How can a very old technology help a modern photographer in the digital world? First of all I’m talking about the composition of a picture: the way to take a “good shot”. Ok, there is not a true procedure, but some tips and advices to try to reach our target in the most of cases (almost!). From the past we can learn something for our future.
Limited resources: think that you don’t have in your SD a lot of free space for your shots. But consider that you can take only 36 pictures… the number of shots of an “old” analogic camera roll. If you have limited resources you’ll use them at the best you can! 30 years ago Personal Computers had only 1 MByte of RAM, despite this I remember very amazing games or other fantastic softwares run on them…and they run with only 1 Mbyte ( or less ) of memory! Computer engineers and software programmers optimized the little resources of the hardware for their softwares, and they did great works! In the same way you cannot waste films for your pictures…snap only in the right moment: in this way you can concentrate on the scene and on the composition. A common error is: “I take a lot of pictures and I’ll edit with Photoshop”. But why do you waste your time to choose 1 picture on 20/30 very similar? It’s better to use your time at the moment of the shot: take 1 picture, change your position..try to search for a better composition/lights contitions.
No display: old cameras of course had not the display to see our pictures. Think in “analogic way”: power off your display ( or change the visualisation on camera settings only ) , so you will not loose a good shot while you are watching your last picture. You must be concentrate on the scene in front of you. Technologic tips: your battery will last longer.
Lens: once you have choosen your lens, don’t change it ( in that day or photographic session). Choose the lens that, on your opinion, is better for that day: if you go for street-photography take a wide lens; for nature’s pictures take a zoom. The philosophy is always the same: use your time on the scene and not on changing the lenses every 30 minutes ( or less). If you are on a street with a wide lens and you need a zoom, use your legs as a “natural” zoom! Go back and forth, as a photographer did in the past time: little number of lens zoom and high cost of them, so the photographer had only one lens.
Very useful help from the past: go to see the photo exhibitions of the famous master of photography … but also of the master of painting! Yes, we can learn a lot about composition ( and lights ) from ancient painters: Leonardo da Vinci, Paolo della Francesca, Raffaello. Caravaggio is very important for a photographer: the use of the lights in his paintings is Amazing!