Ever since I ended up with so many cameras that I started spending (well more like wasting) time considering which camera to take with me, I think it must've been when I got my Mamiya 645 package - I've turned away from wondering what camera will let you take the technically best picture, to thinking about how to premeditate what you're trying to shoot and when to pick the camera that let's you do that while at the same time not getting in the way of experimenting.

The 645 system taught me two things.

1. The MF folding camera I already had was way more amazing than I thought it was (considering I got it really cheap)

and (as somewhat of a contradictory statement to the first one)...

2. The SLR viewfinder is one of the greatest things to have on a portable camera (I.e. smaller cameras than large format) for composition, and not just because it's a modular system.

Because the thing is, even though I often try to put the Mamiya system to good use, there's just something about it that can make it slightly challenging as far as weight and size is concerned - and even though the folding camera is great, I still think that the SLR is the real "artists" tool as opposed to RF seeing as an SLR offers much more than just avoiding parallax, it also gives a larger better view of what you're taking a picture of as well as it's easier to get the focus right if you're working with manual focus (and seeing as this is analog photography, manual focus is pretty much what most people will have to deal with) - real compositional factors that I think matter more for the artistic control freak.

Now I've just recently discovered there's even a possibility for making money shooting analog MF for stock ( http://www.istockphoto.com/file_sear...&userID=359175 ) and even by sticking to black and white - something I'm considering trying for myself with a bit of practise being a bit nicer to my negatives and all that, but by that I find I need to find those motifs and situations when you can chose the medium format over smaller cameras.

So I'm asking: when do you shoot medium format? And I'm not just thinking of some simplified answer like: MF for studio and rangefinder MF for walkaround etc...
I'm thinking, how do you set yourself up for shooting medium format, how do you visualize a medium format picture - how do you manage to haul around a bigger camera that still allows you to see what you're doing without the size of it getting in your way?