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Thread: Stepping up or down .... ?

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    San Clemente, California

    Re: Stepping up or down .... ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill_1856 View Post
    "Large Format Photography" is not about camera/negative size, it is about state of mind...
    To quote someone who posts in this forum, "What a bunch of pretentious horse hockey."

    It pays to visit the home page. Here's what Tuan wrote there:

    What is a Large format camera?

    That's grand-dad's bellows box-like camera, where you had to disappear under a dark cloth. The principle remains the same, however nowadays they have evolved into precise and sophisticated instruments.

    With a few notable exceptions, these cameras share the following characteristics:

    1. Large image size: 4x5 inches (10x12cm), the most popular format by far, up to 20x24 inches (the Polaroid camera, which can be rented on-site for a reasonable fee). The film comes in separate sheets rather than rolls, but see below.
    2. Flexible bellows connecting the front and back: they allow the use of a range of focal lengths (with different lenses. there are no zooms in such formats) and focussing distances, as well as providing for lateral adjustments and angular adjustments between film plane and lens plane.
    3. Ground glass viewing: makes it possible to assess the image with great accuracy once you get used to the dimness and inversion.
    4. Interchangeable lenses: you are not limited to a particular mount.

    By contrast, Medium format cameras use roll-film which is 6cm wide so that the format available on those cameras are (all in cm) 4.5x6, 6x6, 6x7,6x9,6x12,6x17. Therefore they produce image whose size is less than that produced by large format cameras (hence the name). The vast majority of medium format cameras operate a bit like 35mm cameras ("small format") and in particular don't have features 2,3,4. However, a few medium format cameras share these features, and are also considered on this web site, since they actually operate like large format cameras. On the other hand, with almost all the large format cameras it is possible to use roll-film holders of various sizes and to therefore produce medium-format images.

    Large format photography is about photography with large format cameras. Norhing more, nothing less.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Re: Stepping up or down .... ?

    Quote: "Truth to be told - most probable reasons for all this is probably insufficient "commitment" to go deep enough and to master the process to my own satisfaction. Second is that the I feel a bit "suffocating" in the place where i live now (overpopulated north Germany a bit "without nature" with bad weather). "

    Something about this statement caught my eye. Who says that you need to photograph "nature"? We sometimes get so caught up with trying to make photographs that we consider to be beautiful that we end up copying someone else. A lot of the photographs that are shown on sites like this are just more of the same. More copies of the already "known" are not what is needed. "Newness" is what is needed. Seeing the commonplace and presenting it in ways that are not normally seen...another rock and another tree just doesn't wind my clock anymore. I have found that once a person approaches things from that perspective then the camera size just doesn't matter as much.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    klamath falls, oregon

    Re: Stepping up or down .... ?

    I can't address all the format issues, but I will say this: Michael Kenna seems to make a lot of compelling images in bad weather and in fairly densely populated areas. A look at his work might give you some ideas for coping with where you live. I live in a very beautiful area and used to shoot only unspoiled landscapes (or ones with the spoiled stuff hidden!), and I find that I'm now deriving every bit as much pleasure from shooting things around town as I do out in the wild places.

    Oh yeah, check out Ray McSavaney's work for more examples of making something out of "civilized things":

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Jan 2001

    Re: Stepping up or down .... ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill_1856 View Post
    "Large Format Photography" is not about camera/negative size, it is about state of mind.
    What kind of perverted person would say something as dumb as that?
    Everybody knows that Large Format Photographs must only be made with a camera big enough that the negatives will always be contact printed.
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)


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