Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..

I Miss the View Camera

Trees Late Afternoon, Hugo NC 1985

I was organizing my old negative files and came across a stack of 4×5 negatives from the 70’s and 80’s. I used to love shooting with the 4×5 view camera, in fact I was trained on a Graflex XL when I was in Photography School in the military back in the early 70’s.

There is something very special about a 4×5 negative and the clarity of the image you can print from it. Needless to say I scanned some of my favorites and am posting them here on Keo Blog.

Old Deserted Buick, Hugo NC 1985

I have taught the view camera class here at my college over the years, but must admit I have not shot much with it for quite some time and that saddens me because making photographs with a view camera is very unique and almost “zen like” experience.

Shooting View Camera - Late Afternoon Shadow 1986

Unlike shooting with digital cameras and cell phones the view camera forces the photographer to be very deliberate in every phase of the photographic process from the initial visualization of the image to the exposure determination and composing of the picture all the way through to the printing.

Wooded Path, Little Washington NC 1986

The view camera forces the photographer to “slow down” and truly think about what he/she is doing in creating a photograph where as shooting with an SLR with film or digitally its very easy to shoot faster without seriously scrutinizing the subject of the image. When you only have a few film holders to expose on any given image its imperative that the photographer be more deliberate and be “in the moment” while making photographs.

Nuese River, Little Washington NC 1986

With summer just around the corner I am going to make it a point to pull out the view camera and make some new photographs with it. Don’t get me wrong…I love shooting with my Canon 5D and I even like making pictures on the fly with my cell phone but with that said….taking photographs with a view camera is a whole other photographic experience and takes me back to my roots in photography.

Fishing Boats, Down East NC 1987

Whether I am shooting with my Canon 5D, Cell Phone, Point and Shoot or a view camera…making photographs is a creative activity that I truly love and still have the same passion and enthusiasm for that I did when I stood in the darkroom in college 40 years ago and pulled my first print out of the developer.

“Photography to the amateur is recreation, to the professional it is work, and hard work too, no matter how pleasurable it my be.”
Edward Weston


One comment on “I Miss the View Camera

  1. souldiaries
    April 30, 2011

    there is so much about photography i’d love to learn from you. your pix always touch my soul, like the viewfinder!

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This entry was posted on April 20, 2011 by in Keough Journal, Photography and tagged , .
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