One of my longtime dreams was to photograph using an 8×10 camera with transparencies. I purchased a Wehman 8×10 camera and some boxes of Fuji Velvia 50 film. Using a camera this large requires a concerted effort and takes far longer to set-up than any camera I’ve ever used. This can be good and bad. Good, because it forces me to slow down and really examine the scene in front of me , and it’s worthiness of making an image. Many times I have gone through the ritual of setting the camera up and making all the adjustments necessary, only to discover that the scene doesn’t cut it for me, or the light has disappeared. With a digital, 35mm, or medium format, I would likely make the image anyway, but when looking at the expense involved with 8×10 transparencies and development costs, I sometimes think that pressing the cable release isn’t worth it. The size of the camera can be bad too, as transient light doesn’t wait for me to get set-up, and I miss the image only because I am still fiddling with the camera. Practice is helping me speed my times and I’m sure I will become more proficient with more experience.
[Wehman 8×10, Schneider 240mm G-Claron, Fuji Velvia]
Looking at an 8×10 transparency on my light table is amazing, and the level of detail stunning. The image presented here is a 4×10 crop from an 8×10 and the smaller detail below is what a print would like at 60″. This small detail is taken from the mid left side of the image. Remember, you can click on any photo on this blog to make it larger.