Long live Ed "Big Daddy" Roth!!
"I don't care about Milwaukee or Chicago." - Yvon LeBlanc
Re: Why do you shoot LF?
I like that it slows me down. And it's so much easier for me to develop. I friggen hate loading film onto a spool. I suck at it.
Most of my work could not be taken with anything else than a LF camera. Because a large negative is part of my work flow and personal process.
Just duplicating the image with a MF negative (even exactly) would create a different final product, because the entire process would be different, from going out to photograph to the hanging of the image on the wall.
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.
Sure, just click on my name over in the left-hand column and click "view gallery uploads," and most of the images I've posted are large format.
Originally Posted by fastw
You can also check my flickr stream.
These are all 8x10-- http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/tags/8x10/
These are all 4x5-- http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/tags/4x5/
Or parsed another way, these are all albumen prints (one is MF, the rest LF)-- http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidag.../tags/albumen/
But don't you think becoming a slave to technical perfection can be a hindrance to creating a work of art? I'm not really disagreeing with you, Ken (competence in use of materials IS important), but sometimes it's best just to let go, and do...
Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick
I think this is sort of a chicken/egg question. One needs the technical proficiency to create art, and one also needs the artistic vision to fully utilize the technical proficiency. I don't think either successfully works in a vacuum.
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Just started with 4x5. To me it is has been fun so far. I am a big fan of 35mm and personally I think if I am to give up the benefits of 35mm it must give me something much better to offset. Medium format is only marginal for me.
I got into 5x4 because the shooting experience is different. Not only is it slower, but the camera itself works in a very different way (compared to 35mm or medium format) with the groundglass and bellows focusing and so on. It also seems like a much more "streamlined" or "pure" way of photography, reading about large format has made me understand some of the aspects and techniques of photography that I didn't before.
I'm pretty sure there's very little that *can* *be* done in one format and not another, except for things directly tied to the size of the image on film (you can't make an 8x10" contact print from a 35mm negative), but that doesn't mean different formats don't have different strengths. You *could* set up a 35mm camera with a very, very fine lens in a tilt-shift arrangement, use an extremely high-resolution film, and carefully calibrate the position of the film so that you could cut the frames apart in the dark and process them all individually with different development. You could...but you wouldn't, because it would be a ridiculous mismatch between the tool and the job.
I solarize negatives occasionally and I contact print, so LF has obvious attractions. For me, the movements aren't a huge deal most of the time, but when you need them you need them, and obviously for many LF shooters they're a critical working tool.
San Diego, CA, USA
The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
-The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_
Back in college, I worked in the rare books and collections area of the UGA library. One of their holdings was an 8x10 contact print of an Ansel Adams winter snow scene in Yosemite. It was the single most beautiful print I had ever seen, and I've never seen anything that surpassed it in terms of physical beauty. It was like looking through a window into another dimension.
I got seriously choked up! Large format haas never quite worked for what I want to do as a photographer, but it's always been a dream to work that way. I particularly admire Paul Strand's jewel like portraits, contact printed at 5"x6".
Yes, I do.
Originally Posted by eddie
But that's not the context in which Clive chose to frame his question. He chose to explicitly limit the possibilities to either "art" OR "just photographic technical perfection." With the "just" seemingly tipping his personal preference.
I simply logically extended his question into converse equivilency in a bid for confirming clarity.
"When making a portrait, my approach is quite the same as when I am portraying a rock. I do not wish to impose my personality upon the sitter, but, keeping myself open to receive reactions from his own special ego, record this with nothing added: except of course when I am working professionally, when money enters in,—then for a price, I become a liar..."
— Edward Weston, Daybooks, Vol. II, February 2, 1932