View Full Version : Skiing & LF-ing

John Kasaian
5-Jan-2015, 07:31
Anyone here takes a LF out in the snow on skis or snow shoes?

I shoot two "snow cameras"---a 5x7 Speed Graphic and a Gowland 8x10 Aerial (although any Hobo type camera should work as well.) Both handheld unless I take a small Tilt-all along---sinking the legs into the snow helps add stability a Tilt-all needs with larger cameras. I use a Jan Sport Equinox day pack to hold the 5x7 and film holders, or if I'm shooting the Gowland, just the film holders. The Gowland I have to hand carry since it's too awkward to fit in a pack, so learning to ski without poles is necessary (fortunately I learned at a ski instructor's course!)

It adds an interesting element to large format photography---most ski areas offer dramatic mountain vistas and when the atmosphere is doing it's thing, wow! You can't hardly not get keepers.

Jim Noel
5-Jan-2015, 08:55
When I was younger, in my 60's that is, I skied many cross country miles with a 4x5 Ikeda, Kodak folding tripod, holders and lenses in a small day pack. Wonderful experience.

5-Jan-2015, 09:01
I sometime XC ski with my speed graphic. XC skiing is much easier than snow shoeing. It's handy for me when the snow is too deep for boots, or ice is too weak for supporting me on foot (not in deep water!)

Drew Wiley
5-Jan-2015, 11:00
I prefer snowshoes, cause when you get up close to a rock or tree, it's hard to maneuver in skis. Plus you need to pack the snow down pretty good so the tripod
feet won't sink in. I made little snow baskets for the tips of my Ries. I'm not a good skier anyway. But I did a few ski trips with the Sinar 4x5 and even with the
8x10 system. Big loads. Dig a snow tunnel or cave, carry a snow shovel, a true primus gas stove and other essentials like Porterhouse steaks. Sleep with the light meter so the battery won't be too cold to work. Sometimes a "snorkel" face mask helps prevent the GG from fogging up. Haven't done anything like that in awhile. Mostly just short hikes... like trying to see how close I could get to frozen Rancheria Falls before fatally sliding down that ice gully! But given all the blizzards I've been in during Fall and even Summer in recent years, I get more than my fair share of LF snow scenes!

5-Jan-2015, 12:16
I take a Chamonix Saber out snowshoeing and skiing sometimes. Also a Cambo Wide. Both used handheld, with grafmatics.

5-Jan-2015, 13:17
Been up all week in stellar conditions with my Mamiya 6 or 45N2 + a D750. The attached is one of my favorite LF-ski jaunts...

Sirius Glass
5-Jan-2015, 18:02
I can ski or I can photograph. I used to do both together. Now I do one or the other, not both at once. I leave the ski area vistas to people who live there and can go out regularly.

5-Jan-2015, 22:26
I always take a camera when I x-c ski or snowshoe. Most often I take my Nikon F, a 35-105mm zoom and a 24mm. I will take my 4x5 gear when I'm snowshoeing in areas I think or know are ripe for a pic or two. Haven't tried x-c skiing with the LF gear, but I can see that day coming given some of the locations I want to get to. I like getting out on rivers and lakes in the winter to photograph scenes that are impossible to do when the water isn't frozen.

Larry Kellogg
6-Jan-2015, 05:26
Where did you find a 5x7 Speed Graphic? How much does that thing weigh? I've never seen one. I love 5x7. What lens is on it? David Burnett shoots the Winter Olympics with a Speed Graphic but he's not skiing, as far as I know.

John Kasaian
6-Jan-2015, 09:42
Where did you find a 5x7 Speed Graphic? How much does that thing weigh? I've never seen one. I love 5x7. What lens is on it? David Burnett shoots the Winter Olympics with a Speed Graphic but he's not skiing, as far as I know.

IIRC, I picked it up years ago from Midwest Photo Exchange. I have a 203mm f/7.7 Ektar on it. It is slightly larger and heavier than a Pacemaker Speed, but not by much---sorry I don't have a scale handy. It is the newer side handle version (newer? Did I say newer? LOL!) The whole kit---camera, half dozen film holders, meter, filters, and a black tee shirt for when I want to use the gg (as there is a lot of stray light on snow to defeat the folding hood) fits, as I said, in a Jansport Equinox. Ilford HP-5+ or Kodak Tri X were my preferred emulsions for the job, but I haven't seen 5x7 Tri-X in quite awhile so I'm shooting HP-5+ exclusively now. 5x7 Speeders are more of a rarity than the 4x5s, but they are out there and are a heck of a lot of fun to boot!

Drew Wiley
6-Jan-2015, 10:03
What I found out it that those nice sparkly fresh powder snows that photograph so nicely in mid-winter are kinda hard to get around on in skis. Yeah, there are
numerous groomed XC trails and old logging roads and so forth, where you can wait for someone more ambitious to break the ground. But unless you're trying to put in the sheer mileage, and are just out for a few good 8x10 shots, snowshoes can be a pretty tempting option. Most of the long-distance types in this part of the world are waiting until mid-Spring anyway, when the snow is better consolidated and the avalanche hazard has subsided a bit. I pretty much stay in timber and away from steep slopes. But with skis on anything steep and a 90 lb winter backpack with the 8x10, it's easy for me to become a runaway truck anyway. Did enough of that as a kid in my 40's. I deserve to be lazy at this point, and just tromp a little way back in snowshoes. It's easy to find nice subjects.

John Kasaian
6-Jan-2015, 11:49
It is amazing how ski resorts offer incredible views for not much work--a ski lift gets you to the top and gravity takes over from there. There is plenty of dramatic cloud cloaked granite outcrops and scenic blue alpine lakes 'way down there' and gnarly red firs in the Sierra to pique my photographic interested. I just seek out steep, uncrowded runs or point my camera "off piste" to capture the scenic beauty. And then there is a bar in the lodge to supply the requisite anti-freeze at the end of the day's run!

Drew Wiley
6-Jan-2015, 12:17
If you ever stop into the June Lake ski resort bar, be sure to say hello to Bigfoot for me. The reason they never do get a photograph of him in the wild is because
that is where he routinely hangs out.

Larry Kellogg
6-Jan-2015, 12:30
You can get on a list with Keith Canham for TriX in 5x7.! Thanks for the info!