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Thread: Question on New-to-4X5 Schooling

  1. #11
    C. D. Keth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Salt Lake City, UT

    Re: Question on New-to-4X5 Schooling

    The best thing I can recommend is just to take your camera and darkcloth out with nothing else. Don't worry about looking at anything interesting or making pictures. Then just play. See what front swing does vs. rear. See if you can use front tilt to get a near car, a mid-distance building, and a far mountain equally sharp. Try to find a modern building that has a lot of grid-like windows and see what you can do in terms of controlling converging lines or exaggerating them.

    Edit: I should also mention the other way this can be felt out really well. When I was at RIT we were still doing a lot of ad work on 4x5 chromes in the studio. The way camera movements were taught was to cover a section of seamless tabletop background and a few cardboard boxes with gridded contact paper. Then you basically do what I outlined above but on those objects in the studio. The grid lets you see focus and spacial distortions very clearly. Both ways will work fine.
    Last edited by C. D. Keth; 10-Mar-2020 at 09:47. Reason: Edited to describe another good method

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Apr 2015

    Re: Question on New-to-4X5 Schooling

    C. D. Keth is right.

    It's real easy to get confused when you are new and these guys are tossing around terms, instructions and suggestions. It is good information just difficult to visualize. I feel lucky to have begun this journey at the beginning of the internet and before I found "online help." There was an awesome old guy at a place in Albuquerque NM called Camera and Darkroom. He took me and my first monorail, Galvin 2.25x3.25, out to the front of the store and ran me through the movements. The most instructive 45 minutes I ever had with a view camera. He even gave me a couple used 2x3 sheet film holders, and 3 old filters for BW. The good ol' days.

    The best way to put visuals to what these guys are saying is to get your camera outside. Find a fence with open slats. Get a good dark cloth and start playing with movementlts like these guys are talking about. Aim your camera at different angles up and down the fence line. FInd a tall building and aim the camera up to see the converging lines then correct them. You don't have to burn film just see.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Annapolis, Maryland

    Re: Question on New-to-4X5 Schooling

    Thanks guys, this is helpful. So far, I've been just working to learn the camera and make pictures... with some tweaks here and there to see what they do. Confidence that I can get an exposure and dealing with the bellows and some of the other new-to-me with LF variables like loading film holders, unloading film holders, cleaning them out, loading a jobo 4X5 film reel for a 2520 tank, etc. The view adjustments are the next mountain to climb, and probably tackling one movement at a time wouldn't be a bad idea. Work it. Control it... and learn the next. Repeat and then do the compound stuff like the Shine on Harvest Moon Frug..... or whatever that Schein thing is. Thanks for the suggestions. Don't be afraid to keep them coming. The coming weekend is a weekend out-of-town visit to see my daughter so no near term progress, and plenty of time to think LF things so I don't drive her bat crazy... 'cause that's what parents do, right?

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