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Primitive photography.
Old 08-25-2019   #1
Ko.Fe.
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Primitive photography.

I went to Chicago Institute of Art on previous week. Monet was for money, but they have impressionist hall for regular admission. Some paintings I only seen in the books before.
This hall, part of museum was most crowded. You have to look at the picture and interpreter it. You have to resonate by your inner side with it.

The rest of museum was next to empty. Fat naked bodies, portraits next to like for passport. Who needs it?

I'm with the crowd at impressionist hall. Photography part in Chicago Institute of Art just sucks, BTW.


Here, at rangefinder forum many what I see is no interpretation, passport like photos.

Why? Why if you are going to some goofing event you photograph like it is for police photos. Some goofy dressed people in the frame and nothing.
This is so boring...

Where are pictures from Helen Hill, Maiku, Airfrogusmc. With extraction of the moment and something else. This is, IMO, rangefinder photography.

We are noising it by endless tests of endless lenses and cameras with same pictures of family members who just can't say no, but it is written on their face.

Is it really interesting how some weirdos get dressed or is it more interesting how weirdos interact with each others? What is more interesting - mannequins or people who are interconnected?

What is the purpose of having Leica? To try to extract something Joel Meyerowitz is talking about by holding Leica to his right eye and looking around by both eyes? Or taking some legume closeups via electronic VF with non RF coupled lens, something any DSLR will do better?

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Old 08-25-2019   #2
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Ko.Fe the title sounds like a good name for a photo studio.

I can agree Leica has become more cult than creative these days.
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Old 08-25-2019   #3
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I understand what you say, this why I like to photograph with the Polaroid!



But I'm also trying to use the Leica in an impressionist way...still learning !

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Old 08-25-2019   #4
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I wish I knew how to progress from the gutter of 2nd class passport photographer. It's not so easy to have a preconceived vision beaten into a photograph.
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Old 08-25-2019   #5
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Sorry about your disappointment with the photography at the Art Institute. My impression was undoubtedly influenced by the fact that on my first visit there they had an amazing exhibition called “On the Art Of Fixing a Shadow.” I later bought the catalogue at Edwards Books in Toronto, when such bookstores still existed.

I love the Impressionism exhibited in the gallery. I recently recommended it to a friend who was going to Chicago, and she raved about that, and the Monet exhibition as well.
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Good post
Old 08-25-2019   #6
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Good post

Ko.FE,

Interesting post. I struggle with trying to create art rather than 2nd class postcards. I like landscapes.



Have to think on this one.

Steve W
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Old 08-25-2019   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
...

Here, at rangefinder forum many what I see is no interpretation, passport like photos.

Why? ...
One reason I see is that this forum still about gear.




There are many good pictures with depth and scenes with room for interpretation in the gallery every week.

But when a (good) picture has a title of equipment parts it was obviously taken with it sucks.


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Old 08-25-2019   #8
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Alternative processes, and others what I use to call my screwups are still very interesting. I've done a few but mostly they are unintended:

January Fog by John Carter, on Flickr

Tmax 100 expired HC-110h by John Carter, on Flickr
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Old 08-25-2019   #9
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I've been to the Art Institute of Chicago many times over the years. They have a really good photography collection, but it was not presented well. I have not been there in about ten years, but in the past the photo galleries were small and didn't allow showing much of the collection.
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Old 08-25-2019   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axel View Post
One reason I see is that this forum still about gear.
I'm okay with that. I come here to talk shop, I share my images and view them elsewhere.

But I do get what Ko's getting at. Sometimes I see contemporary photography in galleries and museums and...I just don't get it. I'm not expecting sunsets and flowers, but a lot of that Terry Richardson style photography.

Or in parallel, the same old emulation of past masters. I'm gearing up for a big exhibition and I looked up the only other photographer in the showóI don't remember the artist statement, but it was interesting and compelling; the photos were all sort of Richard Avedon style nudes on a gray background.

Re: street photography. It's harder than it looks. I take a ton of photos only to get one good keeper, like mentioned in the OP, of something happening, people interacting, etc., something worth looking at, and not someone just standing around.

And yet when I browse related tags on tumblr/instagram, it's just that. A lot of people standing around, sans context. Maybe it's grainy or blurry or something that distracts from how painfully boring it is.
In the art world, at least, some people subscribe to the notion that 'anything is art,' and I suppose that legitimizes that sort of photography. But I also encounter many who don't believe photography is art, and those sorts of 'street' shots are such proof.

Believe me, I have a lot of bad shots that I've kept, or worse, printed, mostly just as a record of what a particular place looked like at a particular time. But those aren't what I share for the world as my art. I don't really care about meaning, or even technique (there's a lot of purism in the film world, either the 'film should be gritty and grainy' or the 'wet printing is the only real photography' camps), as long as I've got something worthwhile to look at. Something happening, an interesting viewpoint, a detail overlooked.


