1.2/ Me and my Camera

Large format photography, the use of cameras with film sizes greater than medium format, brings different and unusual challenges to the photographer.

The advantages of a larger negative lie in the increase in quality of the final print, and the ability to produce prints of large sizes without any visible grain from the negative.

I shot all the work for reveal on negative film, Tri- X for the black and white, and the colour work on Portra 160 VC. Usually I photograph all my colour work on transparency film, but for reveal, I had to take into consideration the fact I would be shooting over a period of more than two years. This meant that I would be shooting through a variety of season, and varying light conditions, which are much more difficult to control with transparency. By using the same film, reveal retains a consistent ‘look’.

My camera is an old wooden Gandolfi filed camera, which I bought for a commercial job many years ago. I use modern lenses; the most frequently used being a 210 mm process lens. Some of the work was also photographed with a 90 mm wide angle lens. The 210 is slightly telephoto, good for portraits, and the 90 is like a 24 mm on 35 mm, good for interiors, or portraits that show the environmental setting.

I try not to let technique or cameras get in the way of a good photograph, and keep equipment to a minimum. This means I can set up fast, and concentrate on the picture, and also means I have less to carry.