A Matter of Perspective

Large Format Film Holders

Large Format Film Holders

Pay no attention to the man beneath the dark cloth . . . in an age when film is fading from memory and the darkroom resides on the desktop, laptop with hundreds or even thousands of dollars in software and presets to tone, distort, emulate or otherwise manipulate all those ones and zeros . . . . why choose to use film or paper or glass to make a photograph? So yes I stand a few yards off the roadside behind an antique camera that is older then myself (wouldn’t matter if it were new because other then the material it can be made from the tech “or lack there of” is the same today as it was 100 plus years ago) . . . I am peering at a dim inverted image on the frosted ground glass, it is something the brain gets used to and it really does help with composition.  I slowly rack the front standard holding the lens back and forth until I find the point of focus I want.  DOF is pretty narrow with a Large Format lens and the closer you get to your subject the shallower it becomes . . . even at f/64 . . . It has only been recently that the in thing is to shoot wide open (Minimum f/stop) and allow large parts of the subject to be out of focus . . . but see that’s the beauty of Large format . . . it is the ultimate photographic tool for the control freak . . . you can literally have the plane of focus follow the subject form so instead of a flat field of focus you can shift it to follow say a subjects shoulders that are diagonal to the camera making things to the right or left fall out of focus.  Shift the front up or down, right or left . . . twisting the plane to suit your mental idea and lead the viewer to a fanciful delight of perspective.

So what does this have to do with the lead in photo? Well take for example the smallest film holder (4×5), you get 2 shots per film holder so that’s 10 shots for 5 holders . . . 4×5 is not so bad to hike around with . . . 5×7 still isn’t bad . . . but hey go to 8×10 and you really add on the bulk.  Yes the film is huge in an 8×10, you can contact print and never have to use an enlarger . . . the equipment get heavier as you go up in size . . . think carrying a 600mm, 500mm, 300mm lens, with a pro body on each and a tripod plus any other support gear and you equal an 8×10 guy/gals load.  The old guys used a mule to haul their Large format gear around . . . today well trust me I wouldn’t hump that load up a mountain . . . roadside photography (I consider 100 yards of the road as roadside) is enough when I am out with my Large Format gear, and I am just beefing about 4×5.

10 shots is a good days worth of shooting and I don’t always make that goal . . . film is expensive so there is the reason for the shift to paper for my negatives (5 x 7 and 8 x 10) . . . I never was one to shoot hundreds or thousands of digital shots, but some do.  Large format photography is a slow contemplative process and not just because of the cost.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain !!! so says the Great and Powerful Wizard of OZ!

“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain !!! so says the Great and Powerful Wizard of OZ!”

No pay no attention to him, he is an antique just like the equipment he uses . . . why you could make the same photo on your iOS or Android device and move on to the next shot before he ever burns one exposure.  I’ve heard it all . . . sigh . . . even my inspirational influences are used by name to ridicule the craft of my style . . . and then the utterance is made . . . “No worries, I’ll fix it, change it, make it look just like yours in Photoshop” , “who needs film anyway” as they click away nonstop . . . just like their endless dribble pouring forth from their mouths.

It’s ok, I wont bust a vein or anything, LOL, I just smile and nod knowingly . . . at the end of the day, I am please with myself . . . and that my friend is all that counts.

all a matter of perspective

It’s . . . All . . .  a matter of perspective


5x7 View Camera with 3 early lenses

5×7 View Camera with 3 early lenses

Gowland 4x5

Gowland 4×5



Horseman 450 Large Format camera with H-20 Sliding back

Horseman 450 Large Format camera with H-20 Sliding back


and the many other film choices I use . . . from 35mm

Balda Jubilette, 35mm film camera

Balda Jubilette, 35mm film camera


120 Roll Film Backs 6x7, 6x9, 6x12 for the Graflock system

120 Roll Film Backs 6×7, 6×9, 6×12 for the Graflock system


Medium Format ruled for a long time . . .

Medium Format ruled for a long time . . .

120 film still lives, my Hassey

120 film still lives, my Hassey


From 35mm to 4"x5" cameras

From 35mm to Large Format cameras . . . digital, film . . . pinhole, fixed lens or other.

Yes film still lives around my house . . . I enjoy it for what it is.   I do shoot digital and enjoy it as well but in the end these are all just tools, a means to an end . . . it is the 6″ behind the viewfinder that makes the photograph.

yes a matter of perspective.  Get out, get off your butt.  You can make picture and never leave your home,you make it yours, color outside the lines, step out of the box . . . own it.

nuff said . . . like this? pass it on.

Digipainter  . . . . aka Tim Scott


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