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Thread: Planning a brief course on the history of large format photography

  1. #1

    Ressources for a brief history of large format photography

    I am planing a little one-day course that is supposed to introduce large format photography to amateur photographers and other „photo enthusiasts“. The idea is to show what is different compared to „regular“ photography they might be used to. And even do do a little hands-on.

    At the beginning I would like to start off with a very brief history of large format photography, being the origin of photography itself, starting with the camera obscura and ending with today‘s renaissance. Just, maybe 6 or 7 PowerPoint slides.

    Are you aware of a good text that sums this up quite well for this type of audience? Do you have any research or other tips on how to compile some slides for this without too much research effort?
    Last edited by Kornscharfsteller; 10-Oct-2021 at 10:36.

  2. #2

    Camera overview for a brief course introducing large format photography

    I am planing a little one-day course that is supposed to introduce large format photography to amateur photographers and other „photo enthusiasts“. The idea is to show what is different compared to „regular“ photography they might be used to and to have a little hands-on too.

    Somewhere at the beginning I would also like to give a very brief overview of types, categories and brands of large format cameras that exist, nothing too fancy, just an good overview that fits on 6 or 7 PowerPoint slides.

    Do you have any tips on how to compile such an overview? Is there maybe text or book that sums this up well?
    Last edited by Kornscharfsteller; 10-Oct-2021 at 10:43.

  3. #3
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: A brief overview of large format cameras

    There are plenty of books on this.

    I'd start with The Camera by Ansel Adams

    For the second part of your question check out Using The View Camera by Steve Simmons.

    I am sure that someone else here will be able to suggest a resource found on line or accessible from a smart phone.
    Drew Bedo
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  4. #4
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: A brief history of large format photography

    There is a great history of early lens development (through 1939) to be found in "Handbook of zphotogrspphy' by Henney and Dudley. "View Camera Magazine had a twompart series on lens history too back in the 2K decade.
    Drew Bedo
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    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  5. #5
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Camera overview for a brief course introducing large format photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Kornscharfsteller View Post
    I am planing a little one-day course that is supposed to introduce large format photography to amateur photographers and other „photo enthusiasts“. The idea is to show what is different compared to „regular“ photography they might be used to.

    Somewhere at the beginning I would also like to give a brief overview of types, categories and brands of large format cameras that exist.

    Do you have any tips on how to compile such an overview? Is there maybe text or book that sums this up well?
    The Ansel Adams book is over 40 years old, and doesn't cover the newer cameras that might appeal to today's photographers. Also, some space is devoted to smaller cameras. However, to us Ansel Adams fans, his books are treasured because they hint at the man himself. The Simmons book (2015) should be fairly up-to-date. My 1987 edition was a good introduction to LF photography.

  6. #6

    Re: Camera overview for a brief course introducing large format photography

    A book called “Looking At Photographs” was written by John Szarkoski who was the Director of the photographic collection at MOMA deals with 100 photographs from the museum’s archives. It has short essays (one page) about each photograph and at the vary least details the evolution of early photography. Oh sure the book was published in 1973 but many of the photographs were over 100 years old at that time.

  7. #7

    Re: A brief history of large format photography

    I don’t want to go into very much details on lens development just an overall simple overview of everything that fits on 6 or seven slides.

  8. #8

    Re: Camera overview for a brief course introducing large format photography

    I was hoping for something brief, quick and dirty that doesn’t require reading full books. It is just a very little part of the course, I will be talking about this like maybe for 15 minutes max.

  9. #9

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    Re: Camera overview for a brief course introducing large format photography

    Like this? (I gooogled "large format cameras" and this was one of the first hits; there were others.)

    https://www.alexburkephoto.com/blog/...era-and-lenses

  10. #10
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    Re: Camera overview for a brief course introducing large format photography

    Large format cameras exist in at least all of these flavors. There are borderline cases where you can argue which category a particular model belongs in. No doubt I'm missing some types:

    Studio monorail cameras
    Field monorail cameras
    Folding wooden field cameras
    Non-folding wooden field cameras
    Folding metal field cameras
    Press or "technical" cameras with and without rangefinder
    Architectural cameras with helical focus mounts and parallel movements
    Box cameras with helical focus mounts
    Box cameras with fixed focus - hyperfocal (typically wide angle lenses) or aerial/infinity (typically longer lenses)
    Single-lens reflex cameras
    Twin-lens reflex cameras

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