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Thread: New Member from New Mexico, but not new to Large Format

  1. #1

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    Farmington, NM USA
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    New Member from New Mexico, but not new to Large Format

    Howdy from Northwestern New Mexico USA. I have been lurking around for years, mainly getting great information from experienced members here. Only recently I have decided to join. My experience in Large Format Photography (actually medium format) began when I was a teenager in the 1970s, shooting with a 40's vintage Kodak Monitor in 620 format, black and white and in color. The 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 format was always fun and enlarged nicely. Went to college at the University of Arizona studying at the Center for Creative Photography, getting a minor in film. Since the early 1980s I have used 4x5 and 8x10, beginning with a Sinar f, Sinar c 8X10, and eventually going the field camera route with a 1988 made Wisner 8x10 Technical Field, weighing in at around 17 lbs. I sold the Wisner just this year. Recently I went to a lighter Sinar f1 in 8x10, so we'll see how that works out.

    Shooting Large Format requires dedication, and getting married with children. Nothing better than a wife and sons to help carry a 17 lb camera, 15 lb Gitzo tripod, lenses, etc. My youngest son is now 15 so he has been well schooled in the art of being a camera porter. I don't know what I will do when he heads off to college....

    I have shot almost exclusively reversal film in 4x5 and 8x10, enlarging up to 30x40 on Ilfochrome Classic (formerly Cibachrome). I have probably 1800+ large format reversal images shot over the years. I have always loved the direct positive to positive results with Ilforchrome; the saturated colors on that glossy print. My style of photography is more documentary style than pretty pictures. Sometimes I refer to my images as "Large Format Snapshots". I learned that you can sit and wait for hours waiting for that "Supreme Instant" (a Weston quote) with the proper alignment, light, shadow, and it never materializes.

    With the phasing out of Ilfochrome Classic, I am resigned to the thought of having high resolution scans done of my past and future reversal images, and trying some new archival digital prints, but I will miss my old positive to positive process.

  2. #2
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: New Member from New Mexico, but not new to Large Format

    Give me a call if you ever get down to ABQ. I don't get up that way too often (where are you exactly?), though I am doing work at the Bisti for an upcoming exhibit.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  3. #3

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    Re: New Member from New Mexico, but not new to Large Format

    Hi Kirk, I am up here in Farmington, beautiful San Juan County. If you're working the Bisti De-na-zin Wilderness, we're entering the perfect time of the year to photgraph there. I was exploring out there in June (with a Nikon D300S) scouting large format locations. Just a tad bit too hot.

  4. #4
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: New Member from New Mexico, but not new to Large Format

    Jan Pietrzak and I will be up that way in November scouting for a wprkshop we are going to offer.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  5. #5

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    Re: New Member from New Mexico, but not new to Large Format

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Gittings View Post
    Jan Pietrzak and I will be up that way in November scouting for a wprkshop we are going to offer.
    I've lived here for 26 years. Lots of interesting places to photograph. I could point out some for you. Let me know if interested.

  6. #6
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: New Member from New Mexico, but not new to Large Format

    Thanks. I appreciate the offer. The places we are going to I have been to in the neighborhood of 50 times (I did a book on Chaco and have been into the Bisti with photographers who have worked there regularly for 30 years). Just hadn't looked at it from the POV of a workshop. If you want to meetup though that would be fine.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    Farmington, NM USA
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    Re: New Member from New Mexico, but not new to Large Format

    Kirk, that would be nice to meetup. Never been to a workshop, though. For me, I go through phases of shooting LF, then stopping for a while doing different formats. Many times over the years here in the Four Corners area during the Fall I would grab my Leica R7 and flash, loaded with Kodachrome 200 (I miss that film) and do dusk photography of Navajos selling Kneel Down Bread on the highway between Farmington and Shiprock.

    My first formal class in Photography was a the U of A in Tucson in the Fall of 1978. Took a class by W. Eugene Smith, who was a guest lecturer at the U of A and my first exposure to his documentary photography. Didn't finish the class because he dropped dead in a grocery store there that Autumn. Got to watch another notable photographer by the name of William Larson when he was working on his Tucson Gardens series in 1982.

    My first real interest in 8x10 happened due to a New Mexico photographer. There was a showing at the University of Arizona around 1980 or so of the work of William Clift, Santa Fe photographer. I stood there in awe looking as close as I could to all the intricate detail contained in those large B&W prints. After that I had to shoot 8x10. I was hooked!!!

  8. #8
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: New Member from New Mexico, but not new to Large Format

    Yes me too. He has inspired me for decades. Clift honored me when his big show was in SF a year ago by volunteering (out of the blue he saw a posting of mine on Facebook and contacted me) to give a talk to my class at SFUAD who I was taking on a field trip to Andrew Smith's and his show at the NM Museum of Art-a fabulous experience.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  9. #9
    David Lobato David Lobato's Avatar
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    Baltimore MD
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    Re: New Member from New Mexico, but not new to Large Format

    Welcome. I get up that way once or twice a year to visit relatives. I like the many opportunities to photograph 15 minutes to 2 hours driving from Farmington, in all directions. Can't wait to go again.

  10. #10
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: New Member from New Mexico, but not new to Large Format

    Welcome to the forum, Timothy!

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