On an unrelated note: since starting my Instagram odyssey, it's been a blurry whirlwind of overcooked HDR, half-naked women, and dogs/cars/dogs in cars.
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Old 08-25-2019   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert blu View Post
I understand what you say, this why I like to photograph with the Polaroid!
Holga, toy, Brownie or any fixed focus, pinhole - those are primitive cameras, so is Polariod, but strangely enough they often produce something interesting if photographer even barely trying
Next to it is true Lomography, which is done with film.
Lomography was step from primitive art as Polariod is. True Lomography is about the moment, intuitive feel. But it is still using film. And it could be sharp and in focus.

Somehow film or any analog media for visualization produce more on the art side.
No digital camera will beat Olympus XA with color film on it. M10 colors and rendering just nothing special at all.
But/and...
Here is only few photogs with digital Leicas (RF) who are capable to produce something interesting despite what digital Leica files are not analog quality.
Just really very few I'm aware of. I have mentioned one in OP.
Those few are trying to find more than just colors, light and low hanging le gumes.
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Old 08-25-2019   #12
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OTOH, it, photography, is not just about art. Some of us see it as a sort of note book or diary. No more, no less.


Regards, David
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Old 08-25-2019   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
OTOH, it, photography, is not just about art. Some of us see it as a sort of note book or diary. No more, no less.


Regards, David

Agreed …. I never see it as art .
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Old 08-25-2019   #14
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Some of the fun for me with RFF is seeing our member's work. I have seen Robert Blu's comments but I never went on his Blog. It is interesting. Here is a not so perfect video he made of one of his exhibitions. It is 8 minutes and some in Italian but delightful:

https://thequietphotographer.wordpre...s-not-perfect/
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Old 08-25-2019   #15
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Gee Ko.Fe, don't hold back will you? I like what you're saying but I still enjoy all the photos put up here on RFF. I think the standard, by and large, is exceedingly high. I read almost all the w/nw threads, even when the premise is a particular camera or lens, which if it is, is usually completely irrelevant to the photos shown.
I don't agree with those who say RFF is mainly gear oriented. Sure I love the "Show me your xxx camera" threads, but for each one of those there's two "pictures with aaa" that backs it up and it's those threads that are the most enjoyable.
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Old 08-25-2019   #16
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I like many photos on RFF. I like Fort W thread, it isn’t far from where I’m, it makes me want to drive where. One year with Rollei 35 is super.
Baltic couple on bikes is book worthy thread.

All I’m trying to say, do not get stuck on testing gear. Photography is not about keep on buying the gear. We could help bartender also by taking pictures which are not easy to take. Perhaps...
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Old 08-25-2019   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
All Iím trying to say, do not get stuck on testing gear.

No kidding, use anything. Here is my Bessa R with a mounted Instamatic lens:


TriX HC-110h Rodinal by John Carter, on Flickr
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Old 08-25-2019   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Here, at rangefinder forum many what I see is no interpretation, passport like photos.

Why? Why if you are going to some goofing event you photograph like it is for police photos. Some goofy dressed people in the frame and nothing.
This is so boring...

Where are pictures from Helen Hill, Maiku, Airfrogusmc. With extraction of the moment and something else. This is, IMO, rangefinder photography.

We are noising it by endless tests of endless lenses and cameras with same pictures of pelicans and family members who just can't say no, but it is written on their face.

Is it really interesting how some weirdos get dressed or is it more interesting how weirdos interact with each others? What is more interesting - mannequins or people who are interconnected?
With respect Ko.Fe., you clearly have a preference for a certain type of photography - stories about people interacting from what I gather - but not everyone needs to share that preference. Likewise, not everyone has the ability to produce the type of photography you're talking about.

RFF is not a portfolio site for professional street photographers, but nonetheless I think the standard of images shared here tends to be higher than any of the other photography forums I'm familiar with.


Quote:
What is the purpose of having Leica? To try to extract something Joel Meyerowitz is talking about by holding Leica to his right eye and looking around by both eyes? Or taking some legume closeups via electronic VF with non RF coupled lens, something any DSLR will do better?
I find it odd that after grumbling about RFF being overly focused on gear discussion, you bring it back to gear. At the end of the day a Leica is just a bit of gear, it has no purpose beyond however its owner chooses to use it...
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Old 08-25-2019   #19
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Yeah, I live in Chicago and it's true the Art Institute really hasn't had good photography shows of late... They have in the past though... The Eggleston retrospective was amazing, went twice it was so good... but that was years ago. They have a great collection, that I can tell you... I've visited the print room, you have make an appointment and see anything in their collection you want... I once saw Meyerowitz's Cap Cod prints, breathtaking stuff... 20X24 glorious prints... Robert Frank's Americans, great stuff...etc. Seriously they have one of best photography collections in the world you wouldn't think so by the stuff they show in the museum. San Fransisco Museum of Modern Art and MOMA way better for photography show...
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Old 08-25-2019   #20
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A lot of art is up to you, the viewer.
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Old 08-26-2019   #21
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I’m personally much more at peace when I realized I’m a much better camera collector than photographer.
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Old 08-26-2019   #22
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A little diversity goes a long way. Technical diversity, cultural diversity, artistic diversity; itís all good when applied to photography. The RFF is a great place to enjoy the comments and image contributions from people all over the world. Thank goodness we donít all see and photograph things the same way. There is no right way or wrong way, different strokes for different folks.

