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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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  #1  
Old 10th March 2010
Kiwi Paul
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Through the viewfinder

Does anyone else have this issue?

I compose through the viewfinder and I'm happy with the composition, when I get home and look at the shot on the computer screen sometimes I immediately think it would be better if composed this way or that, if only I'd panned to the left, right, up or down a bit or it needs a tighter crop etc, etc.

What's the difference when composing the shot through the camera to viewing it on screen?
I think there must be a different mindset at work and if only I could take the mindset I have in front of the puter and apply that to the field I think I'd get better compositions more often, any comments?

Paul
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Old 10th March 2010
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Re: Through the viewfinder

I often get similar thoughts when I print, when looking at the final finished picture I think I could have done `X` differently, however I think it is a good thing to be able to be critical of your own pictures. I think you shpuld be more worried if every picture you took you thought was perfect
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Old 10th March 2010
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Re: Through the viewfinder

This is something I've thought about quite a lot. I think it is, at least in part, due to the framing/picture edges.

When viewing a picture we like 'completeness' and anything 'coming into /going out' of view needs to resolve to a shape our minds regard as complete. This is very evident in taking photographs in a church where the arches/columns/windows need to be used to create frames, and where the crop of a partially captured arch signifigantly alters the image. I see the same thing in landscapes with the curve of a distant hill or the intrusion of a tree/vegetation.

When we take the image we are far more focussed on the subject and our mind holds the context for the edges. Nowadays I try to concentrate more on the edges and less on the central composition when at the viewfinder.

Nick
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Old 10th March 2010
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Re: Through the viewfinder

I think that part of the answer is that when viewing through an SLR viewfinder you are too connected to the scene and continue to see and experience it in the whole, rather than as just a single frame frozen in time and lifted out of context.

Years ago I switched from a 35mm film SLR to Medium Format. At first I couldn't afford a prism finder and I was concerned that composition would be more difficult with a reversed image in the waist level finder. On the contrary, because I was forced to view the scene a little differently fom how it actually appeared in front of me I started to become more detached and see it as a single image removed from the context of the whole scene. My compositions improved remarkably! Eventually I did get an eye level prism finder but only to use when the camera was raised too high on the tripod to use the WLF or when shooting portrait format. I actually disliked using it! The downside was that subconsciously I started avoiding portrait compositions and it took a while to train myself to "see" in that orientation again.
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Old 10th March 2010
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Re: Through the viewfinder

My pet theory is that when you look through a viewfinder, you only use one eye. The brain interprets what each eye sees differently (my theory - not proven!). When you look at a print or screen you are using both eyes and so get a combined interpretation.

Of course, this could be a load of b$%*x.
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Old 10th March 2010
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Re: Through the viewfinder

This is interesting, and thought provoking. I've thought about it before and thought it was just me. I'm impatient, and a bit impulsive when I take photographs (I wish I wasn't) consequently when I view my images I have more time to ponder them, albeit too brief. I'm enjoying reading everyones views.

David
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Old 11th March 2010
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Re: Through the viewfinder

That is an interesting thought, certainly using both eyes on the screen is using the brain differently to one eye through the viewfinder and no doubt our interpretation of the composition must be affected.
I think there's a combination of things going on here and it's good to get folks ideas.

Paul
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Old 11th March 2010
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Re: Through the viewfinder

I am definitely in the one eye two eye camp.

A scene that looks attractive with both eyes (i.e. all the 3D information is there) generallly looks weaker when captured with the camera's single lens.

If I am in doubt about taking a picture I will look at it with one eye to make the brain see it differently. Try it... especially in public

Pete
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Old 11th March 2010
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Re: Through the viewfinder

Great thread...!

I think one always has to be extremely careful and cognisant [sp] when composing through the viewfinder, then stepping back and looking at the view through your eyes. OK, it is stating the obvious I guess, but when one does this... everything changes; the field of view, the exposure, the scene (2D->3D), the composition et al. They all change when looked at through the eyes-non-viewfinder.

This is why composition is especially important; when you step back or move your eye away from the eyepiece, you automatically 'see' more, you 'see' a much wider subject (yes, even with that 7-14mm on your E-n).

Pete makes a good point about covering one eye when assessing a scene... I do this too, not always, but it does help.
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Old 11th March 2010
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Re: Through the viewfinder

Yep I do the one eye thing too, not always but if I'm unsure about a shot I sometimes try it.
That's how I found out a few days ago I'm now a bit short sighted in my left eye, I never realised till I closed the right eye and suddenly realised distant objects were a bit blurred :-(

Paul
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Old 11th March 2010
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Re: Through the viewfinder

I noticed that when I got a tripod recently, and although I have used it very little, there were benefits that I had not anticipated.

Relevant to this thread is the fact that I felt that it slowed me down, made me think a bit more about the picture I was taking, and reviewing the result after each shot - retaking if necessary.

Anyone agree?

(The other benefit was that I started using manual focus - with Liveview & magnification - which I think I would find difficult using hand-held with the viewfinder).

Alan
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Old 11th March 2010
Kiwi Paul
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Re: Through the viewfinder

Yes that is definitely the case, a tripod allows you to contemplate the composition better. I'm a bit lazy and usually use my monopole for most shots for the same reason but a tripod would be better.

Paul
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Old 12th March 2010
Kiwi Paul
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Re: Through the viewfinder

Here's a web site about compositions, it's for art but applies to photography as well.

http://photoinf.com/General/Johannes...ion_rules.html

Paul
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Old 12th March 2010
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Re: Through the viewfinder

There is something very individual about how we see. I use my left eye at the viewfinder but when I try closing either eye just now I see quite different areas of the scene (my living room) through each eye. Maybe my vision is getting a bit screwy.

Anyway, I read somewhere about carrying a piece of card around with a 4x3 hole cut in it. When considering a composition get it out and hold it up to look through. I've not actually done this myself.

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Old 12th March 2010
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Re: Through the viewfinder

I've always wondered why I'm not happy with the photos when viewed later.

Being a bad workman, I blame the tools...


e-510 has 95% view, so end up with 5% extra stuff that was cropped out through the viewfinder.

IS may also be a cause in that the sensor is moved around, so does not necessarily capture what's centralised in the viewfinder.
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