Suggestion on what to do in LF workshop. : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi, LF gurus:

I'll attend a 4x5 workshop next weekend after reading a lot of exciting webpages and newsgroup discussion. I want to get the most out of this workshop, so could you pls kindly give me some suggestions on what to do? It's a two day workshop so I guess I'll have plenty of time to play by myself. Thanks a lot.

-- Bruce Z. LI (, March 12, 1998


Definitely try to shoot architecture, whether it's a story building or a skyscraper. The great thing about LF is that you're able to correct horizontal and vertical convergence with the camera movements. I took a 10 week course at a junior college in the US and when I shot a building (full on, three quarters, and then a detail), I learned a lot about camera movements (tilts, swings, rise and falls) than I did with shooting a simple portrait. Until I shot a buidlding, I didn't appreciate the advantages of the LF camera (other than the size of the negative).

The other thing that I found helpful was shooting a close up, one where the camera's bellow is fully (or nearly so) extended. At this point you have to figure out the bellows factor (the adjustment that you have to make to compensate for extending the bellows beyond the its focal length). If you don't compensate for the bellows factor properly, your negative will not be properly exposed.

Nothing about LF is as easy as it looks in a book (and I've read the Simon, Stone, and Upton and Upton books about LF). A LF camera can be trying when you're just starting - especially when you're coming from 35mm. Don't give up. Be prepared to work a lot slower than when you shoot 35mm - it's worth the additional time to get the shot right.

-- Stuart Goldstein (, March 13, 1998.

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