have a total disregard to printing, which I say can always be done at later date. I believe, "Time is my friend."

The past decade since the credit crisis and housing bubble is really remarkable. NYC has change so much over the past 12 years. The old New York is gone, and a new one is emerging...

Cal
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Old 03-22-2019   #49
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Originally Posted by chipgreenberg View Post
Cal I learned with a similar approach. If you look back at my Film is Cheap rant in the thread about Fuji raising prices I was taught that film is cheap, at least relative to not learning/growing or not getting the shot.

For me it really is though. I don't shoot people so really don't burn a lot of film.

I wanted to finish this roll the other day because it has some shots I'm dying to see of this old abandoned house I shot a few weeks back. If you know what Shiprock looks like in the Four Corners, if Shiprock was a house this would be it. Old, tall and skinny. Weathered. I passed it a couple years ago and did stop but the light wasn't with me and I was in a rush. This time I knew I'd be passing it, knew I had some time. And the light was great! I took my time, exposed 2 frames of two views. That was it. Cost $3.50 in film?

So how has NYC changed? I have a cousin who lives in Yonkers she said they're tearing down old neighborhoods and building new expensive stuff for people that commute into NYC. Kinda like Brooklyn went through
Chip,

A lot of privilage and entitlement has been imported as the city has become somewhat surburbanized.

Much has been torn down and redeveloped. Perhaps this is the fourth year that as a group more young people are moving out rather than moving into the city.

NYC is the seventh most expensive city in the world with Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore all being tied for the most expensive. Affordability is a big problem, but these young people are the future, so I see a tipping point with this reverse migration.

Seems like everything is packaged, commodified and sanitized to make NYC a safe place for the wealthy. 57th Street is becoming Billionair's Row. There is a new skyline of very tall narrow buildings with a clear view of Central Park. Units are entire floors or duplexed or triplexed floors. I'm talking skyscrapers that are unusually skinny and narrow.

There are entire blocks on Fifth Avenue in the seventies that are "bunkers" set up as LLC's for weathy oliarchs that are only ocupied for three months of the year. These bunkers are for wealthy Asians and Russians who might have to flee their countries, and they set up these bunkers so that their wealth will not be or can not be confiscated. No one knows who owns these properties that other people would call mansions.

Meanwhile the homeless problem is getting worse. Some young people come to NYC to scratch it off their "Bucket List" so they can return home and say they are a New Yorker. It has become more and more about money than living. Mucho mentally ill people are not being taken care of nor are they getting the services the need/deserve. The quality of life is slipping, and this I blame our current mayor.

They are building a new development called Hudson Yards. In promotional material the promote Hudson Yards as a luxury community that one does not have to leave. Some critics say that it is basically kinda like a gated community for the rich. I find it insulting because as a gentrifier I made the banks, the landlords, and the developers tons of money and got little in return.

I am not a fan of Amazon and I'm glad I'm not subsidizing a billionair named Jeff Bezos. Pretty much a bait and switch.

When they built the new Yankee Stadium they made all these promises of public space and affordable housing, but I was told by a resident that these promises did not happen. Also they tore down many historical buildings that should have been saved.

Pretty much the city that I helped make great is showing me the door. I'm the kinda person that people from all around the world would want to meet: someone who's father was an illegal immigrant and was poor who has a B.A., a M.A., MFA and school loans that struggled in the arts for decades doing: painting, performance art, writing and currently for the past dozen years or so been a photographer.

One of the reasons I am creating an photographic archive of a disappearing New York is to have a sense of "home" to take with me.

Go visit WWW.NYC.org and look at the zoning and the infrastructure projects. Pretty easy to connect the dots. NYC use to hover above and below 8 million for decades. Today we are 8.6 million, but with Hudson Yards and Queens South in Long Island City within 5 years NYC will soon have a population of 9 million.

Not hard to imagine the next rumored project is Sunnyside Yards which could add another million people. The infrastructure being built out is to have a population of 10 million not too far away; mostly wealthy people.

It may take some time but San Francisco I was told is a city of wealth and homeless, and this is what is happening. I am pretty much am being forced to leave as I approach retirement. Not by choice.

