Thursday, February 18, 2010

Street Scene

Torrington, Connecticut

When discussing, or teaching, view camera technique, I frequently point out that a big camera can still be used to capture certain types of action. The main way to do this is by "trapping." The approach is to find a viewpoint on a subject that seems to be about 90% of the way on to being a picture. So set up the camera and see if the other 10% comes along. This can take a long time, but often results in pictures that strike me as more interesting than anything I might set up on purpose. The hard part is deciding when to give up and pack the gear if the last tenth just isn't coming along.

It's not something restricted to big cameras though. Often when working with a small digital capture hand camera I'll see that same 90% of a picture and immediately after, find the other 10% rolling into it. This time the whole process takes place in a few seconds, but the results can be as rewarding.

1 comment:

lyle said...

I've heard you talk about this before and it struck me as being another tool in the picture making business (you know how you hear something time and time again and then it finally clicks in?). There are times when I see a scene (see Minor White quote in later post) and know there is something there but can't quite put my finger on it. Is it a detail catching my attention? If so, what detail? Different viewpoint? Wider viewpoint? Or, now, maybe just wait - very easy to do with a camera on a tripod (as long as the wind ain't blowing!)