The camera’s only job is to get out of the way of making photographs Ken Rockwell
The last couple of Blogs, Lars and I have been discussing ‘film versus digital’ photography. Back in the 70-80-90 Lars did a lot of photography with 35 MM and medium formats, but we are lucky enough to know a young fella who has more antique cameras and equipment that I have ever seen. None other than who else, are good buddy Don Komarechka.
Believe it or not, Don was really really excited to do this episode. In his words and I quote” It brings us back to an era when you had to really know the chemistry of film and developing things, You had to understand your camera like the back of your hand. Everything was, manual you had no electronic assistance of any kind, and it was a bigger challenge to take good images then and gives me a greater respect for people that were using this equipment in the area for which it was invented.’
Don is in the process of restoring a 1906 11×14 century camera can imagine a sheet of film that is 11×14? Back then if you wanted an 8-by-10 print, you would have it photographed on the eight by ten negative WOW!
This type of old photography gear is still popular and because it’s very capable, and at the very least its forces us as photographers to think differently about photography. Every chance that you get to think differently about your art it may take you to a different head space, helping you to expand your photographic endeavors so whatever thoughts you happen to be stuck into, and an older camera may just force you to be more creative and inventive.
We talk about his arca-swiss 4 x 5 camera and how you could shift the focus plane off on any weird angle similar to a tilt-shift lens on a digital camera. With the Arca-swiss you can control exactly where that focal plane is going to be, it doesn’t have a flat sensor, and so a tilt-shift lens on a modern digital SLR is a pale comparison to the adjustments that a camera the Arca-Swiss would have at its disposal. Ideal for shooting fields of flowers and being able to have the whole field in focus.
Do you know what a Realist Customs camera is? Nope, me neither, so what is it, well a Realist Custom is a 3d camera, or otherwise known as a stereo camera, which allows the photographer to shoot three dimensions on 35mm film. Don goes to great length on how the camera works and why it was so popular back in from the 40-70’s.
Don and I go through so much more about his collection and antique camera equipment. I cannot list it all here in the blog. Watch the video it’s about 30 minutes long and wow tons of information for those of us wanting more info on the history of camera gear.
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