Sounds like maybe the holder wasn't in the camera all the way and that, when you pulled the darkslide, it allowed the loading flap to open just enough that the darkslide wouldn't go in.
Just one more little thing to learn to check for!
That's what I would have thought too, but it's the first thing I checked. I've only used that holder a couple of times, though. I took note of which side it was and I will check it out before I load it again... and cross my fingers when I use it. (I know it's harder to use large format with fingers crossed, but I know some people who swear by it... I've also heard it helps to bite down a bit on the corner of your lip or your tongue when snapping the shutter. )
Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada
Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...
I drank the LF kool aid and it is all downhill from here I have found it can be very complicated if I want it to be. I have a tendency to over complicate things if at all possible.
I used to see LF as some sort of mystic art...i would read posts on LFF and marvel at the minutiae that seemed to be involved.
In April I did a workshop with Michael and Paula and suddenly I realized that it is not all that complicated or difficult at all. Of course I was working with folks who had done this for 30-40 years professionally but I suddenly saw the LF camera as a tool to realize a vision not a end unto itself.
There are some folks that enjoy the complexity that can be worked into LF while others just do it. In many ways it reminds me of fly fishing; another "complicated" art. Many folks are involved with the design and tying of flies; what they look like, where they live, what materials to use, what grass skirt to wear when tying the fly...others just want to go out and catch fish on a fly rod. Either approach is valid.
The biggest help for me was to shoot film...lots of it and to process that film immediately and review my notes while looking at the scan or neg. I bought a pile of shanghai 4x5 and went to town. Being able to immediately process the film at home was a big help.
We should hook up soon; on the 23rd we have a meeting in atlanta of our group. You and I could mess around with the 810 a bit if you like. I am far from an expert but i try hard.
LF can be as simple as any manual slr with a tilt shift lens. You don't have to use the tilt shift until you want to learn it, and you may never decide it is for you. Think of all those old press photos where those functions were never engaged. There is no denying it is clumsier however, and anytime you have to deal with dark slides etc. there is always the chance of fogging and double exposures, but I've never done any of those things
It can be. It doesn't need to be. So far I personally have had no problem using basic daylight exposure with a speed graflex outside. Studio requires some more work, but in my experience, a lot of outdoor or indoor natural light is just experience. Find one film you love and stick to it, and 99% of your work you can just thinkabout, set, and shoot. Unless you do reproductions or long extension work or long exposure, all the tables and nomographs and reciprocity settings aren't really going to intrude into your work.