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Author Topic: Shooting with the technique of WeeGee?  (Read 14457 times)

mpower

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Shooting with the technique of WeeGee?
« on: December 19, 2017, 10:12:18 PM »

I don't yet have a large format camera. But I got this idea of fixed-focus, fixed-aperature, very bright flash that I think WeeGee might have used. Perhaps shooting my New F-1 with a 50mm lens, infinite focus, staying at f8 (or higher), and using the 577G flash at high power with something like Ilford 400 film.

I will of course explore on my own... but while I'm setting this up I'm curious if others have done something like this. Any recommendations?

I like the idea of the camera always being ready, you only have to move your feet.
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I started my journey with digital... couldn't believe how sharp my photos were... was introduced to film... couldn't believe how much sharpness didn't matter.

Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Shooting with the technique of WeeGee?
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2017, 11:31:42 PM »

You need a Speed Graphic and a monster flash gun with a big pile of flash bulbs to do it right. No wimpy electronic flash, even if it's bright.  ;)
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mpower

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Re: Shooting with the technique of WeeGee?
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2017, 12:19:39 AM »

There are a bunch of Graphic cameras to chose from. WeeGee's was a Speed Graphic?
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I started my journey with digital... couldn't believe how sharp my photos were... was introduced to film... couldn't believe how much sharpness didn't matter.

Rob C

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Re: Shooting with the technique of WeeGee?
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2017, 07:33:53 AM »

You need a Speed Graphic and a monster flash gun with a big pile of flash bulbs to do it right. No wimpy electronic flash, even if it's bright.  ;)
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PF60s are about as small as you want to go. You had also better equip your vee-hickle with a police radio and get into the cigar habit. In the end, this could kill you. Do you really, really want to go there? Not you, Eric, you're far too wise and experienced for these youthful adventures in the Tardis. I hope!

Rob

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Re: Shooting with the technique of WeeGee?
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2017, 09:19:59 AM »

Interesting that you want to try this.....WeeGee essentially just used the press photographers standard technique of the era, ie., a big flash output and a single chance to get the shutter released at just the right moment,..there was usually no second chance to do it better.    The interestign thing about WeeGee is that his mind lead him to see a greater significance than just newspaper illustration and that 'art' might be possible....

The  basic technique/idea was hardly new and has been unwittingly used and adapted by many other photographers before and since.

Probably the greatest modern exponent is the English photogralher Martin Parr, although much more subtle than WeeGee the 'one shot' 'in your face' method is still very much there......https://www.martinparr.com/
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Jim Kasson

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Re: Shooting with the technique of WeeGee?
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2017, 06:35:39 PM »

I don't yet have a large format camera. But I got this idea of fixed-focus, fixed-aperature, very bright flash that I think WeeGee might have used. Perhaps shooting my New F-1 with a 50mm lens, infinite focus, staying at f8 (or higher), and using the 577G flash at high power with something like Ilford 400 film.

I will of course explore on my own... but while I'm setting this up I'm curious if others have done something like this. Any recommendations?

I like the idea of the camera always being ready, you only have to move your feet.

With modern lithium-ion batteries and powerful electronic flash, plus faster films than WeeGee had, you don't have to go back to burning your fingers on flashbulbs.

Get yourself a cam-focusing press camera like a Speed or Crown Graphic (you won't need the FP shutter of the Speed), or a Linhof if you're feeling flush. Godox makes a 200 Ws battery powered strobe that might be a good place to start.

F/8 and be there!

Jim

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Re: Shooting with the technique of WeeGee?
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 07:51:23 AM »

I don't yet have a large format camera. But I got this idea of fixed-focus, fixed-aperature, very bright flash that I think WeeGee might have used. Perhaps shooting my New F-1 with a 50mm lens, infinite focus, staying at f8 (or higher), and using the 577G flash at high power with something like Ilford 400 film.

There's a good chance you'll get punched in the face. And I'd cheer.
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