Monday, 6 October 2008

The four Horsemen

Actually, it was just two horsemen. Today i discovered the secrets of Daguerre, Talbot and Eastman images. Today we rented a couple of Horseman 4"x5" cameras, with 180 (equiv 50 on 35 mm) and 240 (equiv. 90 on 35 mm) and just horsed around with them in the studio. An expensive horsing around if i might add, having in view that for a pack of 25 slides one would pay an average of 20 quid.

Now then, it would be only fair to assume that i had no idea how to use the camera, so a pack almost was lost in tries and miserable failures, as in the case of the camera obscura. Still.. Practice makes perfect, or really dumb.

After spending a good deal of hours processing and scanning, the images that we were looking at defied all reasonable quality. We got to the point were we weren't sure if the little specs of dust were on the negative or on the actual clothes. At 100%, the image scanned, the size of a movie, was easily printed on an A1 paper, without any other modifications regarding quality. When we did a crop of a tenth part of the image and again tried to print it A1, a little quality damage showed, but only if you were in the position of knowing images and printing processes all too well so that you could notice the problem. Otherwise, breath-taking quality. Since sometimes goddamn Macs don't go together with some sites or with the ISP, i cannot upload an image to show, but soon will.

Being a first experiment, we only got FP4 films but, color and perhaps E6 processed film might follow when we have the funds. Presently, for my own personal project, i have purchased a Canon 1Ds Mark 2, which is due to arrive in a short while and which will pretty much complete my collection.

For now, the up and coming pieces of work i might do will surely be medium format, either the H1 or the Mamiya 7 II, or down the path of the H2D.
Not sure yet... But recent massive purchase of medium or large format films that i did (and by massive i mean.. massive) put me in the position of not really having funds for anything else but photography these days.

Perhaps the stubbornness regarding switching to digital for good might have something to do with my fund issues...