I just came on this thread; delighted to see the mention of Nixon. I saw a show of his at MOMA some years back where he photographed sequences of images of AIDS victims as their condition progressively worsened. The whole thing was done with the 8x10, but the fluidity was such that it could have been 35mm - with all the qualities that the 8x10 can bring forth when used in a masterly way.
Originally Posted by pelerin
It was a stunning show. I will never forget it.
the beautiful thing about shooting 8x10 is that it can be
an over produced broadway play that no one wants to see.
elaborate set-up, metering lighting, costumes ( fashion ) ..
but in the end it is just one of those things were you know have
your subject just like you want them, they are looking blankly at you
as you fool around with the camera for 20minutes to make sure you have the lens
set up right, and the camera stopped down, tilted, swung shifted &C just right ..
then you stand aside, pull the dark slide
and spend 15 minutes getting the right expression out of your model, and they moved from the big
X you put on the floor with masking tape so they are out of focus.
you shoot another few film holders, process the film
and realize the you were so hell-bent on the technical aspects of everyitng
that they were all mistakes ( even scratched up when you developed them in the tray )
and they are the so much better than you had expected, you really like
what is going on. the image isn't about the model and her fashion but about
something else -- the texture, the moment and everything else you were't thinking about.
I never personally experienced a course with the great Ralph Hattersley, but a friend who did mentioned that one of his assignments was snot on a doorknob and it had to be just gorgeous. Another artist that comes to mind here is Frederick Sommer.
Originally Posted by 2F/2F
Originally Posted by 2F/2F
Of course we are, as usual, about 90 degrees out of phase. I like your idea of the turd. When I worked at a college darkroom after my stint at NESOP (it was a work study program while I got my engineering degree) I often told students the same thing. Do the damned work the prof requires, and don't give a crap about whether the prof would like it or not. It's your work. Make it technically perfect and artistically yours.
as far as lf arrogance... life is.
tim in san jose
Where ever you are, there you be.
Sometimes the format is driven by other considerations than Ansel Adam cloning. I work in most LF's but principally 8X10 and the reasons are for lack of a better word, brute force. Let me explain. I find the difference in tonality and smoothness noticable even between 4X5 and 8X10. And I also need cameras large enough to hold up the f4 portrait lenses that achieve the softness, smoothness, and tonality that I am after. The math is easy. A 16Inch f4 lens is 4 inches of glass and 12 pounds of brass. But the effect on a large sheet of film contact printed is still set apart from anything a computer can achieve. On my web pages there are some feeble attempts to illustrate what I'm talking about. I doubt Adams, Weston, or Mortensen would have paid a minutes attention to what I'm doing in 8X10.
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So, I guess I'm the "prof". Here's a quote from my syllabus:
Originally Posted by k_jupiter
"Students sometimes try to ﬁgure out what I like on the theory that if they give me what I like, I will give them their "A". This is severely misguided; if you approach this course from that point of view (and many people do), I can guarantee that you will do poorly. I don't give good grades for what I like. I sometimes give good grades for what I don't like at all, or even hate. I give good grades for what makes me think, learn something, or experience something new. Work that challenges my level of being, work that shows insight from which I can learn or which disturbs my complacency; these earn my respect. Show me That! Your puppy will give you an "A" if you give him a dog biscuit. I am not your puppy. If you grill me to ﬁnd out what I like, you will show me that you think I am your puppy. I do not like that, and you may not like the way I respond. This drives a few students nuts. If this is true for you, it will be your particular personal task this quarter to understand it. Have fun. It may very well set you free. "
"however this semester at my college I have to take an LF class and use an 8x10 camera."
You will not get any sharper than modern medium format, optics and film flatness win out.
4x5 will add tonality from the larger negs.
8x10 has the sharpness, tonality and adds spacial 3 dimensionality to the shot.
8x10 has noticeably less DOF and will go from wide angle distortion to telephoto compression faster than one would think.
I hope you have a selection of lenses to play with from 240 - 600mm. Try a full length and head shot with each lens matching them on the GG moving the camera and compare the prints to see the difference.
Have fun playing with it.
That's rather an inaccurate statement based on myth not facts.
Originally Posted by phfitz
Wide angle lenses on LF cameras have far less distortion than comparable MF lenses with the possible exception of the Hasslelblad SWA.
Originally Posted by phfitz
Ulrich, thanks for the link. He's got a great studio space, as pictured in the link to follow.
Originally Posted by Ulrich Drolshagen
Can anyone tell me what camera he is using in this image?
I don't know my LF gear by sight too well--it looks like it has a rangefinder of some sort (like on a Crown Graphic) on the side of the camera to the photographer's right.
Notice the strip lights to his right, in the background. Or are those reflectors? Kino-flo's?
Somebody school me please!
Again I tell you: the reasons why people used 8x10 for early fashion photography are not necessarily the same reaosns why one would do it today.
I do not think that one resorts to 8x10 today because one needs more sharpness or detail. Better tonality and focus transitions, yes, but the high frequency information isn't that much better than you can get with slightly smaller formats or even med format. Yes, there is more detail in 8x10 relative to med format, but the gain is pretty minor if you are merely printing to magazine sizes.
In the time of Mortensen et al., you [probably] wanted a big neg simply because you could work very easily with it. Also the quality of film and lenses and overall stability of the camera were such that there probably was a much bigger gain in going to 8x10 then than there is now. Nowadays that big neg costs you a lot of money and time, relative to what you can do with smaller formats, so you'd better meditate on why you're doing it in the first place. IMHO the cost per photograph can be a good thing if you're thinking about it the right way. But you need to find your own way to think about it. Personally, the idea of recreating some historical look is of zero interest- what's done is done and if I want that photograph then I will buy the print. Life is too short to shoot the same shit over and over. There are many much better reasons to use 8x10.
Mike, offhand that looks like a technika with a coupled RF.
Last edited by keithwms; 01-12-2009 at 09:08 AM. Click to view previous post history.