8x10 and loving it

By Michael S. Pollak (pollak@gate.net) for the Large Format Page

I wade out into swamp waist deep to a good spot. I set up tripod. I adjust tripod. I wade back and get camera. Set camera on tripod. Level camera. Camera is to far from subject. Move camera and tripod. Relevel camera. wade back and get darkcloth and focusing loupe. Tripod has setteled into the mud, rerelevel camera. Spend 1/2 hour tring to focus. Getfocused. Wade back with cloth and loupe. get film plate and meter. Remember I forgot filter. Put down film and meter run back to car for filter. Wade back out. Install filter behind lens. Instaling filter messes up focusing. Go back for dark cloth and loupe. Refocusing this time only takes ten minutes. Wade back with loupe and cloth and repick up film and meter. meter area and do mental calculations figuring what zones fall where, what EV you want to put in shadows and highlights making a mental note to adjust development to N-1 to compress contrast of the negative density values of your highlights and figuring in adjustments in exposure for the installed filter, coming up with an exposure of f45 for 2 seconds, which means that you need to consider the reciprocity failure curve for the film you are using and ultimatly winging it at f45 for 4.5 seconds!!! Go back to shore because you for got cable release. wade back and install cable release. insert film holder into camera but you forgot to lockup all the camera movments and now your out of focus again (sigh). Wade back for cloth and loupe refocus and lock up all adjustments, carfully insert film and remove film slide. I forgot to close the lens apature and the film is over exposed before I took 1 picture. No problem, 2 sided film holder. Gently insert film slide and remove film holder gently turn holder over and reinsert side 2. Close lens apature, remove film slide, Cock the shutter and finaly whats the hells going on now . A cloud has covered the sun !!!!!! you get your meter and recheck your calculations this won't do . So you wait and wait a little longer, swat some mesquitoes , and wait and just when your ready to kick the whole mess into the drink, out pops the sun. Place apature on 45 set shutter to B look at your watch, ready set depress cable release, one , two, three, four, and a half.......release. Place dark slide back in to film holder. Remove film holder. take camera off tri pod. Wade back w/ camera. Wade back with tripod. Dry off self . Take the whole thing apart. hike it back to your car. replace film holder in back pack. wait a minute I,m holding film holder # 4. I exposed #4 five hours ago down the road. wade back out w/ tripod.........................Get home, place add in Shuterbug Clasifieds, drive to Walgreens and buy kodak disposable camera. (Just kidding, I left it all in the swamp!!!)

Well thats my life and I love it