New Lessons in Large Format Film Photography in Balboa Park

Diz (@dizd on Twitter) and I met up at Balboa Park yesterday to shoot our large format 4×5 cameras.

Suffice it to say, I found new ways to screw up.  How do you shoot blank film holders?  I took along six film holders with Delta 100 and two with Ilford FP4 Plus.  Two of the Delta holders were blank and I didn’t discover it until I got home when I tried to unload everything for developing.  So, when I thought I took eight images, I actually only got six.  I know which ones I missed and I’m actually disappointed because they were of a difficult scene to expose and I don’t have those to see how I did.  Oh well, nobody ever said large format was going to be easy.  But it is amazing how many opportunities there are to mess up.

We were looking up a steep slope at these decaying trees in the park.  That made the composition a lot more challenging.  I had front rise almost maxed out and also had a forward tilt on the front rise to match the focal plane presented by the trees.  Now, I’m definitely still learning through experience with tilt and shift.  Through trial and error this is slowly coming to me but I’m not going to say that I feel comfortable by any means.  I have a long way to go before this starts to feel comfortable.

Here are some of the better examples from the shoot with Diz at Balboa Park.  I’m not going to show them all because a few are almost duplicates.  They all were exposed properly which is good because I’ve had challenges with the proper exposure readings from my Pentax spot meter. The only post processing is to repair a few scratches and dust spots, there weren’t many thank goodness.  My developing process is definitely improving, I’m getting better quality negatives.

I shot this image of the ground just to practice detail shots. It’s really busy and not one I’d take for my portfolio, it was taken just for the experience.  Again, it’s a challenge with shifts and tilts, this one didn’t turn out too bad.

As always, thanks for reading and following along.


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