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Re: filmscanners: what defines this quality?

rafeb wrote:

> At 11:50 PM 6/19/01 -0400, Dan wrote:
>>> I am now on a 4x5 and starting to think, hm, 8x10 would be nice.
>> I once met a woman about my age (40) who has shot with only one camera since
>> high school (and she's been a professional photographer since then): an old
>> Wista 8x10 with a single lens.  That's it.  She only shoots b&w film and
>> always uses palladium printing.
>> And her work is absolutely stunning.  You can see some of it from here:
>> http://www.mastersofphotography.com/Directory/rdeluise/rdeluise_bio.html
> Which all goes to show -- it's not the tools, it's the technique.

Well, I think this might just prove the opposite.  I think half of what 
made Ansel Adam's work so "agreeable" is that he was working with a 
large format neg.  Yes, his subject matter is "nice" and he certainly 
learned how to work with natural lighting to get the "most" out of the 
film, but the truth is his compositions are no better than hundreds of 
other photographers before, and since him.  I give him kudos for 
"schlepping" around a monster camera and tripod to those then out of 
reach locations, but that just made him a dedicated photographer and a 
pack mule (Oh-oh, I know I'm gonna pay for that one ;-))

What makes using an 8x10" neg gutsy is that it is equivalent to a 36 
exposure roll of 35mm film in cost and sq. inches, and again, when 
considering weight, each 8x10 film holder probably weights the 
equivalent of a good dozen or more 36 exposure 35mm rolls.  You have to 
feel pretty committed when you hit that shutter lever.  You also need a 
huge enlarger, to work from them, and also you probably do your own 
touch up since that size neg allows for it.

I'm not belittling the images of any large format photographer... I love 
the look, especially in B&W... and the dedication, but in part it is 
indeed the TOOL that makes the image, as much as, if not moreso than the 

> Or as Maria Muldaur put it, way back when -- it's not the meat, 
> it's the motion.

It always comes down to body parts, doesn't it ;-)


PS: people who really have to be admired are 4x5" format underwater 
photographers.  The usually get 3-4 shots max per dive before they have 
to surface, dry everything off and reload, or change cameras.


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