summertime blues



Crail harbour.This shot of Crail in Fife is one of my first attempts at large format photography.  Having saved up a large wad of cash I finally took the plunge and ordered the camera of a lifetime. (an Ebony 45SU to all the camera-philes out there)

Its an archaic beast made of wood and leather and looks straight out of the 1800s but is a joy to use.  The image is upside down, quite dark and its a pig to focus, but I love it.  Why?  Well, the quality is fantastic - really fantastic. Look at the image of Crail - its actually smaller (unless you have a 21" monitor) than the transparency!  Also its a shot that would have been impossible with a normal camera.  Using the movements of a view camera (you can swivel the lens and the film separately) which allows you to control what you see a lot more precisely.  This allowed me to get the rope in shot without tilting the camera which has meant the buildings behind dont look like they are leaning backwards.  And it takes ages to use and is expensive to boot, which means I really take my time considering a shot before pressing the button - something you should always do.

I really thought I was going to be terrified by the complexity (and cost) of large format photography but I've been pleasantly surprised.  I doubt I will ever use medium format again - but the coming months and years will tell.