Help for a LF Novice
As part of my university work I'm doing a project that will involve a lot of architecture imagery and obviously I need to make them the best I can.
I can handle 35mm and MF no problem but the general opinion is that LF is the way to go for getting the best shots of buildings. I assume the main reason for that is for perspective tilt/shift correction. All of which I'm familiar with in concept.. but never have tried.
I should add that I'm a Journalism and Editorial Design student taking an elective photography module so I'm having to work extra hard on some skills and self teach to an extent.
Which is where you guys come in, I can get hold of LF gear from university but never having used it I was hoping you guys would help me with advice etc.
Thanks in advance
I would seek out a faculty member who can show you how to use the gear. If the school has a camera system, but no one one staff who knows how to use it, I'd seek out a local professional photographer who has used LF gear and pick his or her brain.
The secret is to keep the rear of the camera parallel to the structure you wish to photograph to prevent "keystoning." Then you should parallel the front standard (where the lens is) to the rear standard (where the film goes). That's the basics.
One of the advantage of LF is you can look at the ground glass and see things easier. The glass is just bigger.
Get a camera and a normal lens. Set it up and play with the controls. See what happens.
Sadly the staff are snowed under to show someone basics. I might be able to get one of the technicians to show me some stuff but not sure how much. Also anything I need to know about working with LF outdoors.. I imagine it's rather more cumbersome and less mobile than my SLR's and TLR.
Am I right in thinking the film isn't in rolls?
The technicians at your University should be able to show you how to use an LF camera, and also how the movements work, I add to Nicks suggestion and get a wide-angle as well as a normal lens.
Have a look at the free pages on the View Camera site, they are quite good.
You don't say where you are, but maybe there's an APUGer nearby who can help in a pinch. The intro pages at http://www.largeformatphotography.info/
might be helpful, too.
Originally Posted by Katier
Wind. It can be a bit like a kite on bad days.
Light bouncing up under the darkcloth.
My 8x10 with a lens is not much different in weight then my Mamiya. The 8x10 might be lighter. It really depends on the LF camera and the SLR you are comparing it to.
Rolls are only used in rollfilm holders [120 film]
Thankyou everyone, I've updated my profile/location. I'm actually at Wolverhampton University.
On a related note I also have a seperate project where I will be doing a studio shoot creating images of people/person dressed up as a WWI soldier for some posters I'm designing. As I'll be working at probably A2 size, maybe even A1, would you reccomend LF for that too or thing MF will be fine?
Kat, I'd volunteer to help you with the LF side, but I'm not back in the UK for about a fortnight, will be 15 miles from Wolverhampton.
For the WWI shoot it might lose atmosphere being shot LF, don't I remember you buying a Yashica LM ? That would be ideal.
You remember very well Ian :) and love it too :)
Ironically I live 15 miles from wolves too (just commute there for uni ).
I plan on doing the buildings in three stages.
Stage one will be recceing suitable buildings and taking initial test shots using my *SLR :P (I'm sure you can guess the missing letter) so I can visualise the buildings etc. quickly and easilly.
Stage two will be planning the end result (it's actually going in a brochure type thing - highlighting the benefits of re-using buildings rather than demolishing and putting some concrete monstrosity up instead ) so figuring out which buildings I'll use etc.
Stage three will be shooting them properly with LF and probably will take place in about 2-3 weeks ( the hand in is week 13, we're in week 9 next week, but have easter too ).