LF Animation Teaching Tool

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Harold Merklinger's site has some wonderful animations of the affects of LF focus but only in a very limited and fixed number of situations. Does anyone know of a program that shows these sorts of animations but which can used interactively? I suggested to Harold that he do it but couldn't get him interested. Also searched RIT, MIT, and so forth but no dice.

If not, some clever photographer/programmer should write one. I think it would be a boon to all beginners and many others who harbor all sorts of misconceptions about how their view cameras actually work. My concept is to have a dialog box into which one types focal length, subject distance, f stop, front or rear focus, even angle of coverage or even a specific lens, etc. and then watch what happens!

A good project for a photographer with winter-induced cabin fever.

-- John Hennessy (northbay@directcon.net), February 09, 2001


I still think the old boring way of actually using the camera clears up things a lot faster than some simulation ever could.

-- Al Shaikh (al@nyc.rr.com), February 10, 2001.

Sorry John but I have to agree with Al. I would have to say shooting Polaroid Type 55 should be a required for LF. I had trouble understanding all the theory about LF movements but looking at a Polaroid negative gives me all the composition and depth of field answers in any situation. Looking at the Polaroid positive is great for exposure judgement. You try something and get feedback in twenty seconds. Its a great aid for people learning LF than a computer program.

-- David Payumo (dpayumo@home.com), February 10, 2001.

John, such a project is not very difficult to create. Director and Flash are very easy software to master. They should allow you to quickly produce an interactive cd that will yeild the effects you mentioned. If you are familiar with photoshop, you are half-way there already.


-- Dave Anton (daveanton@home.com), February 10, 2001.

If I may defend my idea: Actually using a view camera for many years completely fails to enlighten many what is going on. One very successful photographer wrote an article in Photo Techniques that he could move the plane of sharp focus parallel to itself by twisting the focus knob. We all know that is nonsense. (Don't we?)

For instance, Harold's animation shows the great difference of focusing with the front standard as opposed to the rear. A picture is worth a thousand words but an interactive animation...

-- John Hennessy (northbay@directcon.net), February 10, 2001.

Go ahead & develop it and I will ignore it just as so much of the rest of the computer animated junk out there. It may be useful but getting seasick watching a computer screen isn't what I want to do. A session with the view camera makes a lot more sense and a few boxes of polaroid film is a lot less expensive than buying computer programs.

-- Dan Smith (shooter@brigham.net), February 10, 2001.

have you look at the polka animation library? if you know a goo programmer in C/C++/Java, then search geogria tech for 'Xtango'. Polka is beter, butif your using a search engine Xtango will get you their quicker.

-- john martin (john@martinan.u-net.com), April 08, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