Cal
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Old 03-22-2019   #50
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I don't know Cal. NYC has always been expensive and a place of extremes.

when I was working there which has to be 35 years ago, I had a buddy who lived in the MAYBE 15x15 foot apartment that was one room. Had his kitchen, shower, bath, bedroom all wrapped in in 300 sq feet

I also location scouted this place for a Salem ad the guy I was working for was shooting. 2 HUGE floors overlooking Central park with a spiral staircase in the middle connecting the floors.

So extremes! We (He really) shot this couple smoking Salelm's on the staircase. Whoever owned it was almost never there and rented it out for shoots.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
Chip,

A lot of privilage and entitlement has been imported as the city has become somewhat surburbanized.

Much has been torn down and redeveloped. Perhaps this is the fourth year that as a group more young people are moving out rather than moving into the city.

NYC is the seventh most expensive city in the world with Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore all being tied for the most expensive. Affordability is a big problem, but these young people are the future, so I see a tipping point with this reverse migration.

Seems like everything is packaged, commodified and sanitized to make NYC a safe place for the wealthy. 57th Street is becoming Billionair's Row. There is a new skyline of very tall narrow buildings with a clear view of Central Park. Units are entire floors or duplexed or triplexed floors. I'm talking skyscrapers that are unusually skinny and narrow.

There are entire blocks on Fifth Avenue in the seventies that are "bunkers" set up as LLC's for weathy oliarchs that are only ocupied for three months of the year. These bunkers are for wealthy Asians and Russians who might have to flee their countries, and they set up these bunkers so that their wealth will not be or can not be confiscated. No one knows who owns these properties that other people would call mansions.

Meanwhile the homeless problem is getting worse. Some young people come to NYC to scratch it off their "Bucket List" so they can return home and say they are a New Yorker. It has become more and more about money than living. Mucho mentally ill people are not being taken care of nor are they getting the services the need/deserve. The quality of life is slipping, and this I blame our current mayor.

They are building a new development called Hudson Yards. In promotional material the promote Hudson Yards as a luxury community that one does not have to leave. Some critics say that it is basically kinda like a gated community for the rich. I find it insulting because as a gentrifier I made the banks, the landlords, and the developers tons of money and got little in return.

I am not a fan of Amazon and I'm glad I'm not subsidizing a billionair named Jeff Bezos. Pretty much a bait and switch.

When they built the new Yankee Stadium they made all these promises of public space and affordable housing, but I was told by a resident that these promises did not happen. Also they tore down many historical buildings that should have been saved.

Pretty much the city that I helped make great is showing me the door. I'm the kinda person that people from all around the world would want to meet: someone who's father was an illegal immigrant and was poor who has a B.A., a M.A., MFA and school loans that struggled in the arts for decades doing: painting, performance art, writing and currently for the past dozen years or so been a photographer.

One of the reasons I am creating an photographic archive of a disappearing New York is to have a sense of "home" to take with me.

Go visit WWW.NYC.org and look at the zoning and the infrastructure projects. Pretty easy to connect the dots. NYC use to hover above and below 8 million for decades. Today we are 8.6 million, but with Hudson Yards and Queens South in Long Island City within 5 years NYC will soon have a population of 9 million.

Not hard to imagine the next rumored project is Sunnyside Yards which could add another million people. The infrastructure being built out is to have a population of 10 million not too far away; mostly wealthy people.

It may take some time but San Francisco I was told is a city of wealth and homeless, and this is what is happening. I am pretty much am being forced to leave as I approach retirement. Not by choice.

Cal
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Old 03-22-2019   #51
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I don't know Cal. NYC has always been expensive and a place of extremes.....
I remember being taken to a very nice brownstone by a friend. She was invited to visit by another theater type friend who was the house boy there. Early 80's, three-story bamboo garden on entry. I was able to live in Bensonhurst on one crappy salary and then Rego Park as we became DINKs. I remember being able to see shows (museum and theater) without having to take out a loan.

It sounds like Manhattan has become an Island for rich which frankly is very sad. My best friend in an apartment and lived in a complex north of Alphabet-Land. It wasn't much but with two salaries and two kids it was affordable. Something tells me that starting artist no longer live even near Soho. Gentrification is happening all over, while the focus has always been about the Benjamins it seems to have gone over the top. I was shocked 20 years ago when a developer was presenting to a town council where I lived and talked about starter homes around $375K.

