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February 02, 2004

Large Format Here I Come, Plus Links

I remember a post on a digital dominated forum over a year ago, where a photographer posted a picture of himself with a large format camera, and declared "FILM IS DEAD!"...presumably, his breathless excitement had to do with the fact that he had a new little Olympus digital camera, and he was positively drunk with the possibilities of taking photographs with something so small that could provide instant feedback. And of course, the large format camera was the albatross that signified the "film era" that he was tossing off...his enthusiasm was so laced with hyperbole that I'm surprised he didn't just torch the film camera right there, and document the ecstatic purge of Bad Old Analog Ways Of Doing Things.

How ironic, I guess, that I'm moving in the opposite direction...and not just 4x5 large format (which is reasonably manageable for most enthusiastic photographers), but 8x10! I really wonder how well I'll take to such a deliberate process, given my impatient tendencies. Oh well, just got the camera in the mail...I'm going to have my black and white prof (who used to refinish 8x10 cameras a while back) look at it, to make sure it's not a piece of junk.

I do rather like the idea of wrestling with something that's a little beat up though, and I enjoyed the advice I got from folks over at the Large Format Forum, several who advised that it's about taking photographs, not having a pretty piece of furniture out in the field.


My latest acquisition, used and beat-up but hopefully worth it.

Now all I need is a lens, film holders, backs, and a few other things that my prof will advise me on (and that will drive the weight of this rig up). And did I mention I have shoulder problems? This could be really fun...but I'm looking forward to it. I just hope that in three months or so, I can at least crawl competently with large format.

As I approach the 30 day point of my experiments with blogging, one of the things that has been a pleasant surprise has been the diversity of visitors -- thanks to everyone who's taken the time to look and occasionally read something longwinded I've written. One interesting visitor I wanted to highlight was Philip Cartland, a Kenyan born photographer based in London who has a fascinating personal site, along with a site dedicated to African imagery from a variety of photographers.

I took a number of African History and Middle Eastern History classes in the evening years ago, through Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and like the good photography classes I mentioned in yesterday's post, those were stimulating classes with excellent teachers. Philip's sites were therefore a wonderful find for me, and he has excellent links to many worthwhile things African and photographic.

Finally, one of the early sites I bookmarked in my search among dozens of blogs relating to art, photography and culture was elena karo's pretty serendipities, a summary of numerous worthwhile exhibits at galleries, and online links to interesting artists' work; the focus appears to be on photography but there are links to other types of art and culture as well. Though she seems to be posting rather infrequently the last few months, she's just updated her site and provided another treasure trove of links and thoughts. Another fellow traveler well worth visiting.

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i think you're not alone in your swing to large format - I wonder if as Digital increases its mainstreamness (thats not a word) if many photographers will react against it by going back to larger format or to more manual settings cameras....

Posted by: Darren Rowse at Feb 2, 2004 5:13:06 PM

Not being a digital practitioner (but with nothing against it, on the contrary), I'm also looking for a 8x10 to take along on my field trips - extra weight will be good to my exercise! :-)

As a matter of fact, the point is that I fell completely in love with a 8x10 contact proof. I wanna do those things and drool over the fantastic greys and blacks and whites you have from a proof of that type.

Posted by: Luis Farrolas at Feb 3, 2004 4:46:57 AM

I have bought also a LF, but I was not so brave. Only the "small" 4x5...

Posted by: António at Feb 3, 2004 5:35:03 AM

And you thought lugging around that 645 and its accoutemrents was a pain... Enjoy!

Posted by: Andrew Miller at Feb 3, 2004 10:04:26 PM

Geez thanks, I'm honoured to find my sites talked about! I do drop in once in a while so as long as you're bloggin I'm watchin.

Posted by: Philip at Feb 5, 2004 9:35:20 AM

Those aren't scratches and dents on your new camera, they're character and history. I hope you'll be very happy together and expect you'll have the basics figured out in much sooner than a few months.

Posted by: john at Feb 5, 2004 7:32:05 PM

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the freedom to choose his attitude in any given set of circumstances.

Posted by: ffxiv gil at Oct 19, 2010 1:09:16 AM

Nice article. I could not bear to send my parents to a nursing home. In home care is

the way for me.

Posted by: Graffiti at Oct 28, 2010 3:54:16 AM

nice !

Posted by: Monogram Miroir at Oct 28, 2010 3:55:15 AM