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Thread: Have Internet Forums Revitalized LF Phototography?

  1. #1
    Beverly Hills, California
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    Have Internet Forums Revitalized LF Phototography?

    Just as the invention of the printing press has the effect to spread reformation of religion in the West, has the internet lead to a revitalization of large format photography? (True, you still see unsold LF cameras in your local big city camera stores, but there seems to be many manufactureres wiling to new models continuously). Pyro apparently has undergone resurrection. Ultra large format seems to becoming more popular. And so on.

    Is this all due to the sharing of info over the web by LF enthusiasts?

  2. #2
    aleatorist David R Munson's Avatar
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    Have Internet Forums Revitalized LF Phototography?

    I know the internet has certainly played a large role in getting me into large format photography. I first came across this forum around my freshman year of high school (what, 8 years ago now?) and I'm not sure when I would have gotten seriously interested in LF otherwise.

    Generally speaking, too, I think that online forums and other sources of information have helped encourage the growth of interest in the medium. The free and easy access of useful information on subjects relevant to your interests and the ability to communicate with others on any topic you could ever think of are, to me, about the best things to get out of the internet. I feel that this definitely has the effect of enabling growth of general and specific interest in many things that would otherwise be too obscure and/or too hard to learn about to be realistic everyday pursuits.

  3. #3

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    Have Internet Forums Revitalized LF Phototography?

    I think it is still the same less than 1/10% of the population. It is just that we can all talk to each other now.

  4. #4

    Have Internet Forums Revitalized LF Phototography?

    When I began researching about turning pro, I ran across this book that mentioned using a view camera for advertising photography.

    A view camera? What the h*e*double L is a view camera??

    Being a curious sort, I started looking on the net for information. And oh boy! did I find the jack pot. I became fascinated with the format, started learning more, asking questions, reading and talking to photography buddies. Wound up buying a used Horseman and am beginning the journey.

    If I hadn't have had the internet as a resource, I would have been too intimidated to even try it out most likely. So in answer to your question, I think the internet has revitalized LF photography because as people stumble across information, they soon get hooked.

    (this ought to be an interesting discussion :-)

  5. #5

    Have Internet Forums Revitalized LF Phototography?

    I have been shooting 4x5 for about a year now. The articles here about using a view camera are what got me really interested in trying it out, and they also gave me the confidence before buying that I'd be able to use the thing. I love shooting 4x5, and I think it's safe to say that I probably would never have tried it out if it weren't for this site. It's possible I might have decided to buy a book or two on the subject, or that I might have taken a class where a teacher suggested it. But I doubt it.

    The forums here, and at two other sites have helped speed the learning curve for me. I've shot several hundred sheets so far, and while I've only got a couple shots I really love, I doubt I'd be this far if I couldn't find answers to my questions online. I could have fallen into the digital SLR path of least resistance if it weren't for these forums. And I'm not too keen on my 6mp prints.

    So yes, the internet has revitalized LF photography by at least one new photographer.

    It's a wonderful resource.

  6. #6

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    Have Internet Forums Revitalized LF Phototography?

    Andre, I think so. With the internet, the amateur LF becomes more popular (specially outside the US).

    Also, I think the digital market makes a segregation of the traditional photography addicts & art-lovers that are open-minded to all related to the old processes, where the large format is the main protagonist.

  7. #7

    Have Internet Forums Revitalized LF Phototography?

    I don't know about "forums" but without the internet I would likely NOT have ventured into LF.

    There was a camera store in Winnipeg many years ago that used to have a number of old LF cameras in the back corner, many retired press cameras and a few studio cameras. I used to look at them longingly but didn't know enough about LF to get serious.

    When I found LF camera plans on the Net and snagged a lens from e-bay, I had what I needed to get into LF.

    Not so much "forums" as the in-depth information available on-line that has made things easier.

  8. #8

    Have Internet Forums Revitalized LF Phototography?

    well certainly the same could be proposed for many things, especialy dare i say it ...porn?... and certainly a lot more people are exposed to a great deal of "information" than with the printed page.

    i have been able to learn about plate camera workings here with a group of enthusiasts.

    but did my interest arise though access to the internet? no.

  9. #9
    Octogenarian
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    Have Internet Forums Revitalized LF Phototography?

    It really doesn't matter which came first, the chicken or the egg. Large format users began searching for other large format users on the internet. Websites began to appear that appealed to LF users. LF users began sharing their experiences on the internet. Small and medium format photographers also visited those websites, and their curiosity began to arise. They tried LF, liked it, and are now sharing their LF experiences on the web. New LF websites are appearing almost daily. Nothing suceeds like word to mouth advertising.

  10. #10

    Have Internet Forums Revitalized LF Phototography?

    The answer to the question is a big fat yes. I had seen an LF camera in a shop and had even inquired about lessons from one of the shop owners. This got me searching on the web and lead here. Though I didn't stick with 4 x 5 and eventually sold my camera it got in my blood. I did manage to obtain a few images I'm halfway proud of with my MF kit which replaced the LF kit. Now I want to go back and improve nearly all those images in a larger format. Maybe not 4 x 5 but 6 x 9 cm is calling ..... calling. I don't think I could have worked through all this without the net. I would have blundered down so many blind alleys that I would have quit in frustration by now.

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