View Full Version : My Late introduction

31-Oct-2007, 17:21
So I have been lurking around these forums for a couple months now and thought I would finally post an introduction. I stumbled into large format by basically falling down a rabbit hole. I have been interested in photography for quite a while but finally broke down and bought a "real camera" (a dslr) a little over a year ago. I ended up picking up a few used film slrs because my dslr (Pentax) is compatible with all the old glass and the best way to get glass is to get cameras that come with glass.

Well it worked out that I ended up sending my camera in to be serviced for an issue with noise (twice because they didn't fix it the first time) and was without it for most of the summer. So what was I to do but buy some film for these film cameras I have that work with all my lenses. Well always being a fan of St Ansel's work I eventually bought his photography series (I actually start with "the Negative") and picked up some B&W film.

Well I had the film but no tanks or anything so I went down to the wonderful shop that I found about 5 mi from my house that still has quite a bit of darkroom equipment "left over" from film's hay day. While I was there buying the tank another customer asked me if I would be interested in some darkroom equipment that he had not been using. Well a week or two later I ended up with an Omega D-II with a 4X5 negative holder some trays and other things including a nikkor cut film tank all for the whopping price of $50.

I discovered that in order to print the 35mm negative that I was shooting I would need a different negative carrier and the condenser that came with the D-II was not really optimized for 35mm. From this and reading about the Zone system and realizing the need to develop each shot individually to really take advantage of it along with having some 4X5 gear already the idea of large format was starting to become more interesting.

Eventually I bought a Anniversary Speed Graphic and started shooting some large sheets (Arista branded Foma 200). I enjoyed that but I have an evil tendency towards buying gear and picked up a Crown Graphic for a price I could not pass up. After using this for a while I really wanted a camera with a rotating back as I found that the majority of my photos were in the portrait orientation and the movements were quite limited with the crown in that position. I placed a somewhat impulse bid on a Super Speed that I didn't think I would win, but I did and well that brings me upto about the present.

Now I am trying to stop looking at lenses and such and spend some more time looking through them. I feel that I have a kit that can take me for quite a while, I just need to buckle down and use it (Super Speed with Fuji w 150 6.3, SA 90 f8 and 203 Ektar which I scored for $60 :D ). Now it is time to spend the time honing this craft and hopefully soon learning to print.

I thought I would link my pbase gallery here (http://www.pbase.com/wfournier/large_format) which shows some of IMO my better efforts thus far. All of these I have developed myself (including the one chrome in there) and scanned on an epson 3200.

Well this was much longer than I intended when I started but I thought I would share my crazy story of how I got here. This site played a major role in my ending up in LF as well and the vast knowledge shared here is truly amazing. Thank you all for your help (even if it was just my reading old threads).


MIke Sherck
31-Oct-2007, 17:35
Wow, you really did fall down a rabbit hole, didn't you! Congratulations on your good fortune: you must live right. ;)


Ralph Barker
1-Nov-2007, 08:44
Congrats on your journey down the rabbit hole, Will. As you travel farther underground, you'll discover many interesting side branches, too. ;)

1-Nov-2007, 18:52
Hello and welcome. :)

John Kasaian
3-Nov-2007, 08:40
Welcome! I enjoyed your gallery---neat compositions!

3-Nov-2007, 09:51
Welcome. :)