Large Format Exercises : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Now that I have a monorail, the task is to learn how to use it. What I would like to find is a set of suggested exercises that, in the process of solving them, would prepare me for the perspective/Scheimflug problems that will occur in real life -- in short, a set of basic tunes any visual musician should know how to play. Any book suggestions or direct suggestions would be most welcome.

-- Steve Singleton (, April 21, 1999


Find a brick wall, preferably a long, tall one. Practice photographing it from different angles. You'll understand the basics of the Scheimflug principle in no time.

-- Chad Jarvis (, April 21, 1999.

Get Leslie Stroebel's book on the view camera. You'll learn in no time. James

-- james (, April 22, 1999.

Deep knee bends. Cradle your monorail in your arms and squat...then stand. If you are a rank amateur the simplest treatment I have read is Steve Simmons "Using the View Camera". Good luck, p.s. trial and error works too.

-- Trib (, April 27, 1999.

A loupe and practice. And the Stroebel book if you want the theory and some hints about what you use back vs. front movements for. Enjoy your unintentional compositional choices!

-- John O'Connell (, April 27, 1999.

All the ideas mentioned above are very good but also use Polaroid when doing them so you can get instant feedback, preferably Type 55 so you can examine the negative for critical sharpness determinations. You don't have to use the Sodium Sulfite solution just rinse in warm water to remove the goo from the negative.

Also practice shooting what you think you'll be shooting.

Another great general rule for learning how to use a view camera is "Don't correct your corrections." Try to find ways to make your photos with the least number of movements necessary: keep it simple.

Learn the difference between using rear movement corrections and front movement corrections.

Try shooting a simple still life, a place setting without glasses for example; now do it again with glasses; now correct the perspective; now get everything in focus and perspective corrected; now figure out how to emphasize different parts of the composition.

-- Ellis Vener (, April 27, 1999.

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