darkroom-based photography

Category: Cameras

Learning Large Format

Having convinced myself that I would never get into Large Format (sheet film) photography, I finally talked myself into buying a 5×7 view camera with an additional 4×5 back. Such is life.

This new series of posts will describe how I get on with the new format for I will undoubtedly make mistakes. I don’t mind sharing these as I have no pretences to keep up and writing about them helps me to stay objective. After all making mistakes is the only way of learning anything.

In this first post I talk about the rationale for going into large format and the kit that I acquired.

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Five Women

Looking towards North Wales. Mamiya 6 Folder; HP5; Pyrocat HD.

I enjoyed taking this photograph. It is just a few minutes away from where I live. Five women had stopped to take in the scene with their sandwiches.

A view within a view type of picture, like we are eaves-dropping on a private moment. Of course, we are not secretly listening to a conversation; rather we are secretly sharing a vista with five women except ours is more inclusive in that it contains theirs. Or so it seems. Of course, there might have been someone behind me looking at me taking in five women taking in a scene.

Photography has this strange quality. It engenders the idea that the vista starts at you, with no cognizance of what is behind; that the world starts with you. But as we peer intently into the picture a doubt emerges… The world does not start anywhere. Like a photograph, this is a neat but necessary illusion.

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