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18 September 2009

Re-learning Large Format Photography

The Slow Down Experience Project

When I went in August to Switzerland, I brought back my trusty old Arca Swiss camera with me. 10 days ago I took my first pictures. I was a bit pressed for time there, because the sun threatened from disappearing from the garden I was working in.

Yesterday I got back the developed film and contact print. I worked with a color negative film, the camera is in the 6x9cm format on 120 roll film. There are some things I learned (or re-learned) when looking at the contact:

First, even after all those years I'm not too bad at setting exposure (something that I always feared when I started out with photography), all pictures were within usable range. OK, on color negative film that's not so difficult to achieve. I bracketed some of the pix, I'll stop doing that, it's a waste of film and money. If I'm not totally sure about the exposure, I'll just take a little bit more time to think, calculate and rely on the color negative material.

One thing I really have to do is slow down: There were some shots where I didn't carefully select the framing. This is no "digital, hit the button all the time and something will work out". Gotta take my time, slowing down is what large format is all about.

Last I learned that my 180mm lens is a bit of a problem. Optically it's fine, but since it's a "tele" design lens, it doesn't allow for enough movements of the camera standards. That resulted in one suboptimal picture, as I simply couldn't get the position and framing I wanted. A "normal" 180mm lens should get me tons of movement on 6x9. Also the shutter in that lens needs a cleaning job, maybe even a reworking. The times are way off, especially the longer times. I actually set the time by guessing and comparing to the shutter in my 105mm. Worked for the moment, but it's a joke.

Oh, and if you expected some pictures with this blog post: Hey, it's large format film... I don't have a scanner yet, I don't have a darkroom yet... slow down, it will take some time!


Posted by betabug at 09:54 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
Life in Athens (Greece) for a foreigner from the other side of the mountains. And with an interest in digital life and the feeling of change in a big city. Multilingual English - German - Greek.
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Re: Re-learning Large Format Photography

As I've see the result in my own hands, I can say that it was a very nice job, even if you need some more practice to recover your full photography-powers. ;D

Posted by: Wu at September 18,2009 09:57
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