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Thread: How many of you were taught (in LF) ?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Massachusetts USA

    How many of you were taught (in LF) ?

    Since there is already an interesting thread entitled How many of you are self-taught (in LF)? perhaps we should ask the complementary question: Have you been taught in LF ?

    Some of our members have had the good fortune to study under or become acquainted with influential photographers: some well known, others just influential to them personally. Even a critique of one's work or a single photo can be influential and instructive.

    Perhaps this would be a good place to share: inspiring and informative anecdotes as well as stories of disappointment or surprise.
    Last edited by Ken Lee; 8-Sep-2017 at 19:22.

  2. #2
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Maryland, USA

    Re: How many of you were taught (in LF) ?

    Hi Ken,

    I've never had the opportunity ($$) to study under anyone expert in the field.

    I'd certainly like to. Perhaps one day.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Re: How many of you were taught (in LF) ?

    I studied Professional Photography at RIT and received a Bachelor's degree in 1980. A majority of my work was shot on 4x5, both in studio and on location. One of my first year Professors was Les Stroebel, who taught a class called Materials and Processes of Photography. He was also the author of our textbook! Wish I had asked him to autograph it...

  4. #4

    Re: How many of you were taught (in LF) ?

    There was no access to mentors when I began this never-ending learning process, especially since my interest was truly kindled at age 13... quite a few years ago.

  5. #5
    multi format
    Join Date
    Feb 2001

    Re: How many of you were taught (in LF) ?

    i was an apprentice to a portrait photographer who shot 5x7 before i got a lf camera. as a result
    i processed sheet film, retouched negatives ( with lead ) and enlarged/contact printed sheet film. she didn't
    teach me LF technique but portrait technique and using a studio shutter ( and loading lf film/using a carriage back ) ...

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    southwest PA, USA

    Re: How many of you were taught (in LF) ?

    I took classes in high school and college with 35mm and some darkroom classes later, but I've never had a chance to take a class on large format. I'd love to, but it's tough to find one I can squeeze into my life with a busy husband and child.
    Bethe King

  7. #7
    Vaughn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Humboldt County, CA

    Re: How many of you were taught (in LF) ?

    In 1979 I had a photo class that had a 4x5 assignment -- and I started to use one pretty consistently after that (and my Rolleiflex). The university had a few monorail 4x5s to check out...which I did regularily. After that initial 4x5 assignment, I was more or less on my own with LF. Some help from other students. The photo program covered technical stuff well, but the main purpose was the art side of photography.

    I took a week-long LF workshop in 1985 (Bruce Barnbaum/Jay Dusard/Harrison Branch) and it was great to be exposed to great work and different ways of working. Soon after that I got a couple scholorships to attended Friends of Photography workshops, then was a workshop assistant for them for many years. So I was exposed to a lot of practical and artistic information from a large variety of major LF users. Watching Richard Misrach use his 8x10 Deardorf was educational!

    In 1991 I became the darkroom tech for the university, and I would lead field trips on using the 4x5s, and help students with their 4x5 processing, etc. Again -- teaching is the best way to learn! Retired a couple years ago.

    Then this forum has filled a lot of gaps in my knowledge.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Sheridan, Colorado

    Re: How many of you were taught (in LF) ?

    No matter what format you are using -- from 8x11mm to 8x10" -- if you don't set everything on AUTO, whether you learn from reading a magazine article, a book, joining an Internet forum, taking a workshop/seminar, or matriculating a degree program, you end up doing some tests/experiments. It might be as simple as taking several pictures of the same scene with different camera settings on the same roll of film. It might be building your own lens, or trying out a new mix of chemicals for fiilm development.

    The college degree program that I signed up for was in the Art Department, which had two photography professors -- both named Ron, which always lead to a lot of confusion. One was a soft-spoken, artistic-type, who always encouraged everyone to try whatever they could imagine. The other was a Marine Sergeant-type who wanted everyone to follow the "rules" of the great Masters. They could not have been different, and I have no idea how they could possibly work together. For example, Sergeant Ron wanted all photographs to be mounted on white, museum, archival board. I always displayed my prints on foam-core with a 18% gray mat board. I always pissed him off, and he always gave me low grades -- but I always passed. It didn't matter to me. At the end of every Sergeant Ron class, some of the students would tell me that they learned more from me than they did from Sergeant Ron -- but I must admit, he knew his stuff!!!

  9. #9
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Stuck inside of Tucson with the Memphis blues again...

    Re: How many of you were taught (in LF) ?

    I learned large format in the 1970s in a university fine arts photo program. Well, I learned while I was in the program. No one else there did large format, all 35mm and a few medium format, and I was the weird one wandering around with an 8x10, so I learned from books. During my junior year, Todd Walker joined as a professor, but by then I had a few of the basics down, and all he told me was "you're doing fine". And over the years I developed my own ways of working that gave me what I wanted pretty consistently.

    A decade or so ago I finally decided to get some serious instruction from a couple of well-respected large format photographers to see what I'd been doing wrong all these years. They though I was doing everything completely wrong, and I thought they were doing everything completely wrong, but we all had very good results. We both had our systems, and they worked for us.

    On the teaching side, I taught a somewhat simplified system to my high school students and they did excellent work with it. I'm not sure they understood the why behind what they were doing, but the work came out well. I taught practice and practical theory, (how the practice works), but the kids wanted the pure practice part, just enough to do it, so that's what we concentrated on. I'm guessing those few who pursued it since will have picked up more on the technical along the way. And they've probably developed their own systems of doing things, completely wrong, but giving them very good results that work for them...
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  10. #10
    bob carnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Toronto, Ontario,

    Re: How many of you were taught (in LF) ?

    Yes at Photo College but absolutely hated anything to do with a large format camera... fast forward a century and I am indeed only using large format.. to figure.

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