My reference of your good work is very sincere, I find your images the best composed among what I have seen of stitched images. I view the image you posted above as a very prime example.
What you touch about pre-visualization
, it is a very essence of photography!!! This is what Ansel Adams spoke of. You are right, it should be visualizing an image prior to lifting camera, and when lifting it confirming the composition and shot. Pre visualization relates also to the exposure and how we visualize in our minds eye the final image, or the captured data for our RAW file (or negative or slide).
Most folks stitching and using a tech camera seem to leave out this important step of visualization and are focused on technique as you speak of and pixel craving. That does not lead to good images. Per my own experience it is a very crucial step to accurate be able to view prior to capture through an optical viewfinder or other means of tool as the step once lifting the camera. Or as you do, as a 50mm lens, of course! It is likewise important to learn the view of your favorite focal lengts.
What I did over some years was change different formats and pick up not only some 4x5 but also 617, 6x7 and Leica rangefinder, while at same time growing from SLR, DSLR to MFDB. They are all different ways to see and view an image. Something I noticed was that e.g. 4x5 shooters who picked up a digital camera composed an image diffeent and I wanted to learn to see and visualize using these cameras. Nope, I do not have that many pictures with them. Of them the Shen-Hao 4x5 is plain so lovely to work with and to visualize and image through the groundglass (Maxwell Hi-Lux screen) that of all the systems I find it difficult to part from it because of that very reason. Else I sold near all I had of five camera systems the other year and use more or less solely a Rolleiflex Hy6 with 80MP Leaf back and two lenses. It does not take many lenses either because it is the image that matter, not how many focal lengths you have to confuse you in the bag. An essence with my Hy6 system is precisely the visualization I do when I lift the camera, since I view the scene on a very large and bright 6x6cm focus screen through a waist level finder. After the shot I get the image displayed on a large 6x7cm display on my Leaf back and can display histogram in overlay over the entire display if I wish, or even limit it to only viewing the histogram displayed on the handle of the camera body. These are all important parts in my image chain in making an image, and in particular pre-visualization prior lifting the camera and as I lift it up and compose the shot. I think what many photographers need to learn is that photography is all about seeing
, and not about many gear!!! Admittedly, I was one of them.
Thus I would encourage anyone to try 4x5 or othe format. Likely the most important you will learn is a different way of seeing. So what if you do not scan it on a drum scan or even on a dedicated film scanner? Have fun to experiment some and learn more of visualizing an image. With these adapters that seem very affordable you can also experiment using a dslr on a 4x5, which seems great. But you should visualize the image on the groundglass first, and do upgrade the Shen-Hao groudglass to something like by Bill Maxwell.
With 4x5 I shot Fuji Quickloads with Velvia 50, but regrettably Fuji dropped making them the other year, and some months ago announced that they are stopping making 4x5 Velvia 50 period. That is sad in way, yet I am now all digital basically. However, I am very tempted indeed to try out some black and white films... just for the experience to visualize it, and on 4x5... and of course working more with my Shen-Hao
. Shen-Haos are great tools. Some folks prefer Ebony that cost 4 times as much. Ebonys may be more precise, I did look at one. However, I prefer Shen-Hao because I like the teak wood... and they are cheaper and simply work really great
@ Eric, I have not scanned any of my 4x5 but well done so with some of my 6x7. Yup, handed in to be scanned on an Epson V600 and also a select few on drumscan. Why should it be different for a 4x5 on an Epson 600? All it takes is to blow the dust off and scan it, should be simple to do on own as well. V600 is cheap but still produce decent. Drumscanner produce far better, but it all depends on what one want to spend, and what one needs out of the image. If I pick up some B&W 4x5 I may well attempt to mount them infront of my Hy6 and 80MP Leaf back... that should work too.
Ben, any chance you can link to a photo library with your images for folks to see more of your good work?
Indeed Dan Lindberg as you mention do very good work, www.danlindberg.com
. It is I guess finding a system you feel comfortable as a tool for the image, but first and most about visualization!!!