Interrupting my hiatus here.
Yikes, has it really been this long since I wrote up a post for my blog?
I really don’t have any excuses, other than life has been happening. Lots going on. Tammie decided earlier this year to give up her dream of going to med school. Damn biochemistry got the best of her. Misty graduated high school last spring and is still trying to determine what to do with the rest of her life. She has time.
I’ve obviously kept developing my photography. I finished a black and white film developing class last fall, and really enjoyed it. We don’t have room in the house to set up a darkroom, but I do love the look of film.
I’m starting to really enjoy looking at large prints of photos that I take. So after thinking about how to incorporate film into generating large prints, I decided to take the plunge and dive into large format film cameras. 35 mm negatives just don’t hold enough detail to generate really large prints. After a lot of reading, and cruising eBay and Craigslist, I found a 4 x 5 film camera on sale locally for a steal of a price. It’s not exactly what I was looking for in terms of camera, I would have preferred a folding 4 x 5 field camera instead of a monorail. But the price was way too good to pass up. This will be perfect as a relatively inexpensive way for me to determine if large format is in my future. A couple of months after getting it, I also took a class up in South Bend to learn more about how to use it.
This isn’t quite as portable as I’d like, but I think I’ve managed to organize everything so that it fits into an old camera backpack that I have:
Long story short, I’ve got a few exposed sheets of film sitting, waiting for me to get around to mailing them off to be developed. A couple of things have temporarily put my large format camera on hold. One of them is not having any way of scanning the developed sheets. I plan on getting an Epson V750 in the near future. That will take care of giving me about the best quality scans that I can do myself, short of drum scanning. The other main culprit delaying my exploration of large format film has been a plain simple lack of time. Something I hope to be remedying in the near future.
I also rented a tilt-shift lens earlier this year, as a way to experiment with the same types of lens movements you can do with a view camera, but with my dSLR. The quality of images that I got from that lens blew me away, especially getting large prints made from them. Razor sharp detail from edge to edge on a full frame camera, even printed out 3 feet wide. I’m in love.
So I’m trying to sell the wide angle zoom lens that I have to fund purchasing the tilt-shift lens. I’m realistic, I can’t justify just collecting whatever lenses I want, and I’m finding that I’m not getting a lot of use out of the wide angle zoom.
I also recently decided for the first time to enter a couple of my photos in a public competition, the 2010 Images of Eagle Creek exhibition, sponsored by the Riviera Camera Club and Eagle Creek Park. It took a bit of scrambling on my part to get the prints ready. Luckily I was taking a week-long vacation already, so I had time that I wouldn’t normally have had. I bought a mat cutter, learned how to mat my own photos, briefly flirted with the idea of building my own hand-made frames, till I decided I didn’t have the time to do that. Maybe building my own frames is something I’ll do in the future, when I have more lead-time.
I really didn’t know what to expect in terms of the competition, but was pleasantly surprised when one of my photos received honorable mention in the General Nature category. Cool.