Interest in Large Format Photography Video Workshop?

June 01, 2015  •  2 Comments

My Chamonix 8x10 large format field camera at Creve Coeur Lake waiting for sunsetMy Chamonix 8x10 large format field camera at Creve Coeur Lake waiting for sunsetFree Darkroom Newsletter for Analog Photographers - The Darkroom Underground, Your Analog Photography Magazine I am writing this article because I continue to receive emails from time to time from photographers that want to explore, learn and use large format photography either for their personal enjoyment or for professional reasons. I want to explore the level of interest before investing a significant amount of time and resources to create a practical and meaningful video-based course.  

Large format is not something that most people can learn from reading a book.  With the proliferation of the Internet and the continued evolution of new technologies to create and produce videos, I think I could create a very helpful and informative introduction to large format photography to reach people around the world that want to explore and learn about it.  The video based workshop eliminates the need for expensive travel and also offers the benefits of being able to watch the lessons over and over as many times as you wish.  The course would cover large format starting at the very beginning concepts to more advanced topics such as film selection, development, lens choices, metering, macro/closeup work, bellows factor calculations, the zone system, and movements to achieve total control over the film and focal planes.  I can lay a pencil on a table among many other distracting elements and place that pencil in complete focus while making the other distracting elements very soft and out of focus. Try that with a DSLR.  With the continued improvements in scanning and a clear shift to a digital workflow, I would cover scanning your films for editing in Photoshop vs. printing in the darkroom.  While I still maintain and can print very large darkroom prints in both color and black and white, the momentum is clearly in the hybrid direction where photographers want to use film and bring it into their digital workflows.  

I can confirm without a doubt that large format photography is my secret weapon for my work.  While I do use modern digital equipment for projects (Nikon D810, Phase One Back for Hasselblad), I continue to rely on large format film for my fine art nature work that includes still life and landscapes.  In fact, I am purchasing a refurbished iQSmart Creo scanner for that exact reason.  I want to be able to scan my large format negatives and get every last ounce of detail out of them at a whopping 4300 DPI.  For a 4x5 sheet of film that equals the ability to create a digital raw file with 21,500 pixels on the long side for a 6 foot/72 inch print at 300 DPI or a 7 1/2 foot print at 240 DPI. The ability to create large prints is very important in my work, so the benefits of film that include a delicate transition in the shadows, an unbelievable dynamic range with black and white or C-41 color negatives is simply unparalleled in the digital realm in my opinion.  Large format film has many advantages beyond the ability to create very sharp large prints.  I personally think film is the ultimate artisan experience because I can select a film to express my vision in a way that I am not able to do when starting with a digital sensor. My new scanner also has the ability to scan 8x10 and 11x14 films which I also use both of those formats.  There is no need to do the math on these!  

With the continued proliferation of film and companies like Epson that are releasing new scanners, I think it is clear that film will continue to be around for quite a while.  I think large format film when coupled with the knowledge of how to use it in a hybrid workflow could open up new possibilities for many genres of photography beyond landscapes and still life.  

If a video workshop on an introduction to large format photography is of interest to you, send me an email and let me know your areas of main interest and I will keep that in mind when developing the course.  Share this article with anyone that may be interested in a course like this so that I can gauge the level of interest and determine if I can invest the time to create it for you.  


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-Tim Layton

Tim Layton | Darkroom Photographer
Darkroom - Large Format - Traditional Photography
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Tim Layton Fine Art
Hi Jesse, thanks for the question. My workshops are in production at this time and will be released in the near future. If you want to sign up for my newsletters, that would be an easy way to get notified. Thanks. Tim
Jesse Scott(non-registered)
How do I get The video based workshop. Or any of your workshops
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