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  1. #1
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Travelling with large format

    Well, I´ve gone and done it. I´m now in Argentina, dragging the Canham 5x7 across Buenos Aires. This thing draws more attention than a 20 lb barrel of honey draws flies. Wow... Every place I´ve hauled it out, I´ve been approached by people asking a jillion questions about it. Also, just about everywhere I´ve taken int out, I´ve been approached within minutes by security guards of some kind or other, asking if it is being used professionally. ( I guess they get that idea from the tripod ). Good news, though, every one so far has bought the excuse that I´m just a crazy amateur who enjoys torturing himself carrying 30 lbs of camera gear around for kicks. Just remember this as your official mantra when on the road overseas with large format: " I´m just an amateur, on vacation". Say that four times slowly, in the worst diction, grammar and pronunciation possible in the local language.
    Actually, better to be able to converse in the local dialect with some degree of fluency - I suspect a working knowledge of Spanish has saved my fat from the fire at least twice today.

    Funny, when I was on my way back to my hotel this afternoon, I stopped in this Buenos Aires Design shopping mall where they have a whole bunch of home decor stores, looking for a coke or something cold to drink. I got stalked by a security guard who approached me and warned me that it was prohibited to take photos inside the mall. I told him I was just carrying my gear, and looking for a place to sit for a moment. He then walked away and was fine.

    I went both today and yesterday to Recoleta cemetery, which is a photographers paradise. You could easily spend a week in there and just scratch the surface. This is the place I want to go when I die, as if you can get in, you will truly live forever there. Between the locals and the tourists, there´s a crowd in there all day every day. There are tombs dating back to the early 1820s, and some rare few that look like they were just built recently. There are some monuments that are nothing more than a headstone inside an iron fence, and then there are some that rival Napoleon´s crypt in Paris. Heck, they don´t rival. They supercede.

    Yesterday, I also went to La Boca, which is this famous slum in Buenos Aires, known for the brightly decorated houses made of corrugated tin. This neighborhood could also be a Large Format photographers paradise, because of the textures of things, but not for someone to wander by their lonesome. It is still a rough lower class neighborhood, and you´d stand out like a sore thumb there with ANY kind of camera. I shot there with my 35mm (contax G1) which worked out quite well. Another day, when I have someone to watch my back, I want to go shoot the abandoned ships on the river. Maybe tomorrow, with a friend of mine who lives here and has promised to take me out shopping and things.

  2. #2
    roteague's Avatar
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    Have a great trip. Looking forward to seeing some of your work when you return.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  3. #3
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Robert-

    I did shoot COLOR of all things, in the 35mm. There is some good news out there at least in this front. Here in Argentina, it is very easy to get good, inexpensive color development. Kodak just about owns the market here. I got three rolls developed and printed, 5x7 prints, AND a CD of each roll, for $30 total.

  4. #4
    colrehogan's Avatar
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    Sounds like you're having a lot of fun. Looking forward to seeing some great pics when you get back.
    Diane

    Halak 41

  5. #5
    Sportera's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great time.

    I am traveling at the end of the month and wanted to bring my 4x5, however Southwest airlines only allows bags of 10x14x22 dimensions as carry on. My photo Trekker is bigger than that. My plan right now is to pack the 4x5 in a smaller bag (a Domke F1x) and check the big back pack, also pack my tripod in my checked luggage.

    How did you get your gear on the plane? Any tips?

  6. #6
    athanasius80's Avatar
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    Go to a milonga for me! Last time I did LF travel I threw my 4x5 in my backpack and called it a day.

  7. #7

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    Great to hear you are doing great i Argentina. You are making me feel nostalgic! I've been to the Recoleta cemetery and it is amazing. It is like a neiborhood for the dead. A little like a mini walled city that opens to tourists and locals daily.

    Yes, go a milonga. Eat empanadas, pizza and beef. Come back home a couple of pounds heavier and share the photographs.

  8. #8
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    I got all my 5x7 kit (the Canham, five lenses, light meter, darkcloth, and loupe) in a Pelican backpack/bag that fits inside one of their 1550 series hard cases (just in case there was a problem). The film holders and tripod went in my suitcase. The film went in another over-the-shoulder bag that was my 2nd carryon. It went flawlessly. I just had that strange experience with the customs inspector who wanted to know how much my camera cost. One good thing, everyone looking at it thinks it must be ancient, so nobody bothers me about is it new and am I bringing in goods to resell.

    I´ve done the beef, and done the pizza. Haven´t been to a milonga or had an empanada yet. Probably this weekend. Tried to go to Cafe Tortoni tonight, but the line was out the door and around the block. I´ll save it for a weeknight or something. Tomorrow is San Telmo Antiques Fair, and hopefully some camera shopping, as there are supposed to be some old camera dealers in the neighborhood around the fair.

  9. #9

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    Earlier this year I went to Italy (from Australia) with a Horseman 45FA, Hasselblad 500CM, EOS 3, and several lenses for each. Every component with glass in it (lenses, Horseman back, Hasselblad and Canon bodies) went into my Photo Trekker backpack, with large quantities of film. Everything else, included the Horseman body without back, went into the checked luggage. It survived.

  10. #10
    Monophoto's Avatar
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    "I´ve done the beef, and done the pizza. Haven´t been to a milonga or had an empanada yet. Probably this weekend"

    My recollections of Argentina include the beef, tomatoes that really have flavor, and medoc.
    Louie

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