Musings on Photography


Posted in equipment, process by Paul Butzi on May 19, 2009


On of the things I have figured out after looking at the photographs I made at the Paramount Theatre yesterday is that I was running up a pretty steep learning curve.

I can’t help but wonder if I would have had more success if I’d taken a couple of minutes, now and then during the session, to upload the images I’d made to my laptop and take a look at them on a larger screen (larger, that is, than the itty bitty screen on the back of the camera). It wouldn’t have been hard – all I needed to do was bring the laptop and a card reader. Alas, I had decided NOT to bring the laptop (although Bill brought his MacBook Air).

Every single exposure I made inside the theater was made using a tripod. Working with the camera tethered to the laptop would have made moving the rig around hard. But I do wonder if it would be possible to hook up a small video monitor – say, 3″ x 6″ – and have it function as a very large version of the rear display of the camera. Or at least be able to review the images on a larger screen that would nevertheless be smaller and lighter than my macbook pro.

Or perhap tether the camera wirelessly. Bill had some thoughts on how to set that up using USB and some wireless USB dongles.

But it would move the whole process considerably closer to using large format Polaroid film, where you get to see a big image more or less as you make the exposures. Closing the feedback loop in this way can make a huge difference.

8 Responses

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  1. Hugh Alison said, on May 20, 2009 at 3:59 am

    Mostof the time I shoot with one lens on the camera, and one lens in my pocket, but I do have a location case – 1600 Pelicase – which fits my 5D, 35, 50, 85 and 135mm lenses, and a small cheap laptop (Toshiba Portege R100 – bought used for £200) which I use for shooting tethered on location.

  2. Gordon McGregor said, on May 20, 2009 at 8:38 am

    there are various DVD players that can be co-opted to act as a screen, for the video out that most cameras have.

  3. Chris said, on May 20, 2009 at 8:43 am

    An Eye-Fi card with Raw+Jpeg shooting mode could give you untethered upload to a laptop.

  4. Ed Richards said, on May 20, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Sounds like you are reinventing the view camera. That looks like a place where your 4×5 would be wonderful.

  5. Paul Butzi said, on May 20, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Yes. I want a view camera that is the size of the 5d, but with a display the size of an 8×10. Oh, and I want film holders that are the size of postage stamps, hold 500 exposures, and film that is free and I don’t have to develop or scan.

  6. Ed Richards said, on May 20, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Picky, picky.:-) I do not know for Canon, but Nikon has wireless adapters which could transmit to a laptop, or, I bet someone has an app that would let you use an Itouch/Iphone. A tablet PC might be the best display device. You really would not want to be cabled if you could avoid it.

  7. Tom Aellis said, on May 20, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Here is everyone worried and talking about the technology of how they may have arrived at better art. Guys and gals, may I simply suggest one lil’ thingie, please, sometimes, grab for your passion, the photograph.

    How could you have taken this better? With a laptop? Maybe a large format digital back, i.e., Phase One 65 gigatons?

    Maybe a 35mm Film camera with some 1600 speed film, get in the dark room and THINK. Maybe a small investment in a Crown Graphic 4×5 Large format with some film holders? (ya, they still make the 4×5 film)

    Let go, forgot the technologies just for a moment, I’ll beg you this one time. Try and then learn by studying your negs, your prints… Trust me on this one little point, try it, return to digital, and watch your craft in art go up about, oh, 1000 pct…..

    Or maybe I just drink too much.
    Big love,

  8. matt said, on May 21, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    If you are going to be working off of a tripod, something like the return monitors that the cine folks use would be the trick. Like this. Does the 5D have a component out?

    Or the previously suggest eyefi card an a tablet pc of some kind.

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