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Old 02-06-2018   #41
jawarden
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That's a cool photo. I like it and it works as a repro of an old type of image that is nostalgic...
Thanks. For me though I think the impact came because it's not a repro of an old technique, but rather that it's the authentic technique, made with camera, chemistry, paper and a light bulb the way my grandfather did it. I think if I would have made a similar print using my iPhone and a digital printer for example it would have made no impact on me at all even if the images looked similar. It doesn't make the iPhone approach any less useful for making the "focal length of memories" though of course, as everyone's different. I imagine my teenagers will have a soft spot for iPhone images when they're my age and nobody uses them anymore.

And to the OP's question about focal length and memories, for me there is something about 80mm lenses on 6x6 format that just does it to me, feeling like history even when I use them today.
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Old 02-06-2018   #42
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Thanks. For me though I think the impact came because it's not a repro of an old technique, but rather that it's the authentic technique, made with camera, chemistry, paper and a light bulb the way my grandfather did it. I think if I would have made a similar print using my iPhone and a digital printer for example it would have made no impact on me at all even if the images looked similar. It doesn't make the iPhone approach any less useful for making the "focal length of memories" though of course, as everyone's different. I imagine my teenagers will have a soft spot for iPhone images when they're my age and nobody uses them anymore.

And to the OP's question about focal length and memories, for me there is something about 80mm lenses on 6x6 format that just does it to me, feeling like history even when I use them today.
No, I get that it was done with original materials and techniques and I appreciate it too. (Though I probably would not myself have the patience to follow through. Which I think makes me appreciate it more that you have).
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Old 02-07-2018   #43
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Thanks Peter for your thoughts (I agree) and for the links you provided.
I always appreciated Saul Leiter's photography for its evocative power.
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Old 02-07-2018   #44
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Thanks Peter for your thoughts (I agree) and for the links you provided.
I always appreciated Saul Leiter's photography for its evocative power.
robert
Ditto. Leiter was a wonderful artist. I keep checking the Steidl web page so see when his new book will be ready. I'm sure it will be a treat.
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Old 02-07-2018   #45
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@peterm1 - that scene from Mad Men was unbelievable. Sooooo good! I truly appreciate that sentiment, as well as the way that scene was written and filmed.

I only discovered Fan Ho a couple of years ago, and came across his books at the end of last December in Hong Kong. His work is truly great.

Saul Leiter has been on my radar to check out for a while - it's interesting that all of these images evoke memories even being very different styles.

Photographically, what makes that Mad Men scene interesting is how they very artfully created images that looked like spontaneous home snapshots, and they all had the characteristics of a living memory. That's something I want to create more. It's about expressions and interactions that convey the emotion, in that scene.
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Old 02-07-2018   #46
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@peterm1 - that scene from Mad Men was unbelievable. Sooooo good! I truly appreciate that sentiment, as well as the way that scene was written and filmed.

I only discovered Fan Ho a couple of years ago, and came across his books at the end of last December in Hong Kong. His work is truly great.

Saul Leiter has been on my radar to check out for a while - it's interesting that all of these images evoke memories even being very different styles.

Photographically, what makes that Mad Men scene interesting is how they very artfully created images that looked like spontaneous home snapshots, and they all had the characteristics of a living memory. That's something I want to create more. It's about expressions and interactions that convey the emotion, in that scene.
Thanks for that comment. Madmen was a classic TV series and this scene is one that has always stuck in my mind as one of the very best of the best. It is just so beautiful and poetic and emotional. I too have wondered how they made those images they used in in it look so real and spontaneous. I wish all TV was like Madmen. And then maybe it would be worth watching occasionally instead being condemned to reruns of Seinfeld and Everybody Loves Raymond (not that they were not good in their day) or God awful unreal "reality" programs that are all so similar, brain dead and sick inducing that they meld into each other.

Fan Ho's work and Leiter's are always top notch. For me they epitomize what photography should be too. Something for the rest of us to emulate and chase.
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Old 02-19-2019   #47
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Okay, I came across an interesting comment on a YouTube video of Super 8 footage. It suggested that Super 8 footage has a nostalgic feeling not only because of the format used during a certain time period, but also because of its organic, very imperfect nature. It gives us a sense of memory because it approximates how we remember things, in imperfect flashes. Here are some old and new Super 8 videos to give an idea of the look.

Old:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1DzO_ocwVo

New:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPtINdYoz3c

Is there a photographic equivalent of this, apart from just really bad/fuzzy/spotty film images?

I think I was drawn to Lomography because many of the early Lomo images have this sense of 'memory'.
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Old 02-19-2019   #48
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Originally Posted by Archiver View Post
Okay, I came across an interesting comment on a YouTube video of Super 8 footage. It suggested that Super 8 footage has a nostalgic feeling not only because of the format used during a certain time period, but also because of its organic, very imperfect nature. It gives us a sense of memory because it approximates how we remember things, in imperfect flashes. Here are some old and new Super 8 videos to give an idea of the look.

Old:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1DzO_ocwVo

New:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPtINdYoz3c

Is there a photographic equivalent of this, apart from just really bad/fuzzy/spotty film images?

I think I was drawn to Lomography because many of the early Lomo images have this sense of 'memory'.
Maybe heavy vignette? In our memories, there are no edges of the picture.
Otoh compositions that aren't afraid to cut off stuff also work in a way, the aforementioned Saul Leiter has done that often. This way, the edges of the picture aren't as real either, the imagination can add how to goes on. Pictures with carefully composed edges, like I and certainly many others like them visually, can be harder to connect with emotionally for me, maybe because they simply end at their edges, maybe because the notion of it being deliberately composed stands in the way.
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Old 02-19-2019   #49
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Actually I tried to conjure up some wide-angle memories and I didn't find many. Most seem to be in the normal-to-long range, say, 50 to 75 mm.
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Old 02-20-2019   #50
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Maybe heavy vignette? In our memories, there are no edges of the picture.
Otoh compositions that aren't afraid to cut off stuff also work in a way, the aforementioned Saul Leiter has done that often. This way, the edges of the picture aren't as real either, the imagination can add how to goes on. Pictures with carefully composed edges, like I and certainly many others like them visually, can be harder to connect with emotionally for me, maybe because they simply end at their edges, maybe because the notion of it being deliberately composed stands in the way.

Interesting that you say this, as I've trained myself assiduously to compose 'properly', so if I see a cut off image, I kind of get a mental 'ick'. But this also means being able to break the rules in a way that works, which is the sign of someone with mastery of the principle. There's a German wedding photographer on the Leica forum who is very good at artistic 'cut off' images, so no heads, arms gone, bodies gone, but the shapes and overall composition are still good.


As for vignetting and the visual field, I get what you mean. I think this is why @PeterM's compositions evoke a sense of memory, as shooting through/past obstructions creates a natural vignette and frame, without necessarily relying on vignetting to create it. It's something I like doing with video work as it creates a sense of visual depth and frame, but the idea of making it seem like the visual field is something I will have to explore.
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Old 02-20-2019   #51
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Actually I tried to conjure up some wide-angle memories and I didn't find many. Most seem to be in the normal-to-long range, say, 50 to 75 mm.

It's funny because I find myself remembering anywhere between a kind of X-Pan double frame to a really tight 4:3 kind of ratio, depending on the subject. As a kid, I trained myself to pay attention to my peripheral vision as well as the central subject when walking, as I wanted to be more aware of my surroundings. But whether an X-Pan ratio image gives me a sense of 'memory' is another thing.
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