Low Fidelity Landscapes

Started Apr 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
Dave Luttmann
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Re: Low Fidelity Landscapes
In reply to LifeIsAVerb, Apr 23, 2013

LifeIsAVerb wrote:

Dave Luttmann wrote:

A few months ago I began a project concentrating on low fidelity photographic capture.  There has been a rush to perfection in photography that I myself have even been guilty of.  Trying to capture everything in a scene in hyper reality resolution.  I reached a point a short while ago where I felt the emotion was slowly creeping out of my work.  I realized the images I was becoming attached to were often more of a dreamy nature.  There was almost an inability to actually discern the entire scene....leaving a lot to the imagination.

I have moved back to using a cheap instamatic 110 film camera loaded with Lomo B&W film and also an ancient Canon D30 and no lens....just a zone plate attachment.  I felt these two methods were giving me the emotional narrative I wanted to capture....especially the zone plate which gives a dreamy, misty look that I then distress to the point of grainy hyper contrast.

Probably not to everyone's taste, but here is the first of the series, taken with the old 3mp Canon D30, a Zone Plate adapter with a f137 f ratio.  Simply water rolling over rocks.  With detail so low, it becomes as much imagination as recognition as to what it is. The rest I'll get up to my new Low Fidelity web site that is currently under construction.

I dunno, the corners look a little soft. I think you got a bad copy of that lens.

Cool stuff, Dave; thanks! I'm glad someone brought up this notion: the tyranny of technical "perfection." Way too many people seem to equate effective photographic communication solely with critical lens sharpness, "proper" color balance, rigid rule-of-thirds composition nonsense, etc.

Back in my film-shooting days, i started to take note of the first few frames that i would crank off after loading the film into the camera to get to the "1" of the frame counter.

There wasn't much of note in those images which were the result of almost pure randomness, but, looking more closely, a lot of them were actually pretty interesting. Sometimes the camera was moving, and if the shutter speed was slow enough, the resulting blurs were kind of impressionistic. Sometimes the composition and framing produced very engaging images. I was the photography editor of my university yearbook, and actually used one of these "frame zero" images as the last image in the book. I'll see if i can take a photo of it (if i can find the book!) and post it sometime.

I saved a bunch of those negatives, and this post reminds me that i need to dig up the file, and scan them (if they haven't been ravaged by fungus and attic rodents.

I bought a couple of Holga lenses for my NEX-7, and have been fooling around a bit with those, though i'm not yet totally happy with the effect. I'd post some, but most of the better ones are in color.

Even in my "normal" images (regular lens, "properly" focused, etc.) i'm finding myself exploring ambiguity more and more.

Thanks.  I've got 18 shots in the series I'm using on the outdoors.  This is one I grabbed with my daughter as she was trying her hand at B&W film use.  While I can't seem to make this image overly compelling to me...I still like it.  I've got a crop that works a bit better.  But, it gives one the idea of what you can expect with Zone Plate photography.

 Dave Luttmann's gear list:Dave Luttmann's gear list
Canon PowerShot G3 Canon PowerShot SX150 IS Canon EOS D30 Canon EOS 10D Nikon D2X +18 more
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