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Thread: OMG nightmare!

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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    OMG nightmare!

    40 C (104 F) and high profile assignment. Interior/exterior shots of exclusive € 6 million villa. Getting there already sweating with a broken down AC in my car....

    I have one decorator following me with loads of props and there is a cleaning team working simultanously. Owners in the background.

    The very first image is outside at a lounge area with amazing views. The decorator makes the table, truckloads of fruit and two bottles of champagne and the works.
    The angle and composition that I like means a lens fall of 9mm and to increase dof I introduce a 1 degree forward tilt because the first set of pillows are already at 1 metre distance. Fine, I bracket four exposures and my phone rings just after the LCC shot.
    I answer the phone to say that I call tonight (a friend). Even if that conversation only lasted for seconds, the decorater looks at me to ask if I'm done for her to start undoing that table - I nod that's ok.

    I put my phone in my pocket, put the AlpaMAX/Rodie32/Credo60 in the shade and a corner as not to get tripped over and I start walking around to look for the next composition.

    Alright, I saw the next one straight away and called the decorator to make a few changes. The owners ask me a couple of questions of which I answer nicely. Without me asking, one of the cleaners came up to me and gave me a large bottle of chilled water....thanks....
    Next scene is ready. I didn't need any shift so I zeroed the verticals, measured my focus point and away goes my first exposure. Perfect the first time, but for safety I bracket one up and one down.

    And we work through the estate, room by room, mostly classic architectural photography but some creative stuff as well. Cleaning crew being one step ahead the decorator and myself all the time, owners in the background.
    We are at it for three and a half hours. You can just imagine how I looked in that heat, but a fantastic residence and really nicely decorated - as good as it gets for me to produce professional and selling imagery.
    I have done this for many years, this particular client hired me 4 months ago on a similar residence (and they are building another 2 at the moment) where I also produced the graphical layout and brochure of no less than 24 pages. So I was there this time because they 'knew' exactly how I work, how picky I am and that the end result is....hmmm....professional.

    O M (insert f-word) G.......

    When I am all done and I am putting down my Alpa in the Pelicase, my heart almost stops and inside my body I scream NOOOOOOOO......3,5 hours of work......

    Remember I told you that I introduced 1 degree forward tilt on the very first shot of the day?
    You guessed it, in the heat, phonecall, owners conversation I totally forgot and I have shot the whole session with forward tilt!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Don't ask how the raws look like, cause I haven't looked. It felt better to write this post.....

    You know, sometimes 23 years of professional photography means nothing.....
    Alpa FPS • MAX • TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 • Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com
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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    Whew, you kept me in suspense as I thought you were going to say that the memory card got corrupted or something.

    Is 1° tilt a lot? Is anyone really going to notice if some bits of the image are slightly out of focus? I know you have a professional and maybe personal obligation to do your best, but considering the people we shoot images for often don't know the front of a camera from the back, nor are they experts on telling the visual aspects of a photograph, I think it's fine to slip up a tiny bit now and then, so long as you got the image.

    I sometimes forget to set my ISO levels properly and end up with images that are noisier than I'd have liked, but at the sizes they end up at it wouldn't have mattered anyway. Are these photos for printing at 40x60" or something?

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    At least you took the lens cap off.
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    Senior Member stngoldberg's Avatar
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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    If it makes you feel any better, I have made a similar mistake. While I am not a professional, I have trekked or climbed or driven many yards and or miles to take an image and to my horror, I find that my heavy 32mm Rodie has slipped down to 5 degrees. I usually make the discovery after breaking down my gear after the shot.
    Lately I have resorted to checking the tilt after each shutter release when using that heavy Rodie
    I actually sent the lens to Precision to have the knob tightened, but they couldn't get any information from Arca on how to accomplish that
    Stanley

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    Quote Originally Posted by danlindberg View Post
    .... and I have shot the whole session with forward tilt!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Don't ask how the raws look like, cause I haven't looked.....

    ...and knowing you Dan, the images will be marked by extraordinary composition and the owners will be astounded by your new artistic vision and approach resulting in several more jobs from the client and new client base as well...

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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    We all (well, I for sure) made that mistake. I try to check focus at 100% zoom on the back LCD with a loupe periodically. It is very effective and fast. I don't leave home without a loupe anymore...
    Arca Swiss Rm3di | XF | P1 IQ380 |

    http://www.awolfphotography.com/

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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    ...and knowing you Dan, the images will be marked by extraordinary composition and the owners will be astounded by your new artistic vision and approach resulting in several more jobs from the client and new client base as well...
    Love that reply!! Thanks man!

