LF teamwork

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Up until a few weeks ago I had a friend that was also deeply involved in LF. We frequently went on shoots together and compared work, technique, and discussed other photographic issues. He recently moved from the area. I miss the benefits of working with another photographer. I live in Baltimore and putting your head under a darkcloth with $5,000 worth of LF gear on the sidewalk behind you is just not a good thing to do! Does anyone else on this list work with another photographer on a regular basis? Is anyone in the Baltimore area interested?

-- jeff schraeder (jeff@circlesofclarity.com), October 12, 2001


There is a Large Format e-mail list (use a normal e-mail program rather than this web interface) and I urge you all to join. It is a little slow right now but you all could liven it up. There are a lot of LF photographers on the list, perhaps some in Baltimore. There is an archive as well. Go to:


to subscribe. John Brownlow (great great photographer) is the list owner.

-- Jim Brick (jim@brick.org), October 12, 2001.

"putting your head under a darkcloth" and what about a binocular or reflex viewer ? just a joke !

-- dg (sacripant@online.fr), October 12, 2001.

Nathan Congdon lives, or lived in the City of Big Hair. Is he still around? I know he's busy what with a new child and all. He posts here occassionally. You'd definately benefit from contacting him.

-- Sean (who Alec Jones is watching) yates (coalandice@yahoo.com), October 13, 2001.

I photograph with a couple of guys. I find it nice to have someone to talk to about photography when out shooting or having coffee. And taking trips together. Go to your local community college and ask the teacher if there is someone they know who shoots LF or just shoots. james

-- james (james_mickelson@hotmail.com), October 13, 2001.

Funny, I'm in the proccess of changing my equipment. Between the new tripod and new camera with my beloved Schneider lens, my equipment will be worth about $4000.00. I allready have anxiety about going out shooting by myself in the city. Center City Philadelphia. Even though it will be insured, somehow I feel like I am asking for something to happen by taking this obviously expensive looking equipment in the city. I just keep telling myself that somehow I'll have to get over this fear. I just love architecture, but every once in a while I think about changing my subject matter to something safer. Its not like you can whip out your auto focus and get that shot real quick. Good luck.

-- Raven (mtand13@netreach.net), October 13, 2001.

I feel much safer with a binocular viewer than under the dark cloth! I'm female and often photograph alone in cities, though I would take a partner to do bad neighborhoods in Philadelphia or Balto. I am not so sure the LF equipment is as attractive to thieves as 35mm; harder to sell. Besides, my Arca with the viewer is quite bizarre looking, and with the orange cones I use to stake out my spots, people think I'm a surveyor. BTW, I'm not sure whether I'm allowed to plug this here, but it is a non-profit organization so here goes. Everyone in Baltimore, come to the Society for Photographic Education conference Oct. 26 & 27 at MICA. Theme is "Fiction & Fantasy." Write me directly for more info or see the website at spenational.org (click on Regional/MidAtlantic). Cheers!

-- Sandy Sorlien (sand44@mindspring.com), October 13, 2001.

Please stop reinforcing those American stereotypes! Next time I'm over there I'll be scared to carry any more than a cereal box pinhole camera loaded with the cheapest film I can find, and I'll only use it from a moving car! I live in Japan, and there are *very* few places I wouldn't go at any time of day or night, with or without my camera. The only reactions I've had when using my monorail so far have been combined amusement and amazement. Also, people come and stand next to me to take the same shot. This is odd; I'm only really a beginner so to be honest am more interested in just getting well exposed results than a good composition, so I'm not sure what the spectators think I'm photographing. There's an interesting social experiment to be had there somewhere. I'm a Brit, but when I lived in England I wasn't really interested in photography, so I'm going to have to learn to exercise more caution than I do now. Japan is pretty much a photographers paradise...

-- Gavin Walker (gavin.walker@japan.bnpparibas.com), October 15, 2001.

I live in Balto still, and shoot in the city quite frequently, including some pretty unsavory neighborhoods (where, as it happens, I live!) I think the dangers are probably a bit over-rated, people seem more curious than interested in stealing my stuff. I've never had a problem in years of urban shooting. You'd certainly be welcome to contact me about getting together to do some shooting. I have another friend I often go with who also shoots 8X10 and lives only about ten minutes away. Drop me an email and e can get together.


-- Nathan Congdon (ncongdon@jhmi.edu), October 15, 2001.

Nathan, You aren't female and neither is Jeff, unless you have really strange names, so you may not much care about personal security. But try to remember it's not all men using large format equipment on the streets! The camera becomes an excuse for men to come talk to us. Usually they are perfectly respectable but sometimes they aren't. We have to be very alert working alone, ready to pack up and leave if the situation becomes dangerous. I like to shoot in desolate urban areas and the bino viewer lets me see what's around me. I work better alone so a partner is not my first choice for protecting myself. ( I guess I could always point the spotmeter at them and yell, "This is loaded with Acid Stop Bath!")

-- Sandy Sorlien (sand44@mindspring.com), October 16, 2001.

I read about a dog named "Focus". I'm a pretty big guy, I don't like standing alone either (and in peaceful Canada too). It's a tough trick, but has anyone managed to train their dogs to just sit nice for the 1/2 hour it takes -- you know, without stealing the darkcloth, chewing the tri-pod, or burrying the spotmeter? It doesn't take much dog sound an alarm when someone walks up behind you though. I'm in the middle of the experiment, but a 1yr old 70lb dog (who I thought was supposed to be a "gundog" hunting dog)is not in the LF mode yet. Dean

-- Dean Lastoria (dvlastor@sfu.ca), October 16, 2001.

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