My neighbour Kevin often hosts musician Eddie Coffey for a stopover on his many gigs. He is a very interesting guy, a real hard working musician from The Rock. For years I have wanted to photograph him so last time he was down we did a quick shoot using the 8x10 Deardorff. For the last series of shots we did that day we got his accordion, and for me, a spark ignited in him once he got his hands on his accordion and started to play.
They also mentioned that they might be using these shots for an album/CD cover, so I mocked up this design and title for them. I was doing some research on Newfoundland sayings and I love this one especially for Eddie as he is always on the go. The saying means a good wish for the future, may there always be wind in your sails a nice sentiment, Long May Your Big Jib Draw everyone. Very curious to see if they like the shots and the album cover design.
Tips & Why Use Large Format
8x10 film produces some of the most detailed images you will ever see and it has amazing latitude for exposure. It is very hard screw up your exposure given the film's latitude. I love shooting with this camera looking through he back of the camera is magical, the world is upside and reversed. It forces you to slow down and focus on what you are doing.
For the first time shooter or those getting into portraiture this is not the camera for you though there is too many things to remember and do. Focusing, metering, stopping down the lens, inserting the film, reversing the dark slide, etc... When you feel more comfortable posing and talking with clients then step up to this beautiful beast. Tips, for any student of photography I highly recommend trying out a large format camera while in school. The experience will alter your perspective or, at the very least, make you appreciate digital capture even more. Besides slowing you down while photographing with a view camera it will also brings back a little of the magic of photography for the client and yourself, because the camera is so big and looks so simple and archaic it could never produce an image. I always try to let the client view the back of the camera too, this just amazes them how big and bright the image is under the dark cloth.
So for my students come see me and I can hook you up!!
Reflections On The Shoot
I really like using the tilt on the this camera but the 8x10 field camera is not very precise and is missing a front swing and very limited rear movements. I do have access to a Sinar P2 which has the full range of view camera movements and very precise handling so I might be using this for some of the images for my MA. For my Emerging From Darkness series I want to incorporate the use of movements to give the appearance of the subject not only emerging from darkness but also focus. So the use of camera movement is something I will revisit but with a more precise camera.