In my opinion the best way to enjoy the RFF is to park the negativity at the door, enjoy what you like, learn to ignore that which you donít like and continue to share thoughts, ideas, knowledge gained from experience, and images (I love the image sharing here!).

Buy new gear, test new gear, buy old stuff, play with old stuff; donít buy anything at all - who cares? Itís not important.

In the great big world of the internet, I find the RFF an oasis of knowledge and inspiration; especially inspiration. Where else is there such a diversity of contributors? Yes, I circled back to diversity.

Anyway, I appreciate the RFF, itís the only place I know of that lets us all be ourselves when it comes to the world of photography.

All the best,
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Old 08-26-2019   #23
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tunalegs: "A lot of art is up to you, the viewer."

David Hughes: "photography, is not just about art. Some of us see it as a sort of note book or diary. No more, no less."

Both as well as Ko.Fe comments are valid.

On my end, If it moves me, I react, if it doesn't, i move along. Say something nice or don't say anything at all kinda thing. Life's too short for bad vibes and those kind of arguments. Been there and done that and to expand tunalegs comment, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

One thing I would love to see in the gallery though is more people letting folks know with which camera, lens, developer etc that image was shot and processed with. I know, it's the gearhead in me, but I think it is interesting and it has really helped me find my path or get me on it.
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Old 08-26-2019   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yokosuka_Mike View Post
A little diversity goes a long way. Technical diversity, cultural diversity, artistic diversity; itís all good when applied to photography. The RFF is a great place to enjoy the comments and image contributions from people all over the world. Thank goodness we donít all see and photograph things the same way. There is no right way or wrong way, different strokes for different folks.

In my opinion the best way to enjoy the RFF is to park the negativity at the door, enjoy what you like, learn to ignore that which you donít like and continue to share thoughts, ideas, knowledge gained from experience, and images (I love the image sharing here!).

Buy new gear, test new gear, buy old stuff, play with old stuff; donít buy anything at all - who cares? Itís not important.

In the great big world of the internet, I find the RFF an oasis of knowledge and inspiration; especially inspiration. Where else is there such a diversity of contributors? Yes, I circled back to diversity.

Anyway, I appreciate the RFF, itís the only place I know of that lets us all be ourselves when it comes to the world of photography.

All the best,
Mike
Amen brother, amen!
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Old 08-26-2019   #25
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Thanks John for the mention of my simple blog, I'm honored and glad you like it

Back to the original point set by Ko.Fe I think there is nothing wrong in considering photography as a simple tool to record important moments of our lives, even a diary of "not important" moments will surprise us in future and for sure will be able to give us a lot of emotions. A visual diary, a visual notebook is for sure an important tool for many of us.

In the same time there is the possibility to use photography to express our emotions, our vision and this can be done in many different ways.

Maybe because I have friend who are very obsessed by the technology in photography as reaction I'm more interested in a less perfection more emotion when I look at a body of photographic work. Therefore my interest in Polaroid and toy cameras.

I appreciate authors like Michael Ackerman, Brigitte Grignet and Machiel Botman.

But also more classic formal photographers like Matteo Di Giovanni and Vanessa Winship are able to give me emotions with their works and this is the main point: a photo must have soul in it.

Of course these are just my preferences, this is the way I intend photography. And the world is nice because we are all different with different views and opinions, otherwise it would be ...boring
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Old 08-26-2019   #26
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One must remember the truism "Ninety five percent of everything is crap".

Who said that originally? Theodore Sturgeon? Whoever it was, he was a wise person.
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Old 08-26-2019   #27
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With all that said by the O.P. - I often see images posted that are far above the level of passport photos on this forum.

In my defense, even though they may be a bit cliche, I do have a soft spot for many of the posted images of the family cat or dog.
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Old 08-26-2019   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solinar View Post
With all that said by the O.P. - I often see images posted that are far above the level of passport photos on this forum...
So I do. Lets comment, like or mention them in the pics of the week thread like
some of us already do. Gear doesnīt matter anymore once a photo is taken.

