Crown Graphic | 4×5 | Atomic-X 100 ISO
Still Life, January
snowflakes on the front porch
cat curled against window pane
caramelized onions in coconut oil
water stained film
the lilies he gave me
I recently bought a large format camera and after my first trek out with the Crown Graphic, tripod, loaded 4×5 film holders, and dark cloth, I was hooked. My hands froze in the bitter New England wind. Among the snow flurries, bitter cold, setting sun, I hiked around a reservoir, metered two shots, and crossed my fingers for the best. I noted exposure settings for each shot on my phone as reference. The first two shots were made on expired Velvia 50 which meant not only did I have to nail the mechanics of setting up the camera, but also exposing the film since chrome, like black and white, needs a dead on exposure. I waited to shoot the remaining 8 sheets of chrome film that came with the camera before moving onto black and white. The first two sheets of film mailed back from the lab had a magenta shift and good tones. I shot the last of the film then bought chemistry and film to set up a minimal black and white film darkroom at home. I questioned the decision the entire time. Bathroom, chemistry, equipment…did I really want to slow my work down that much? Frame by frame then developing and scanning and . . . once I processed my first sheets of 4×5 film I couldn’t repeat the process soon enough so it’s back into the darkroom with gloves, goggles, and a diy exhaust system, aka box fan.