My son is in a multi-year program at Rutgers, so I'm sure at some point I'll visit him and drop by.

Even though it's sad, thanks for the update Cal.

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Old 03-22-2019   #52
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Reading this I came to a realization. Today the worst job on earth I can think of is to be a police officer. To be crushed between the political bureaucracy of those in charge and the attitude displayed by many of the public as well as the inherent danger of the job.... I dunno. But to manage to get through a normal day must require something special I simply ain't got and will never have.

Anyway, social critique over...let's talk picture-takin'.
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Old 03-22-2019   #53
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Agreed on both points D

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogman View Post
Reading this I came to a realization. Today the worst job on earth I can think of is to be a police officer. To be crushed between the political bureaucracy of those in charge and the attitude displayed by many of the public as well as the inherent danger of the job.... I dunno. But to manage to get through a normal day must require something special I simply ain't got and will never have.

Anyway, social critique over...let's talk picture-takin'.
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Old 03-22-2019   #54
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Quote:
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Reading this I came to a realization. Today the worst job on earth I can think of is to be a police officer. To be crushed between the political bureaucracy of those in charge and the attitude displayed by many of the public as well as the inherent danger of the job.... I dunno. But to manage to get through a normal day must require something special I simply ain't got and will never have.

Anyway, social critique over...let's talk picture-takin'.
Granted, it is a tough job. But it's safer to be a police officer now than it was in the 1970's. You want a dangerous job? Try logging.
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File Type: jpg 20150320_copsmillion1.jpg (16.9 KB, 5 views)
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Old 03-22-2019   #55
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How I shoot depends on what I shoot. I shot digital, often at ISO 6400, when my kids were playing indoor basketball. The action was fast, and focus didn't always lock. So I shot in short burst when I saw compositions I liked starting to develop in the finder. Film? Fewer frames, but the action isn't as intense.
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Old 03-22-2019   #56
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Is it allowed to do what I do: "Snipe and Pray"?

The praying doesn't seem to work very often though.
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Old 03-22-2019   #57
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Now no one would accuse Cartier-Bresson of "spraying" but in the box set of "Decisive Moment" there is a contact sheet reprint of the frames around the two Red Army officers eyeing the girls at the tram stop. There are at least four rather indecisive versions.
Taking 4 shots is not spraying and praying...
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Old 03-22-2019   #58
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Most of the time I was in Eastern Aleppo and Idlib I sprayed and prayed. Lot's of praying
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Old 03-22-2019   #59
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Watch this: a photo every 10 seconds!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6BRcZDOMyk
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Old 03-22-2019   #60
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Quote:
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Reading this I came to a realization. Today the worst job on earth I can think of is to be a police officer. To be crushed between the political bureaucracy of those in charge and the attitude displayed by many of the public as well as the inherent danger of the job.... I dunno. But to manage to get through a normal day must require something special I simply ain't got and will never have.

Anyway, social critique over...let's talk picture-takin'.

Want a quick bit of disheartenment? Go to YouTube and look for 'police brutality'. The number of videos of police taking down small women and beating handcuffed people is sickening. Something quite common is for police to beat a suspect in custody and yell 'stop resisting' even when suspect is close to unconsciousness.


Picture taking? I live in Australia and generally stay away from taking photos of the police. Not that we have a problem with police brutality (except Queensland/Brisbane has issues with this) but because I want to avoid potential issues.
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Old 03-22-2019   #61
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Originally Posted by RObert Budding View Post
How I shoot depends on what I shoot. I shot digital, often at ISO 6400, when my kids were playing indoor basketball. The action was fast, and focus didn't always lock. So I shot in short burst when I saw compositions I liked starting to develop in the finder. Film? Fewer frames, but the action isn't as intense.
Indeed. Answer is... Depends
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Old 03-22-2019   #62
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Quote:
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....To be crushed between the political bureaucracy of those in charge and the attitude displayed by many of the public as well as the inherent danger of the job........
Sadly it's more than just two directions. They have how they feel about what is the right thing to do. If your training and the bosses say shoot and you don't want to....

I haven't shot any sports in many years. Never had a motor drive, always anticipated the action, pre-focused when I could. Missed a lot of shots, got a few. I look at some of the shots I see today and wonder if it's a camera taking XX frames per second or if it's a single shot.

