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Making the Most Out of 120 films: Use the Natural Instinct

See what you see This is what I think about whenever I walk down the street. When you see something, your instinct should tell you to shoot. I will introduce some tips when you use full potential of medium format camera and films:)

It is okay to stop walking, and look into something you are interested to shoot.

With medium format, there are no strict rules. Well, talking about Lomography, you just need to shoot whatever you like. But if you want to pull the full potential of medium format photos, I would say, think about couple of things before you shoot;)

See what you see

Beautiful world, there are so many subjects which/who are so great to capture. Do not hesitate to stop what you are doing, and see what you see, and briefly imagine the result “what if you take this shot”. Is it worth it? I am sure your instinct can tell you if it is! Then, bring out your camera, and start thinking about how you like to capture this moment.

Take your time

As you already might be aware of medium format, that your shots are limited to certain numbers. I shoot 6×6 format, which limits me to shoot only 12 shots with one roll of film. There is no need to rush your life, it is your life and time, so why don’t you relax and chill, take your time and think about how you want to get this shot right.

For landscape wise, the scenery will not run away. Take your breath, deep breath, and let’s start from composition. Browse into your viewfinder, which composition does make you feel right? Do you get good lighting? Do you need to kneel down to lower your level? Move around, you can see different angle of it. You can take as much time you like. Make it special shot for yourself:)

For portrait wise, say you are taking a shot of someone, this comes with practice, I guess.
I used to be perfectionist when I was shooting someone with medium format (I still could be one..), but this can be applied to any photographic skill, it is better to not let subject wait too much. Think about this way, if someone wants to shoot a portrait of you, but s/he is taking too long to set up the aperture and shutter speed, and do this and do that… you feel awkward, or you will be like “ah, would you hurry up?” I always set the camera for it. For example, if you are walking down the street sunny day out, you may want to keep smaller aperture like f8 or f11, and faster shutter speeds, so when you see someone very photogenic, you can gently ask her/him if it is okay to capture a portrait. I may want to adjust the setting, but maybe a step or two on aperture or shutter speed, and you focus and shoot. The more you take portrait, the more confident you can be. Keep shooting, you will feel it:)

Capture the moment

Again, make your memory special one! Only 12 shots, you may think too little, but think this way. You may be able to express your feeling and memory with only 12 shots. Each shot will be so precious and memorable, so use your medium format to capture your special moment.

I often bring my medium format camera to special occasions, such travelling oversea, family gathering, friend’s birthday, anniversary, you name it:) I am not exaggerating this, but I remember all the detail about the shot when I see my medium format photo, every one of them! Isn’t that neat? You put your energy and soul, you spend your life time and your brain to think. Not like a digital snap, but you are actually exercising physically and mentally for creating this only-one photography in this world.

Love the medium format! Be happy! Often photographic images reflect yourself, so if you are happy person, I am sure you can take good photos! (doesn’t mean being sad is bad thing, sad photo is also another style of photography. I just like the style of happy-go-lucky:))

You got to love it.

So, those above are some tips from my perspective! But simply I would say, have fun!
Thank you so much for reading, happy shooting, and have a wonderful holiday season everyone:)

written by whynotwinnipeg

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Spanish & Türkçe.