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Craig Griffiths
31-Aug-2006, 23:11
Greetings and Salutations. I guess after spending the last few months lurking aroung here I should perhaps introduce myself. I live in Brisbane, Australia and have been involved in photography as an amateur for the past 10-11 years, mostly 35mm and medium format.
I had always looked at Large Format as something to aspire to if I one day got good enough. But I made a decision when I hit 40 earlier this year, that as long as I was happy with the results that I achieved there was no harm in trying it, after all worst case scenario was that I would just sell the equipment and recover some of the costs. Besides that I figured that I had to take the step sooner rather than later. So I purchased an Ebony RW45 and a couple of lenses and started out

None of the photo clubs around here seemed to be able to help me learn, and I wondered at times why I had chosen this path. So I immersed myself in books and just started practising. I have spent the last few months on a very steep learning curve. Every time I took some shots into the lab for processing there was something wrong. Over exposed because I forgot to stop down, underexposed because I had not allowed for bellows extension, out of focus because I couldnít work out movements etc. I was happy to get 1 sort of ok image (exposed and focussed) for every 10 I took. I still havenít made all of the mistakes posted in the forum, but I am sure that given time I will make all of them and more. Over time I believe that I have got better, the batch this week I actually managed to expose most of them correctly and all of them were focussed as I wanted. I am now reasonably confident that what I take will turn out ok, I have even had a few printed for the walls at home and work. Mind you they arenít anything spectacular compared to the work I see here, but they make me happy.

I guess I have been fortunate in that I found this forum at a time when I finally took the plunge and invested in some large format gear. I have learnt lots from the people here and thank all of you. My wife has been very supportive, and my 7 year old son now wants to build a camera with me so that he has his own . I have arranged a couple of workshops as a result of postings on this site and am looking forward to them. And believe it or not I am starting to wonder if 4 x 5 is in fact too small and thinking that perhaps I should move up to a larger format in the future (not just yet though).

Most of all though I look forward to learning from all of you and perhaps getting good enough that some day I feel that I can actually post some images here. Maybe it might be when my son posts some of his. And to those who keep this site going, thank you.

Ralph Barker
31-Aug-2006, 23:32
Welcome to de-lurked mode, Craig. Getting your 7-year old son involved with LF is pretty cool.

Ron Marshall
31-Aug-2006, 23:33
Welcome to the forum Craig. What film are you shooting? It is very simple to process your own if you choose. That way you have more control over the outcome.

I finally went to a mix of 4x5 and 5x7, but still use a light Toho for hiking.

Craig Griffiths
31-Aug-2006, 23:51
I am shooting Velvia most of the time, but have been doing more Black and White lately, either Delta 100 or FP4. Black and white is another new challenge as well.

Capocheny
31-Aug-2006, 23:55
Every time I took some shots into the lab for processing there was something wrong. Over exposed because I forgot to stop down, underexposed because I had not allowed for bellows extension, out of focus because I couldnít work out movements etc.

Mind you they arenít anything spectacular compared to the work I see here, but they make me happy.

And believe it or not I am starting to wonder if 4 x 5 is in fact too small and thinking that perhaps I should move up to a larger format in the future (not just yet though).


Hi Craig,

Firstly, welcome to the forum... there ARE some really great people here and the greatest attribute of this forum is that these people are willing to share their wisdom and knowledge as it relates to LF photography.

In regards to making mistakes... it's simple to do because there are so many steps to remember when using a large format camera. So, I'd suggest you look at this link:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/mistakes.html

My best advice to you is to set yourself up a routine... here's some suggestions:

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/how-to-operate.html

In regards to your comment about 4x5 being too small... LOL, some of the guys will have you up to 8x10 and larger in no time flat! :) I started with 4x5, went to 5x7, and am finally into 8x10. See what I mean?

Lastly, the trick is to get out there and shoot some film... and above all, have fun! :)

Get your son to teach you... and teach your son! What a marvelous way to spend time with each other!

Cheers