large-format-view-camera

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Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Theaters

Sugimoto would set up his large format camera in a movie theater, and press the shutter when the opening title appeared on screen. He would then leave the shutter open for the entirety of the film, closing it again when the credits began to roll. In this way the films are condensed into a single white rectangle, and the theaters are illuminated- creating an inversion of subjects. 

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Romania Revisited David Leventi

I found myself sitting in a wooden hut making an effort to down another swig. The dirty plastic bottle labeled American cola was the only object keeping me in this century. It was filled with tuica, a clear fiery plum brandy. Like the village, the old man, my drinking companion, seemed unchanged since the days of the Ottoman Empire. I had come following the story of my great-grandfather, who had been imprisoned here in Romania for seven years as a dissident.

Romania Revisited retraces my great-grandfather’s footsteps into an unexpected past. Based on stories told by my father and grandmother, I traveled to Romania with a 4x5” large format view camera, collecting lost memories on a journey through a country now struggling to put behind it a lifespan of tyranny, while all the best and brightest who dared or were able to left.

Images and text via

I see that beautiful spirit
Floating there with the darkness

Unique in all the Universe

Not appeared accidentally
Not created deliberately
It… simply… just… happened


I made this picture in 1994 as a student at OIP&T (The Ohio Institute of Photography & Technology) in Dayton, OH. It was my first attempt at using a view camera, 4x5. This was before the digital revolution really took hold. I was 18 years old, full of ambition, optimism and eager to learn photography very well. Finally getting my hands on a view camera really did fill me with joy. I sort of knew what I was doing but not from experience, only from reading about large format photography on my own and ruminating on the principles. This image wasn’t even the product of an assignment. The moment I was granted lab privileges, I marched my little ass into that studio and made this image.

I still love this picture so much. I didn’t consider myself an animist at the time, that word hadn’t even entered my purview. But I was an animist. I still am. Seeing light. Working with darkness. Photographing Spirit. I didn’t know it in 1994 but this image would become my own personal emblem for my worldview.

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Hiroshi Sugimoto: A recent review from The Wall Street Journal features Hiroshi Sugimoto’s solo exhibition at Pace: “Mr. Sugimoto (b. Tokyo, 1948) is a master of technique: The pictures taken with a large-format view camera are rich in detail and the prints are luxurious in their tonal range." 

Hiroshi Sugimoto: Still Life, an exhibition of never-before-seen photographs of dioramas taken at the American Museum of Natural History, is on view at 510 West 25th Street, New York, through June 28.

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On and off over the past 7 months I have been working on building a 4x5 monorail camera using 3d printed parts and hardware from Lowes/Home Depot. Last night I finished building the first working version. Today, I present to you the first (as far as I know - if not show me) 3d printed large format camera. This is a prototype, and I will continue to make improvements as I go forward. Be on the lookout for updates. I will post them here.

Specs:

  • With a lens it weighs ~2.75 pounds (~2.2 pounds without)
  • Front standard movements are only limited by the bellows/lens(swing/tilt).
  • Rear standard currently has no movements.
  • It can extend from ~75mm to ~320mm (the limitation on the long end is the rail, which could be made longer)

I will post updates and pictures I take with it as I go forward!

a handful of times in a year a photograph happens, where all the aspects go all the way and come together at one point in space and time. there’s no formula to it, it sets the standard that you begin to compete with and it’s your zen zone, what you believe in, and if you steer into a different road, it will be undeniable proof of where you came from.

dorado/2013/archival pigment print/edition of 21

kodak portra 160

k. b. canham dlc 4x5

dorado, pr

I.C.S. 37th World Used Camera Fair, Matsuya, Ginza

8x10 Deardorff view camera

Saturday a Nippon Camera editor and I went to the annual camera fair at Matsuya Department store in Ginza for a meet & greet with the different dealers on site and to photograph some of them for the April 2015 Tokyo Camera Style feature for the magazine.  As tempting and as beautiful as the items on hand were- and there was just about everything you could want- I’m not in the market for camera gear- however I did leave with a like-new 6x7 negative carrier for my enlarger at home…

The Japanese camera blog Deji-Kame Watch has a full report (in Japanese & photos) of the fair here.

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Images from my soon to be self published book on the Ferrier Estate

Limited edition of 150 copies, the “ferrier estate” book comes with a fragment of the estate, cut down from large reinforced fibreglass panels used in the walkways and stairwell. As featured on http://failedarchitecture.com/

£20 a copy £3.11 postage in the UK, international postage available.

Please contact sam@samkemp.co.uk for details.

Black Square XI,” 2012. In captivity, many birds develop Feather Destructive Behavior as a result of conditions including lack of psychological and emotional stimulation, stress, lack of companionship, and limited freedom. Amiga is a blue-and-gold macaw suffering from this condition. Image created using large-format view camera with Phase-One digital back.

Photograph by Taryn Simon, whose work appears in “From Darkroom to Daylight,” by Harvey Wang, edited by Amy Brost and Edmund Carson, out this month from Daylight Books:

Film in many ways allowed bad taste or bad decisions to still look good, because it had a forgiving and beautiful baseline. In digital, bad taste or bad decisions are glaring and rampant.

Read more excerpts from the book on newyorker.com.