I took the 4x5 field camera out for the first time this weekend.
Anticipating shooting at least one photograph with it on Saturday and one on Sunday, I achieved that goal and shot four photographs successfully. I think.
Unfortunately, I cannot show the images that I made yet. I still need to develop the four sheets of film, and I don’t have access to my school’s darkroom until mid January. Quite honestly, it bums me out that I can’t show them yet, because the only way to know if I’m doing anything vitally wrong is by seeing if the images came out properly.
The first image that I shot was of some trees and brush that still retained some fall color on the edge of one of the fingers of the nearby lake. I set up the camera about a meter away from the road, hoping that no cars would come by.
The second image I shot was more minimal. There were some tree roots, or a tree stump, I really don’t know, that were coming out of the lake near the shore. Not knowing that you generally don’t want to tilt the whole camera downward with 4x5, I did that and took the shot. I later learned that you really only need to tilt the lend and raise the rear panel to get a better view of the subject.
That film holder is currently sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be developed.
The third image i shot was today, Sunday. I drove to a different part of the park I shot at on Saturday to mix up my subjects. I ended up shooting a very similar shot to the first one on Saturday. Some wheat and brush on the edge of the water with a bare tree in the back. After I shot this image, I realized the tightening knobs on the back panel of the camera were loose. This made me worry that the two photos I shot on Saturday may be out of focus, and that the one I had just shot would also be out-of-focus. We can only find out in time.
The final image I shot this weekend was of a bare tree huddled between two large pines. This was a difficult shot that I’m really not quite sure if it will come out the way I want it to. I used it as an opportunity to try tilting the panels of the camera with a small aperture to see how the depth of field is affected. Since generally you focus with the lens wide-open, you can’t really tell what’s in focus other than the exact subject you’re focusing on. This, yet again, will be found out in time.
Hopefully things progress well over this week as I get more familiar with large format photography. This whole idea is to familiarize myself with the camera and the process so i don’t run around like an idiot at the beginning of the semester to start my next project.