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Thread: Large Format pure therapy

  1. #1

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    Large Format pure therapy

    Since returning to large format I have realized how therapeutic it really is. The other day when I was photographing in the yard, under the dark cloth, playing with movements, it suddenly occurred to me. When I get behind the view camera I enter my own little world. When I am under that drop cloth (even when I use a viewer, I still use the cloth) I find it very peaceful. Since I work 10 to 12 hours a day in construction in NYC, I seek quiet peaceful places. It is nice to be back under the cloth spending quality time with the ground glass.

  2. #2
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Large Format pure therapy

    There is a thrill I get when a composition comes together on the ground glass. I literally get a tingling in my spine. It is the only thing that effects me that way and is very addicting.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    "When did photography become a desk job?" Kirk Gittings 2009

    KIRK GITTINGS
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    LIGHT+SPACE+STRUCTURE (blog)

  3. #3

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    Re: Large Format pure therapy

    yup, nothing like it. I don't even like using slr's any more.

  4. #4
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Large Format pure therapy

    I have to use DSLRs almost daily, I love image making in any form but 34 years later I still get really juiced from LF.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    "When did photography become a desk job?" Kirk Gittings 2009

    KIRK GITTINGS
    WEBSITE

    LIGHT+SPACE+STRUCTURE (blog)

  5. #5
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: Large Format pure therapy

    Quote Originally Posted by John Conway View Post
    When I get behind the view camera I enter my own little world.
    Many people in this forum compose LF shots while repeating “Ohm.”


  6. #6

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    Re: Large Format pure therapy

    A couple of years ago, I was prompted to write "a liitle story" (post #38) here:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum44/6...-mature-4.html

    I still feel the same way even though lugging big cameras is getting harder...

    Reinhold

    www.classicBWphoto.com

  7. #7
    Landscape Addict
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    Re: Large Format pure therapy

    I felt the same spine tingle the other morning.. I was on a beach at 4:00am standing 4m infront of a shipwreck under the dark cloth... eerie feeling to say the least. All of a sudden with a touch of front swing and a tweak of the focus, the exact image I had hoped for snapped onto the ground glass.. At that moment I became 100% hooked to large format. Up until that moment I was experimenting.
    Chamonix 045N-2 - 65/5.6 - 90/8 - 210/5.6 - Fomapan 100 & T-Max 100 in Rodinal
    Alexartphotography

  8. #8

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    Re: Large Format pure therapy

    Yes, I agree....the first time I used a LF camera I wondered about getting 'used' to it....now I don't even notice that the image is up-side down (in the other world)...

  9. #9
    tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Large Format pure therapy

    I agree!

    A winter storm (a rare event this year in the bay area) was pushing through and I thought that this afternoon would be a good time to image the three-masted sailing ship Balclutha http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balclutha_(1886) from the fore-deck back. I didn't want a clear day but one that was overcast with a foggy appearance which the afternoon presented. I had tried this before but at the last moment 30 or so elementary school kids in slickers seated themselves on the forecastle’s deck in preparation for an overnight stay. I didn't have any kids or tourists getting in the way this afternoon but I had dry wood decks instead of the rain swept decks that I had before.

    Nevertheless it certainly was fun/therapeutic setting up the camera for the shot. Positioned on the deck atop the forecastle a 90mm 4.5 Rodenstock Grandagon required maximum front fall to capture the forecastle deck with its roping back to the stern with the ships galley and rigging visible. But dropping the lens vignetted the view which necessitated in dropping the bed which, on the Toyo 45CF, meant tilting the back back at a 15 degree angle and then tilting the camera down by an equal amount to bringing the back standard perpendicular with the horizion and then tilting the front to bring it perpendicular with the back. To bring the rear in focus with the background a front tilt was necessary along with the necessary bed focusing. Since I was positioned to the right of center to avoid the pedestrian pier on the right and the [modern] sea wall in the left background it was necessary to apply front swing to bring the left and right rigging into sharp focus with the rest of the picture. All this took time, of course, and although I could have captured the same image with my P67II (which I had in the trunk) I had more fun with the view-camera.

    Thomas
    No art passes our conscience in the way that film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.
    — Ingmar Bergman

  10. #10

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    Re: Large Format pure therapy

    I don't often photograph scenes that don't feature a person or persons, so my experience is a little different. Large format photography of the view camera kind certainly favors the static subject. The malleable image on my ground glass is always in motion, unpredictable, and short lived, like a quantum vacuum fluctuation, or ball lightning. The longer I fiddle with knobs and levers, the more fragile and brittle the image becomes, like bending a spoon too many times. For me, the time for meditation and contemplation is not while making images-- this is the time for clear minded receptivity, and second nature mechanics. My challenge is to maintain my connection with my subject despite the machine between us, and bridge that chasm of time between focus and shutter firing, connection intact. To me LF photography feels more like trying to levitate than building a ship in a bottle, or pruning a bonsai-- it seems like it often comes close to working, but never definitively.

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