Large Format course, November 2013

November 27, 2013

These images are from the Large Format course I taught at the Australian Centre for Photography, Paddington, in November 2013. Two 3 hour classes introducing students to the practical use of 4×5 and 8×10 field cameras for fine art photography. Film exposed during the course is scanned and put here for student review.


The ACP has a black and white darkroom so it is easy to expose paper negatives for testing and demonstration. This portrait test was made on Ilford Satin RC assuming about ISO 6. It is obviously underexposed compared to the film version, but has a strong feel to it. There is a lot of potential in paper negatives. If I was doing this as an end in itself I would test some fibre papers and also try pre-flashing to lower contrast. The paper neg was digitised by student Kellie – thanks for sending this to me. The underexposure was probably due to guessing the incorrect ISO of the paper but it also alerted me that we had neglected to consider bellows extension. The lens was a 300mm on an 8×10 Deardorff and measuring the distance from ground glass to shutter showed that we had to add 2/3 of a stop.

8x10 nov 2013 michael by kellie BLOG

This exposure was made on Ilford HP5 at f/8 @ 1/8 of a second. We added 1 stop for bellows extension and one stop because the film was to be processed in Rodinal which tends to not give full film speed. We spot metered the shadowed side of Michael’s face and set that to be one stop darker than a mid tone. Realistically that side of the face has exposed as a mid tone, so we probably slightly over compensated for both bellows and the Rodinal.

hp5 bottle still life f64 Rodinal nov2013 blog

Above is a still life made during the second class, using the Chamonix 45N2 4×5 camera with 150mm lens. We lost the best light due to the time taken to set up. Originally there was a vivid strip of sunlight running along the benchtop parallel with the wall, which would have given more drama to the area where the bottle is. By the time we made the exposure it had moved to the windowsill as seen here. This was HP5 exposed at f/64 to maximise depth of field. Processed in Rodinal 1+50 for 11 minutes.

hp5 LFclass bottle f8 rodinal blog

At f/5.6/8 to see how it looked with small depth of field.

45 instant nov2013 LF windows blog

hp5 LF nov2013 windows blog

Outdoors with Fuji instant and HP5. The camera was pointed up with as much rear and front tilt as we could manage to correct perspective and focus. The camera had plenty of movements but the lens ran out of coverage. The instant film is ISO 100 and the exposure was f/11 2/3 at 1/125 – pretty much Sunny 16. The HP5 was exposed at f/16 2/3 at 1/250 and processed in Adonal 1+50 for 14 minutes.

45 instant nov2013 carpark wall blog

hp5 LF nov2013 carark wall blog

Another outdoor one. Here the camera was level with just some front rise to get less ground and more wall. Exposure and dev were the same as for the previous windows photo.


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