Large Format Fun

If you follow me on Twitter—and I don't know who reads this other than people who follow me on Twitter—you'll know I have been shooting large format film for the past few months. All that means is that I am using cameras that expose "sheet film," or film that ranges from (approximately) 2 inches wide and 3 inches tall to 8 inches wide and 10 inches tall.  

My camera—a Graflex Crown Graphic refurbished by the good folks at Blue Moon Camera—shoots 4x5 film. It is an interesting piece of equipment; a "press camera" used originally for photojournalism. It has three ways to focus: A rangefinder, ground glass for through the lens focusing, and scale focusing for those of you who can accurately judge distance (I can't). My rangefinder was misaligned, and the mechanism to realign it was broken, so I removed it. This makes handheld focusing somewhat difficult but it's still doable. That said, I've taken to using the camera on a tripod, to maximize sharpness and take advantage of the detail that's possible to capture with such large negatives.

These photos were taken handheld and with a tripod. They aren't my first large format photos, but they are the first ones I'm willing to share. The films are Ilford HP5 Plus for black and white, and Fuji Provia 100f for color. I don't think these are technically great shots, but I am excited to improve my technique here.