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Instant gratification with large format photography

Self-portrait with Crown Graphic. (HP5+ in HC-110. Toning added in Lightroom)

Well, I botched the exposure pretty badly on the above photo, but it’s so much fun to use the Crown Graphic that I don’t mind.

When I first started shooting large format film, I wrote this…

I’m wrestling with an old shirt in the wind as a focusing cloth while using the loupe to view the ground glass and trying not to drop the loupe when I discover I left the film holders in the bag so I stuff the loupe uncomfortably into my pocket, wipe the sweat from my eye and almost choke myself when the strap from my meter catches the tripod as I reach for the holders and now the t-shirt has blown away and so on oops I forgot to pull the dark slide.

Jack Baty (My life with large format photography so far, 2013)

That doesn’t sound like fun, but it kind of is.

One of the great things about large format is that every shot uses an individual sheet of film. There’s no waiting for the end of the roll before processing. I can, if I choose, shoot a single photo and immediately process and print or scan it. That’s about as close to instant gratification as one can get when shooting film.

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