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Thread: About Joe Cornish and the scope of the Large Format Photography Forum

  1. #1

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    About Joe Cornish and the scope of the Large Format Photography Forum

    Note: A moderator cut this thread from 6 posts to 1 post because discussion about using a Phase One back or a medium format digital camera plus a view camera to make large format photographs is apparently banned here. The Joe Cornish video is allowed because he focuses on how he made the photograph rather than on the capture device. The rest of the thread was sent to The Lounge: https://www.largeformatphotography.i...-Digital-Backs

    There is discussion about this decision starting at post #2 below. The definition of large format photography has not been revisited here in almost nine years. According to the current definition, Joe Cornish is not a large format photographer and, if he joined this forum, he would be prohibited from discussing his Arca-Swiss view camera and digital back and from posting his photographs. This thread also linked a video by architectural photographer Andrew Latreille, in which he talked about his own Arca-Swiss camera and Phase One back, but it was sent to The Lounge because his video focused on the attributes of the camera.


    I didn't know that landscape photographer Joe Cornish is now using a Phase One digital back. However, that's incidental to the 22 minute video below, in which Cornish talks in detail about the photographic process and his decisions while making a landscape photograph in Scotland's Fisherfield Forest. Discussion about the resulting image from 14:00 to 22:00.

    Camera: Arca-Swiss
    Capture: Phase One XF IQ4 150MP digital back (image resolution 14204 x 10652)*
    Polariser and Graduated Neutral Density Filters: Lee Filters
    Tripod head: Arca-Swiss Cube
    Tripod: Pretty sure Gitzo
    * Photographer Alex Nail, who made the video, provides the Phase One info in the video's comments section.

    Britain's Greatest Landscape Photographer, Joe Cornish, in the field

    Last edited by r.e.; 28-Oct-2022 at 15:57.
    Arca-Swiss 8x10/4x5 | Mamaya 6x7 | Leica 35mm | Blackmagic Ultra HD Video
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  2. #2
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    Re: Joe Cornish, Andrew Latreille & Phase One Digital Backs

    The second post, about digital backs, spawned a discussion which has been moved to its own thread here:

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...-Digital-Backs

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    Re: Joe Cornish, Andrew Latreille & Phase One Digital Backs

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    The second post, about digital backs, spawned a discussion which has been moved to its own thread here:

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...-Digital-Backs
    Why The Lounge rather than Digital Hardware? You've moved five out of six posts to The Lounge that are directly related to using a Phase One back, or medium format digital camera, as the capture medium for a view camera.

    I considered both Style and Technique and Digital Hardware and concluded that Joe Cornish's technical discussion made the thread a good fit for the former. I realised that you might see it differently and send the whole discussion to Digital Hardware. But The Lounge? I didn't see that even as a possibility.

    There are now a number of discussions in this forum about using a digital sensor to digitise negatives or prints. I don't understand how that can be on topic, but digital capture with a sensor and view camera isn't. Is digital rather than film capture off limits in this forum? Is that why Andrew Latreille's video, using the same Phase One back as Cornish, was sent to The Lounge? Would Cornish's video, if he talked about using the Phase One back instead of how he composed the photo, also have been sent to The Lounge? Is talking about Cornish's decision to use a digital back off limits too?

    Anyway, I don't see any point in Cornish's video as a standalone thread. If that's what you want to do, you might as well delete the whole thread.
    Arca-Swiss 8x10/4x5 | Mamaya 6x7 | Leica 35mm | Blackmagic Ultra HD Video
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    Re: Joe Cornish, Andrew Latreille & Phase One Digital Backs

    Quote Originally Posted by r.e. View Post
    Why The Lounge rather than Digital Hardware? You've moved five posts to The Lounge that are directly related to using a Phase One back, or medium format digital camera, as the capture medium for a view camera.

    I considered both Style and Technique and Digital Hardware and concluded that Joe Cornish's technical discussion deserved the former. I think that it's better to put all six posts in Digital Hardware than to split them up, which just undermines an otherwise coherent discussion.

    There are now a number of discussions in this forum about using a digital sensor to digitise negatives or prints. I don't understand how that can be on topic, but digital capture with a sensor and view camera isn't. Is digital rather than film capture off limits in this forum? Is that why Andrew Latreille's video, using the same Phase One back as Cornish, was sent to The Lounge?
    From the top of our Guidelines/FAQ page, emphasis added:

    The primary objective of this forum is to support and expand the craft of large format photography, as defined here. The structure of the forum, and the guidelines (rules, often referred to as “terms of use”) are intended to further that goal for the long term within the confines of a non-commercial site, staffed by unpaid volunteers as moderators. We especially encourage questions which will help build a repository of knowledge about the tools and techniques of large format photography. Commonly accepted definitions base large format photography on 4"x5" and larger sheet film (or the 9x12 cm metric equivalent), regardless of the style of camera being used. This is the definition we will use. We would also consider a digital back with a nominal sensor size of 4"x5" or larger to be LF, as well, regardless of technology. Over time, these definitions and boundaries have changed. The current definition was established in September, 2014. Prior threads that no longer fit this definition will be moved to the appropriate forum only if new postings are made within them.

