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  1. #1
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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    Thinking about giving up.

    I'm having a horrible time justifying keeping the Speed Graphic and other related gear. I've been going back and forth for about a week on it. The skinny, really, is this.

    I don't have time. I really don't. I can't shoot what I want to shoot with it because there just isn't time enough right now. There may be in the future when I no longer have a really small child, but I'm wanting to spend more and more time playing and entertaining her and less and less on elaborate photography projects. Lately I've been so excited about the prospect of doing some alternative process stuff that I've forgotten to ask myself when I'm going to be able to even do any of it. I've been having a hard time finding the time to go down and develop film let alone coat paper myself.

    I'm starting to ask myself what's important. I mean, yeah, I should take time to myself. This, right here, is time to myself. But when Rinoa is awake and active I want to be there, not in the basement developing 12 sheets of film 4 at a time.

    I'm thinking that sticking to 35mm and 120 right now is a good idea. Rollfilm is easier for me to process. You get more shots per roll. It's more portable. The lenses are faster. These are all things I need right now with a small child.

    So yeah. Just ranting. Asking for thoughts as well, though. I know it's a decision I have to make for myself. Maybe a little support from other parents who shoot large format will help.
    No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.

  2. #2
    glbeas's Avatar
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    If you pack the gear away properly with dessicant and a good cleaning you can bring it back out anytime you feel ready and resume your efforts.
    Even so they were called Speed Graphics for a reason, with practice they can be used as quickly as some medium format cameras using the rangefinder. And it sounds like you need a 12 sheet Nikor tank for your film, that or a rollfilm back.
    Gary Beasley

  3. #3

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    Stephanie,

    Been there, done that, kind of anyway. My photography work was at its height back before I was married. Marriage slowed it down quite a bit, then when the kids came along, the dark room and processing film almost stopped - actually it did stop a few times for extended intervals. During those times I just shot 35mm slides and prints. Every few years I'd get the 2 1/4 TLR out and get some nice B&W of the kids doing activities. My Speed Graphic hasn't been out in 20 years, but that's about to change. I just bought some new film last week.

    Yes, it takes time and it's time you don't have now, but don't give up completely. Just pack most of it away (Don't sell it. You'll regret it later.) and keep handy whatever you want to use to capture images of your child. You'll probably have to cut way back on your dark room work.

    The times when children are small actually go by very fast, at least when you reflect back 15 years or more from now. It may not seem like it at the time though. Now that my kids are teenagers, I like to think that I have more time to get back into photography, but it's sure not like before I was married. I'm trying to get them interested in shooting film now.

    Good luck.

    Dave

  4. #4
    bobwysiwyg's Avatar
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    If you pack the gear away properly with dessicant and a good cleaning you can bring it back out anytime you feel ready and resume your efforts.
    +1
    WYSIWYG - At least that's my goal.

    Portfolio-http://apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=25518

  5. #5
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Another vote for keeping the gear for another day. Make it a special-event occasion to break it out once or twice a year (do a family photo at Christmas, on Rinoa's birthday, etc), so you can continue to get value from having it.

  6. #6
    Laurent's Avatar
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    I know how you feel. My son is 4 now, and the time I spend with him is more valuable than anything else. I cannot live without photography, so I still do some "projects" (kind of, not really structured, not too demanding).

    I was on the same path about LF some months ago, and was almost ready to sell all my gear. i finally decided to wait a little, kept it in the closet and used the TLRs more. LF is more for the holidays, when I have more time with my family and can therefore spend some for me also. But I think it would have been a huge mistake to completely quit LF.

    When Thomas was younger, I had less time, now I can go for a walk with him, and take the Yashica and make a few pics while he's playing around. That's one of the reasons why my photography is very linked to river Loire at the moment.

    I also rant from time to time, but at the end of the day I'm enriched spending time with him and could not do without.

    Just my thoughts.
    Laurent

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  7. #7
    Stephanie Brim's Avatar
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    One thing I've considered is keeping the lenses, but selling the body. The other thing I've considered is that if I'm only going to be shooting when I have a decent amount of time, why not go ahead and make the plunge upward in format when I finally do go back to shooting? I'm more interested in alternative processes every day. I can see myself taking the time, when I have time, to do something like that. Adam won't be working overtime forever and I really am trying to get more serious about what I want to do with photography. Starting this spring, I plan to take Rinoa out every day on a walk, and I plan to do a few things in a makeshift upstairs "studio" to further my education of lighting and composition.

    This is the first time in my life that I've been pondering the idea of selling something where the motive isn't financial need. It's more the fact that I don't like to just let equipment sit.
    No idea what's going to happen next, but I'm hoping it involves being wrist deep in chemicals come the weekend.

  8. #8
    Andrew Moxom's Avatar
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    Stephanie, I would also advise you to keep the gear unless you want to use the funds to get your enlarger that you are needing? MF and 35mm will get you by for sure in the interim, but I would still advise keeping your gear and using it when you can. I was in a similar boat to you when my daughter was born back in 2003. 4x5 and MF gear, not being used very much, I had no time for taking images let alone printing anything as I was busy with the new born and other family related time that is required. I was contemplating going digital after I felt guilty having so much gear sitting around doing nothing. At that point, I found APUG 2 years ago and decided upon keeping my gear. Now my daughter is 5 and I use my gear more now than I ever did than when I did not have kids. So I know you can make it work if you adjust your life to allow for it, but it is your decision afterall. Again, I would keep your speedy for future stuff.
    Please check out my website www.amoxomphotography.com and APUG Portfolio .....

  9. #9

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    Good Afternoon, Stephanie,

    I have a number of cameras I haven't used in years--including a Miniature Speed Graphic. Absent a sudden, pressing financial requirement, I don't even consider disposing of any of them. Partly that's because of persistent GAS-related tendencies, but also, I guess, just because I tend to be a keeper (old photo magazines going back to the 1960's for example) instead of a discarder. I figure the old Speed Graphic may just come in handy someday because replacing the Raptar lens and its iffy shutter wouldn't be much problem should the "need" to do so someday strike me.

    Even if you don't use the Speed Graphic for years--or decades--what's the problem in keeping it? It can sit at the back of a closet for a long time without the slightest difficulty and probably still function when you re-discover it. On the other hand, if you an absolute desire to say good by to it, I'd be glad to take it off your hands!

    Konical

  10. #10

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    hey stephanie

    i can see how you feel as though the extra cameras
    are deadweight, especially in this bad economy .
    not to mention you don't have time or energy to shoot with it.
    im not sure if you still have the view camera, i would get rid of IT, and keep
    the speed put away until you have more of a chance to use it.
    it took a while, seemed more like an eternity, before i had the time to shoot
    with a large format camera, our youngest is 4 now ...
    but it gets easier and you will somehow find more time to do the camera thing ...
    but i have to admit, i shoot rolls a lot more( 35, and 1/2 frame), and a graflex slr mostly,
    which is almost like a roll film camera and i shoot it like one

    good luck with what ever you decide to do ..

    john
    silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
    artwork often times sold for charity
    PM me for details

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