Large Format class May 2017

June 24, 2017

In May 2017 I taught a one day introduction to large format photography class at the National art School, Darlinghurst for the Australian Centre for Photography. I followed my usual structure of beginning with a 4×5 camera photographing architecture with paper negs and film negs, followed by portraiture with an 8×10 camera, again with paper and film.

Above and below are the paper and film versions of the same scene. The film was Ilford HP5 rated at 400 and the paper was Foma glossy RC rated at 6. I know it’s better to use matt paper and that it can be flashed to lower contrast, but I couldn’t find any matt and the paper was just an easy way to demonstrate the basic concepts of film loading and processing. The camera was a Chamonix 045-N2 with Rodenstock Apo Sironar N 150mm lens. This is a good, sharp lens but I wish it had more image circle to allow for movements, this is particularly obvious in the photo below that used a fair bit of front rise. The film in the exposure below also has some extreme fingerprint marks – I recall one of the students having a lot of problems getting the film in the holder so i think it was handled with some sweaty and perhaps chemical stained fingers.

Below is a scan of a paper negative made with a 360mm Apo Ronar Rodenstock f/9 lens at f/9 on a Deardorff 8×10 camera.

Below is a scan of the HP5 neg scan. I prefer the pose in the paper neg shot and don’t even mind the extra contrast. That’s the difference between photographing people and objects – things don’t change between exposures, while people can radically change the photo by even a slight movement or change in expression.







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