Going Large – Large Format Film Photography
For me personally, photography has given me a form to explore a heap of different experiences. From travelling around and seeing different environments through to meeting new faces and learning about their life experiences. It also has allowed me to create new experiences for others. One of those experiences that I have been playing with, has been creating images with vintage analog cameras. Each Camera has its own characteristics. Whether its the way these old cameras feel in your hands, the way you view and compose an image through the camera, a certain depth of field, even the way the light might travel through the camera to create a certain aesthetic. Some even have an antique smell about them.
Without a doubt, there is a nostalgic sense and wonder that comes with shooting these old beasts. Looking down through the waist level view finder through my 1950 TLR Rollieflex, you can’t help but wonder what this camera has seen in its lifetime.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m no nerd when it comes to gear. I love my digital gear and the ability it gives me to shoot as things unfold naturally WITH OUT having to stop something organic and say ‘ok guys hold that there and kiss passionately….no no your doing it wrong I need it to look like you are more in love….ok now everyone laugh…I said laugh damn it!” That shit would just freak me out as I’m sure it would freak most people out. Digital has allowed me to stand back and see a scene unfold, shoot a bunch of images and really record something genuine.
My latest and most treasured film camera is my 1955 Crown Graphic 4×5 Large format. There is a pretty long process just to load 1 sheet of film into the body before you even adjust the settings and compose for an image. When viewing through the camera, its actually upside down so you need to be really considered before clicking the shutter. From a subjects point of view, it really does feel like a time warp which is all part of the experience. The final developed images from this camera have all had their own unique signature and character in them. A kind of ‘strangeness’ that you just can’t plan for.
Olivia & Daniel seemed pretty excited to have a crack at the experience during their wedding and Fremantle is a pretty killer location to play in. They were super obliging to help create a vintage mood with the old deadpan look and totally rocked it. Thanks to Jon Chua for the behind the scenes image of me fiddling with the beast.