    This has been our consistent policy since our scope definition was last clarified in 2014. We had extensive discussion at the time about the implications of digital backs, technical view cameras, stitching, etc., for our scope of activity as a forum, and this is where we ended up.

    Within the Forum's defined scope, digital capture from negatives and prints is akin to enlargers and inkjet printers. They are all supporting tools for creating desired output formats - print or electronic display - from an original capture that meets our criteria for large format.

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    Re: Joe Cornish, Andrew Latreille & Phase One Digital Backs

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    We would also consider a digital back with a nominal sensor size of 4"x5" or larger to be LF, as well, regardless of technology. Over time, these definitions and boundaries have changed. The current definition was established in September, 2014.

    This has been our consistent policy since our scope definition was last clarified in 2014. We had extensive discussion at the time about the implications of digital backs, technical view cameras, stitching, etc., for our scope of activity as a forum, and this is where we ended up.
    This hasn't been updated for eight years, about to be nine? Really? The iPhone 5C was discontinued in 2015. We're now on iPhone 14.

    Who was making a 4"x5" sensor in 2014? A quick search suggests that the first commercially available one came onto the market last year, at a price that the vast majority of people won't be paying.

    The technology that this thread talked about before it was sent to The Lounge didn't even exist in 2014.
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    Re: Joe Cornish, Andrew Latreille & Phase One Digital Backs

    Quote Originally Posted by r.e. View Post
    The technology that this thread talked about before it was sent to The Lounge didn't even exist in 2014.
    Medium format digital cameras and backs, technical view cameras for use with digital backs, and processing software enabling techniques such as stitching have all improved by leaps and bounds since 2014. But they all existed in usable form at the time, and we had them very much in mind when we discussed the implications of digital capture for our scope. Nothing fundamental has changed since then.

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    Re: Joe Cornish, Andrew Latreille & Phase One Digital Backs

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    Medium format digital cameras and backs, technical view cameras for use with digital backs, and processing software enabling techniques such as stitching have all improved by leaps and bounds since 2014. But they all existed in usable form at the time, and we had them in mind when we discussed the implications of digital capture for our scope. Nothing fundamental has changed since then.
    There's something wrong with this picture. You are effectively saying that if Joe Cornish, one of the most important large format photographers in the world, joined this forum he couldn't talk about the camera that the uses. Same for Andrew Latreille. In my respectful view, this defies common sense and is ass-backwards.

    For all practical purposes, you have banned all discussion about digital capture. You do that by pretending that in 2014 the people who made this "decision" had in mind the state of technology in 2022.

    I'm just dumbfounded that the definition here of "large format" not only completely ignores actual practice, but has not been revisited in almost nine years.
    Arca-Swiss 8x10/4x5 | Mamaya 6x7 | Leica 35mm | Blackmagic Ultra HD Video
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    Re: Joe Cornish, Andrew Latreille & Phase One Digital Backs

    Quote Originally Posted by r.e. View Post
    There's something wrong with this picture. You are effectively saying that if Joe Cornish, one of the most important large format photographers in the world, joined this forum he couldn't talk about the camera that the uses. Same for Andrew Latreille. In my respectful view, this defies common sense and is ass-backwards.

    For all practical purposes, you have banned all discussion about digital capture.

    I'm just dumbfounded that the definition here of "large format" not only completely ignores actual practice, but has not been revisited in almost nine years.
    Where a given discussion belongs within the Forum is determined by where the topic to be discussed fits within our defined scope and organization. Famous and unknown; experienced and novice; former, current and prospective users of large format - all who wish to post are welcome, but all are subject to the same rules.

    We (moderators) are familiar with current technology and well aware of what you call "actual practice". I use digital medium format myself, along with other digital and film formats.

    But the identity and purpose of this Forum are rooted in a particular craft, and based on long and varied experience as photographers and as participants in and observers of photography discussion forums, those of us who shoulder the responsibility for maintaining this Forum have concluded that the distinctive contribution of this Forum to the photographic community is best sustained by defining its boundaries in the way that we have.

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    Re: Joe Cornish, Andrew Latreille & Phase One Digital Backs

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    ... those of us who shoulder the responsibility for maintaining this Forum have concluded that the distinctive contribution of this Forum to the photographic community is best sustained by defining its boundaries in the way that we have.
    I think that you should have just said that in the first place.

    I'm with Joe Cornish, and Alex Nail, who made the video. As far as I'm concerned, the idea that Joe Cornish is acceptable here as long as he talks in general terms about how he makes photographs, but not if he talks about his capture medium and Arca-Swiss view camera, beggars belief. It never even occurred to me that the owner of a forum that claimed to be about large format photography would decide that Cornish isn't a large format photographer, which is in fact what you've decided for the purposes of this forum. In the real world, I'd like to think that people here would consider themselves lucky if Cornish joined and participated, but given your "rules" there isn't the slightest prospect of that happening.

    Hey, it's your forum and you can do whatever you like, but in my view this comes from some kind of alternate universe.
    Arca-Swiss 8x10/4x5 | Mamaya 6x7 | Leica 35mm | Blackmagic Ultra HD Video
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    Re: Joe Cornish, Andrew Latreille & Phase One Digital Backs

    I have nothing more to add, other than that I will move this thread to the Feedback subforum because the discussion is about Forum policy.

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