    Well, I took the afternoon off and will see how bad this misstake was tomorrow....after all, maybe, just maybe, the client won't notice.....
    Alpa FPS • MAX • TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 • Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com

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    Senior Member Steve Hendrix's Avatar
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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    Quote Originally Posted by danlindberg View Post
    Love that reply!! Thanks man!

    Well, I took the afternoon off and will see how bad this misstake was tomorrow....after all, maybe, just maybe, the client won't notice.....

    We'll look forward to hearing about the results Dan. I know that I couldn't sleep without at least a peek at them. But from an emotional standpoint, perhaps some rest is a good idea before you look at them!

    Another one from the "well at least you didn't......" file. At least you didn't shoot in Composition Mode all day! Yes, I had a client call me in panic after somehow not noticing this all over his images. That's the first thing I recommend removing from Capture One when customizing....

    [IMG][/IMG]
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    Digital Cam: • Phase One | Leaf | Leica | Sinar • Authorized Reseller
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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    You just convince your client it is "art" and it is all the rage. To be honest, I am not sure it will be bad. If it was one degree of backward tilt or you were shooting walls wide open, then it might be bad.

    To be honest, I thought you were going to end your story with something like you forget to put a memory card in your camera. THAT would be a nightmare.
    Will

    http://www.hakusancreation.com
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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    Dan,

    Hate to say it as it has been a long while since I was shooting with the Alpa and HD39 II but as I recall
    front tilt usually increased DOF ... if you were in focus then other than a small perspective correction in
    your favorite program and you should be fine. Just make the verticals vertical and the owner will probably want
    you to do all of his future projects like this one.

    Now back tilt ... thats a whole different situation.

    And at worst you can reshoot the whole deal on a less hot less stressful day. Not like they have
    not seen you before and have no idea how good you are.

    just saying....

    Bob

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    Senior Member Pemihan's Avatar
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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    Quote Originally Posted by danlindberg View Post
    after all, maybe, just maybe, the client won't notice.....
    Unless the client reads GetDPI forum
    Peter
    My website
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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pemihan View Post
    Unless the client reads GetDPI forum
    While there are only a handful of forums on the internet where people regularly discuss medium format, it's not a subject that you would stumble upon by accident either.

    Anyways, as a few people have already said, a bit of forward tilt was erring on the better side, as most objects in a composition tend to increase in distance towards the top of the image, and there usually isn't anything of interest on the ceiling.

    Maybe the folks here have a much more refined taste than me, but the one time I had a go with a tilt/shift lens, I cranked it to max tilt to see if it was even doing anything.

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    Senior Member Dogs857's Avatar
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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    This is bloody terrible.

    I don't think I can go to sleep now until I find out what happened
    Stop chasing gear, start chasing photos instead.

    Jeff, but my friends call me Dogs

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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    An update!

    I have had a good look at the raw files and gone through all of them to see the effect it has had.

    Yes, I can see on some that it isn't zeroed but on many I cannot see it at all. All in all, they are workable and end result will be satisfactory.

    But it definitely was a misstake, an unintentional movement that got forgotten. It could have been disaster however this time I got away with it! I blame the heat

    Oh well, lesson learned.....
    Alpa FPS • MAX • TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 • Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com
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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    Quote Originally Posted by danlindberg View Post
    Oh well, lesson learned.....
    And just like a summer rain, it died down as fast as it escalated, at this point I'm figuratively disappointed that it wasn't as bad as you spun it to be!

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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    I bet you are...but from my point of view it was lucky. No real damage.
    Alpa FPS • MAX • TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 • Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com

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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    Very pleased to hear the outcome as I was on pins & needles waiting for the update!
    Don Libby
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    Subscriber Member jotloob's Avatar
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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    Quote Originally Posted by danlindberg View Post
    . . . . .
    But it definitely was a misstake, an unintentional movement that got forgotten. It could have been disaster however this time I got away with it! I blame the heat

    Oh well, lesson learned.....
    Glad to hear that you got always with just one "Blue Eye" .
    And again , yes , we all make mistakes and have to learn lessons .
    I have a "possible mistake" checklist and will add your mistake to my list .
    Regards . Jόrgen .
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    Subscriber Member jotloob's Avatar
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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    Sorry , must read : glad to hear that you got away with just "One Blue Eye" .
    Regards . Jόrgen .
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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    The fact that you were so worried speaks to your high level of professional and personal standards.

