Fabulous Film Fridays, May 5, 2011 – Spring Outing

This week we had some gloomy, laden skies which is actually a blessing when you are taking out a large format field camera like Tachihara Tim because it means that the gale-force winds which usually rip through Cochrane with the sunrise are not yet present.  I trundled out to a nearby creek valley to capture stark portraits of the scratchy brush lining a little creek that winds its way through Cochrane.  Some people find this time of year dull and boring, but I love the tangled detail of barren willow and grass.

I’m still awfully slow with the Tachihara as I am still learning how to move all the bits and knobs to get the results I am looking for.  Just unfolding the camera to release it from its storage position takes practice!  But it certainly does force you to slow down and take your time.  Yesterday morning I made a few images over the course of two hours; definitely more on the ‘relaxed’ side of photography.  Soon I hope to be fast enough to capture a sunrise or sunset.

Being out with Tachihara Tim really reinforced the importance of learning an habitual workflow with these film cameras.  I am starting to remember which order to do key things, like close down the lens before you pull out the dark slide and take your light meter reading when you are ready to shoot and not before set up (especially if you are averaging an hour a photograph).  Some shooters may find the need for a certain order to the way you do things frustrating or constraining, but there is also a certain…comfort that comes with following a known and practiced routine.

Here are the two images, shot on Fujifilm FP-100 C45 instant colour film.  Both images were shot at f22.5 at 1/8s.

The other thing I learned was how critical it is to ensure that you have all appropriate doo-dads in your camera bag.  In this case, I forgot to pack a film holder so that I could shoot  Fujichrome Velvia slide film which would have loved to play with the muted colours of the day.  (Well, I guess Darwin forgot since he last took it out of the camera bag.  But he also bought me a new light meter, so I am not pointing fingers at him today.)  The instant colour film is a bit dark and dreary when in reality the day was bright overcast with lots of detail and earthy hues.  I will have to return over the next couple of weeks as the buds begin to form and leaf out — I’m excited to work on using tilt to capture extreme depth-of-field!


~ by Samantha on May 6, 2011.

4 Responses to “Fabulous Film Fridays, May 5, 2011 – Spring Outing”

  1. I know the feeling. I have to wake up 30 min earlier when I plan to shoot with 4X5. A view camera requires definitely different mentality from shooting with Leica.

    I have never tried Polaroid on 4×5 but Polaroid look still sharp. I love the mood as usual.

  2. Know what you mean about learning all the new movements. I must say though, having tried the tachihara, the base tilt on the front is *wierd*, as soon as you tilt you’ve put your picture out of focus – I can’t get used to it at all and end up just using rear tilt instead. That said, the camera will produce fine pictures (given a film and some holders that is!). Love the grasses – velvia would have done the job nicely

    • Hi Tim,

      I agree that mastering the movements so that they are second nature is critical. I’ll have to head back to the area with some Velvia, for sure!

  3. […] you want to know about field view camera, here is another blog post by Samantha Chrysanthou. This is fun to […]

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