Mixing it up

Every once in a while, I get into a conversation with somebody about why I still venture out and capture images with my 4×5 field camera, or onto film. The obvious and upfront easy answer… because it’s fun for me. The other reason (and one that usually involves a little more explanation), because it helps me think differently. For those that never experienced using a large format view camera, have a difficult time understanding this.

When you shoot a with a view camera or onto film, the whole thought process is different. The basic photography principals still apply, but it’s like entering a completely different world than the digital realm we live in today. The process forces you to slow down. You are working with camera movements that do not exist on a DSLR (unless you have a tilt-shift lens… but still not the same). There’s no TTL metering, no auto focus and no LCD screen to check your image when you’re shooting with film. You also have to be mindful of things like compensating for bellows extension and reciprocity.

I could go on and on about the differences, but the whole point to this, is that shooting with my 4×5 on film, helps me think differently and in finding clarity. To me, it’s really no different than the things other people do to refresh, rejuvenate and open up their thought process. While some people go out for a run, and others might spend time gaming, I choose to shoot a different camera on a different medium. For me, this process can sometimes lead into new ideas and new projects. It’s good to mix things up now and again.

This image of a lift-bridge and skyline was taken in downtown Cleveland, Ohio several years ago. It was the last time I had seen the bridge in the down position.

This image of a lift-bridge and skyline was taken in downtown Cleveland, Ohio several years ago with a 4×5 field camera and TMX 100 film. It was the last time I had seen the bridge in the down position.

www.donbensmanphotography.com

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