Large Format Friday

When I started playing with my large format camera the other day, I was fully expecting to have six beautiful negatives I could share here. Instead, I’ve had two crap negatives and the rest were completely unusable. So when it comes down to it, what went wrong?

Well I seem to be under exposing the negatives. But here’s the thing, I don’t know if it’s me or the shutter not working correctly. I’m also unsure how to compensate for a very extended bellows, so I’m just guessing.

On the interesting side of things, it’s forcing me to slow down and think. It’s been a while since I’ve really stopped to think about what zone something should be in. I’ve just relied on in-camera light meters and chimping it. I’ve had to slow down my process of taking a photo too. Check this, adjust that and play with the other. It’s enjoyable and frustrating at the same time! It’s very much like learning photography all over again.

The other downside in the darkroom is that it took an age to load the Mod 54, which last time was an absolute breeze. You win some, you lose some.

I’m posting the photos here, as much as a reminder of where I’m starting from as anything. So anyway, for your delectations, two very crap photos. Enjoy.

Wheelbarrow and box, Fomapan 100 in DD-X 1+4
A rose leaf. Fomapan 100 in DD-X 1+4

Going Large

So I have a confession. I’ve had a perfectly usable large format camera sitting around for the past six months and I’ve only taken 8 photos with it. Of them, six were a complete failure.

My second large format negative. Digitized by photographing it on a light box and inverting the photo.

It’s a Toyo View Deluxe, with a 150mm lense and I have 3 double dark slides. It works. So why am I not using it? This is the question I ask myself. One reason is the weight of it. In some ways I wish I’d saved up and bought a field camera, like an Intrepid, so it would be easier to carry. But I got it for significantly cheaper price on a popular auction site, so there’s that.

My first two shots I developed in the dark, using a timer and blind hope. Considering it was my first attempt, they didn’t turn out too bad, though I’d damaged the negatives. Now that I’ve got a Mod 54, to do tank developing, I don’t have that excuse!

My double dark slides (film holders).

To rectify this, I’m going to start using it and documenting this on my blog, in the hope that it will give me the kick up the arse I need. Each week I’ll take and develop at least six images and then upload them. I’m hoping I can stick to this, at least for a few weeks, all things being equal.