I don't think there's anything wrong with the spray approach, lots of competition out there. I'd be using it if I was looking to make a buck that way.

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I photograph mostly birds and wildlife
Old 03-22-2019   #63
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I photograph mostly birds and wildlife

Dear Chip,

Based on what I choose to photograph I'd have to be an idiot not to use a camera with a motor drive, or even better yet, a digital camera.

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA
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Old 03-23-2019   #64
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Watch this: a photo every 10 seconds!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6BRcZDOMyk
That`s still not spraying and praying... spraying and praying is using a motor drive and then hoping later you got something instead of just waiting for the right moment. He`s waiting for the right moment clearly... he is just interested in everything he is shooting.
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Absolutely nothing about a digital camera obliges us to be thoughtless.
Old 03-23-2019   #65
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Absolutely nothing about a digital camera obliges us to be thoughtless.

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...

...Though digital makes Pray and Spray more viable. ...
Yes, when there are no financial consequences from making large number of images and while keeping only a small percentage. This is the only film vs digital aspect.

In my view, it's difficult to develop any sort of style if you don't invest some thought in the process. In terms of deciding when to bring the camera to my eye and press the shutter button, I use my digital cameras as I used my 35mm film cameras.

The major difference involves exposure methods.

I usually auto-aperture bracket 3 raw files per scene. I only keep the one that retains the useful highlight regions. I consider the others to be underexposed. In candid situations occasionally one of the inferior exposures will have superior content (facial expressions, etc). Then I keep that one. After that, the image selection process (editing) begins. Finally the selected rendering for the candidates is optimized.

In dynamic situations I sometimes set the camera to its native ISO setting (200 in my case). This method assumes the relative camera noise levels (read noise) do not depend on the in-camera ISO setting. I manually select the appropriate shutter and aperture. I use an OVF and focus manually via focus and recompose by using rear button AF. In post-production a mouse click brightens each raw file rendering or simultaneously brightens groups of selected images. The editing and rendering work proceeds as before. This is a film-like workflow because often the in-camera JPEGs are too dark to review in real time! Obviously you have to understand how to set up the AF parameters to eliminate focus lock on unintended objects. The advantage is you never have to look at the light meter or change the camera ISO setting. You only have to think about the shutter and, or aperture when the ambient light changes. You can concentrate all your energy on composition and when to press the shutter. Outdoors you do have to avoid sensor over exposure.

An exception was when I did sports photography gigs. Then I sprayed and prayed JPEGs. My employer decided what to post for sale. I only edited out miss-focused images or images that could embarrass the subjects.

I did a handful of weddings and group events. While I really didn't just spay and pray, I did make more than images than I would have for personal projects. But I was purposeful. It's hard to describe exactly how I decided when a shot had potential. There isn't much time to think about it – but somehow you know. This is a very different process than pseudo-randomly pressing the shutter as a robot might.
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Basically, I mean, ah—well, let’s say that for me anyway when a photograph is interesting, it’s interesting because of the kind of photographic problem it states—which has to do with the . . . contest between content and form.
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Old 03-23-2019   #66
chipgreenberg
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Agreed. I'm not talking about skilled action photography. I had a friend who used to shoot the US Open before auto focus. /did he burn a lot of film? Sure. Was he anticipating and waiting for the right moment. Absolutely
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Old 03-24-2019   #67
jvo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archiver View Post
I'm totally a sprayer for three main reasons:

...being able to prove when I arrived at, and left an old workplace when my pay was in dispute.


hmmm, totally needed when faced with false arrest!
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Old 03-25-2019   #68
Calzone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RObert Budding View Post
Granted, it is a tough job. But it's safer to be a police officer now than it was in the 1970's. You want a dangerous job? Try logging.
Rob,

Back in the day (1970's) the job that was more dangerous than being a cop was being a NYC cab driver. Very high probability of getting robbed.

The NYPD makes NYC likely one of if not the most safe large city on the planet. Not an easy job. Much respect.

Cal
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Old 03-25-2019   #69
Ambro51
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I shot wet plate tintypes and ambrotypes at Civil War reenactments, where essentially every image took 15-20 minutes to fully complete. This careful procedure usually (when the chems were in harmony) made every shot a keeper (or rather were sold @$40-75).
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