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A Salute to 4×5 and Large format Photography

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One might call these large formats the grandfathers of the analog photo world. Back to the days when Henry Fox Talbot and Louie Jacques-Mandé Daguerre were fighting for the claim of developing a fixed image we today call a photograph, there was always a struggle for quality. Through time the idea of fixing an image permanently and being able to reproduce it was captivating. The advent of the view camera (aka 4×5, 5×7, 8×10, 11×14 camera etc.) made taking large format photos easy for consumers and professionals alike. So why all the fuss with large format photography? Quality my friends…quality. So good, in fact, that a 4×5 negative can still, to this day, easily beat almost all professional DSLR cameras. A 4×5 negative, or positive has the ability to produce an image that would fall into the range of 100-200 mp. This would provide astonishing results if used as a source for large format scanning.  This being said, you can only imagine the quality of the image and the control of focus you would have when shooting.  Trust me when I say there’s no doubt about it, an in-focus large format negative or positive can even show you dirt in pores of a face! The details will captivate you. Whether you shoot large format film or stumbled upon negatives from the past, adding these images to your archive can be a source of inspiration as well as historical and sentimental value.   Any time is a good time to dig up those old negatives or dust off that camera and become inspired. “Saturate yourself with your subject and the camera will all but take you by the hand”  Margaret Bourke-White


*A few Large format photographers for inspirational consumption – Margaret Bourke-White – Dian Arbus  https://diane-arbus-photography.com/ – Sally Mann  https://alecsoth.com/photography/projects/sleeping-by-the-mississippi/ – Paul Shambroom  https://www.paulshambroom.com/art/projects.html – Camillo Cruz  https://www.camilocruzphoto.com/main.php

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