    "You know, sometimes 23 years of professional photography means nothing….."

    I hear you. Some folks don't quite understand the consequences of jobs like this … all the prep and other people involved to pull it off, all for nothing unless the photographer gets the shots.

    - Marc
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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    Oh man my heart just skipped a couple beats reading this thread. I've made a couple similar screw ups on paying gigs lately and feel your pain. Glad to hear the end result will be ok!

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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    It's interesting, Dan, that your recounting is so much like your images that I have seen here... a perfect depiction of the atmosphere and beautifully composed to bring the reader/viewer all the way in to experience the scene.

    I have been retired for more than a dozen years, but your story still gave me a flash of the familiar stomach knot that I had experienced many times over several decades of commercial photography. Thankfully, most were false alarms, a couple were very lucky "saves", and one was a... gulp... reshoot (a light meter hemisphere in the set, in front of everyone's faces, but "invisible" until the chromes came back from the lab). I'm so glad this was a "save" for you.

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    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    Thanks a bunch to all of you! really appreciate your concerns, tips, knowledge and ofcourse friendship It is a little bit funny that after many years of participating here we get to know each other without even knowing each others faces....(how about a selfie-thread?)

    Yes, I realise now afterwards that this thread actually 'can' come across as written by a drama-queen, but it does come down to being a perfectionist at heart. (as Marc mentioned).
    A silly newbie mistake really isn't allowed in my position!

    Anyway, project continues, evening/nightshots to be done next week and client has seen first mockup of covershot/layout of a 20 page brochure - and very happy he is....
    Alpa FPS • MAX • TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 • Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com
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    Senior Member Dogs857's Avatar
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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    So glad it worked out ok for you Dan.

    I didn't read drama queen at all. I'd be worried too if I'd put all that effort into a paying gig only to think I'd wrecked the whole thing by doing something wrong that was really basic. Like going on a 3 hour bush walk only to realise you left the batteries for your digital back in the car.

    I was more surprised that you could sleep on it, nerves of steel mate.
    Stop chasing gear, start chasing photos instead.

    Jeff, but my friends call me Dogs

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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    Echoing all others statements of relief for you Dan.

    And a question: I believe that the Alpa has axial tilt, yes? So 1 degree of forward tilt is not as severe as if you had off axis tilt... Which may have been of help in this situation?

    Best,
    Bob

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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    out of curiosity, looks like you have a CCD back so no live view. how are you setting focus? esp if using tilt intentionally. if un-intentionally, i'm surprised the focusing scale was close enough

  27. #27
    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    Thanks again folks...

    Bob, yeah, 1 degree of tilt is not very severe although obviously there's a visible difference of introducing it or not.

    Jim, I focus with Leica D5 and Alpa HPF rings, when lens is zeroed I am spot on 10 times out of 10. I trust this workflow 100% on my calibrated system.

    When it comes to tilt it is a another matter. As you say, with ccd and no live view it boils down to many years of trial and error and experience. I have certain 'standard' setups that I know works with a particular lens. Height, first focus point, aperture etc. This shot was one of those within a certain set of criteria. I was lucky that it was a 'mild' tilt movement of only one degree and not three.......
    Alpa FPS • MAX • TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 • Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com

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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    Quote Originally Posted by danlindberg View Post
    An update!

    I have had a good look at the raw files and gone through all of them to see the effect it has had.

    Yes, I can see on some that it isn't zeroed but on many I cannot see it at all. All in all, they are workable and end result will be satisfactory.

    But it definitely was a misstake, an unintentional movement that got forgotten. It could have been disaster however this time I got away with it! I blame the heat

    Oh well, lesson learned.....
    All that hard work they do at ALPA to engineer things to micron tolerances, and it doesn't matter because you can get away with an accidental 1 degree of tilt!

    *big winky smilie*

    Kind regards,


    Gerald.
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    Subscriber Member jotloob's Avatar
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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    Regards . Jόrgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  30. #30
    Senior Member danlindberg's Avatar
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    Re: OMG nightmare!

    Update!

    Assignment completed, delivered and to the complete satisfaction of client!

    I made a 16 page salespresentation of the residence and I attach the coverdesign.

    Ps. Gerald, true.... although I am very very happy with the extreme tolerances when looking at a mountain range at infinity......

    Alpa FPS • MAX • TC | Alpagon 32Hr | Helvetar 75 | Schneider 120N | Leaf Aptus II 5 • Leaf Credo 60 | www.danlindberg.com
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