During those times when people on Flickr or via this blog write and ask for feedback and advice, one of my most frequent suggestions offered is related to composition....Get closer to the subject and pay attention to what you have in the frame and where it is. What are you trying to say with this image?
The image above was taken with a 90mm Schneider Super Angulon from the 50's, which on a 612 medium format camera, produces an image that could be considered ultra wide angle. The advantage to getting close to the subject is that you not only capture much in terms of subject matter, but also incorporate a near-far relationship that provides a sense of depth. Being too far away (at the distance where you might use a normal focal length lens) leave the image very two dimensional and flat.
Yesterday I was bemoaning the less than satisfactory results with my current developers and Ilford Pan F-their slowest and finest grain film. After doing some more reading on various forums, I decided to try a very old classic high accutance developer, Rodinal, which has been highly touted for producing superior results with this film. It made me realize that across the years, I have had little to no brand loyalty, either in equipment or otherwise. The only exception would be film. In the last 20 years, I have used Ilford films almost exclusively. Unlike other film-makers who have shrunk or disappeared, Ilford has made itself a leader in black and white film and chemistry, with high quality products that are reliable and readily available. All of my old favorites from Kodak (Tech Pan, Panatomic X, Plus X, etc) are long gone.
I remember my father during the last few years of his life claiming that I would eventually (and soon in his belief) not be able to shoot film any longer due to the digital revolution. He was a very smart fellow, but I am glad time has proved him wrong on this front.
“There comes a time in your life when you have to choose to turn the page, write another book or simply close it.”
― Shannon L. Alder