They are worth every click
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Old 08-26-2019   #29
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I think that the tools and the process should match what the creator is try to say visually. I have a friend that did a wonderful body of work some years ago with a holga. The images really fit with the message she was trying to communicate in that body of work. It was the entire creative process working with the correct tools to support that vision.

I think that great work has been created with a lot of different tools, digital, film, complex cameras, primitive cameras, large format, small point a shoots, iPhones, etc. What is important, in my opinion, is matching the tool with the vision. Finding equipment that not only matches the way one sees and works but also processes and equipment that will match the vision to get the desired final result whatever that might be.

As far as the Art Institute they have an amazing permanent collection of photography. I was just shooting a job at Northwestern Hospital and on the walls in IIRC the Feinberg Pavilion there were several Meyerowitz Cape light prints on loan from the Art Institute. And a couple of years ago there were some Michael Johnson Midwest Landscapes that also on loan from the Art Institute.

I saw and amazing Bresson exhibit there a few years back. When I was in college I saw Callahan, Joel Peter Witkin, Gordon Parks, Bruce Davidson and several others lectures and exhibits there. Just a year or so ago they had a very large exhibit of Abelardo Morell. I also caught his lecture there. The exhibit took up several rooms in the Modern Wing.

I think someone mentioned the Art of Fixing a Shadow Exhibit that was the a long time ago but it was an amazing exhibit.

I guess it jsut depends on when you go whether there is something worth while and sometimes there is a wonderful exhibit downstairs in the photography galleries and sometimes there is something in the modern wing. But there is always amazing paintings and other art to inspire there.
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Old 08-26-2019   #30
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I think this thread falls under the physician heal thyself mantra.

Or maybe the Dunning-Kreuger curve, like at the beginning.

There is a big world out there. It is ok to limit what you like and appreciate, so take that away. Leave the things you don't. You might appreciate them later.
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Old 08-26-2019   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogman View Post
One must remember the truism "Ninety five percent of everything is crap".

Who said that originally? Theodore Sturgeon? Whoever it was, he was a wise person.


Omg i'm having that framed.
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Old 08-26-2019   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogman View Post
One must remember the truism "Ninety five percent of everything is crap".

Who said that originally? Theodore Sturgeon? Whoever it was, he was a wise person.

If that is true then he/she is only 5% wise and that's not wise imo. So how can it be true?


Regards, David
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Old 08-26-2019   #33
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Actually, Sturgeon's quote was "Ninety percent..." I looked it up after posting. Sorry for misquoting.

I would put Sturgeon in the 10 percent, thus making him one of the fortunate few. I, on the other hand, probably fit in the 90 percent for most things I try to do.
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Old 08-26-2019   #34
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Here is interview with American photographer who is kind of French with abuse of f word.
He used word ędrossĽ to describe amount of empty photography.
I don’t remember exact percentages, but I remember well how he described why one boxer changed his name...

Every photography has high amount of dross.
But what I’m trying to say - do not get in stuck with gear testing.
I know it by myself and I have seen it happens with others.
Getting stuck with gear buying and trying significantly lowering creativity.
I let go to many cameras after getting them working again within first or two rolls.
Same with lenses.
Now I have a rule. I should keep it for one year at least and use it often.
Since I have limited budget, it makes me using gear for photography, not for gear testing.
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Old 08-26-2019   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogman View Post
One must remember the truism "Ninety five percent of everything is crap".

Who said that originally? Theodore Sturgeon? Whoever it was, he was a wise person.
Hi,

It's the "everything" that I'm worried about; I do not believe that 90% of the M6's produced, cups of coffee I've drunk and books I've read are crap...

It's quite a simple test but seems to work with a lot of subjects...

Regards, David
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Old 08-26-2019   #36
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main reason why, a few years ago, I had switched to rangefinder forum to be the photography forum of choice and to be active at had been the relative good, better quality of photography as compared to forums I had been active before, best that I have encountered. I am grateful for being accepted as an active member though I haven't posted a single photo taken with a rangefinder camera and specially for being exposed to some very good photographers and the chance to exchange with and to learn from them, thank you.
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Old 08-26-2019   #37
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Reading this thread makes my head hurt.
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Old 08-26-2019   #38
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Reading this thread makes my head hurt.
I can't quite figure it out either. I'm not sure what its about.
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Old 08-26-2019   #39
JeffS7444
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Fuzzy or ambiguous photos can be like hikes I've taken in the mountains, where there seems to be something promising up ahead as glimpsed through breaks in the foliage, but nothing is certain. Holga photo shot on Kodak Ektar 100 film:

Second photo taken with Canon F-1 and 58/1.2 Canon lens @ f/1.2. Shot on Lomo 400 film.
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Old 08-26-2019   #40
JeffS7444
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But I don't know, maybe I'd be better off learning to convey that using whatever modern equipment I happen to be carrying?
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