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Monday, July 27, 2009

So Long 4x5"

The time finally came to sell our large format 4x5" film camera. I remember when we first got the camera in college and couldn't wait to try it out. We had set up an elaborate shot of broken glass and cut flowers on the bed in my dorm room. We had a light meter to tell us what exposure was needed, but no lights! After much calculation, we determined that it would take about 40 flashes from a regular 35mm handheld flash while the shutter on the camera was left open for around 3 minutes. Those were the days!

I thought it would be fun to share a couple of images we shot on this amazing piece of equipment. The 4x5" took large sheets of film (only 10 sheets to a $50 box), that were several times larger than a 35mm negative, and thus allowed us to create images that could be blown up with great clarity. When composing an image, the scene was reflected backward and upside down on a ground glass screen. The only way to see the image on the ground glass in bright daylight was under a dark cloth draped over the back of the camera. We used a magnifying loupe to check the focus and details of the composition, and then proofed the scene using black and white polaroid film! Taking photos with the 4x5" was a very meditative process, allowing us to really immerse ourselves in the landscape, as a typical image would take an hour or more to create.

Nelson Reservoir, White Mountains, Arizona

San Francisco Peaks, Arizona

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