Thoughtfactory: large format

a minor blog about the trials, tribulations and explorations of large format, analogue photography in Australia

Posts for Tag: Cambo 5x7

Globe apartments, Adelaide

This is another of the early large format  urban  photos that I did  whilst we were living in the CBD of Adelaide. It  was made around the same time ( 2013-14) as this one,  and it was from the same Rundle St car Park in Adelaide's east end  as this photo.  I spent a lot of time looking at the city's  urban textures  from the top floors of various car parks.  

 The photo  was made using colour negative film  (Portra 160 ASA),  but I converted it to black and white in Lightroom.  I wasn't photographing in black and white  then. 

At the time I  was interested in the new architecture emerging out of the old. A  provincial city in transition was the idea that informed the urban large format and I had a sense that I could photograph  urban history in the architecture. 

Kwong, NSW: a snap, unfortunately

The photo  below is the first photo of a  silo I made on a road trip using the Cambo 5x7 S3 monorail after I'd restarted  large format photography from a 2  decade absence or more.   The underground current  of roadtrip photography  in Australia does  include images made with a  large format camera. 

The silo was near Kwong  on the Sturt Highway west of Wagga Wagga in NSW. It was in 2015 a year or so  after  my Edgeland  exhibition at Manning  Clark House in Canberra in  2014. It was a road trip that connected back to  those I'd done in the 1980s.   I was happy to be on the road  with the large format camera  once again. When I saw the silo near an old, disused  railway line with  the overcast sky I thought that it  would make  a good  subject  for the Cambo: 

I didn't know about the problem of bellows yaw then, which was  caused by raising the monorail's front standard too high.   When I scanned the negative I was  so disappointed and frustrated.   How come I didn't see  the black semicircle at the bottom of  the ground glass of the camera when I was composing the photo?   

an experiment gone wrong

How can you photograph the landscape in the era of the Anthropocene in a way that addresses the future that is already  coming? 

The photo below was an attempt in 2022 to try and  represent the movement of hanging  bark caused by the wind within the context of  the strangeness of the local bush in Waitpinga  in the Fleurieu Peninsula of South Australia.  It was in the early morning during early autumn, when there was a light  breeze  gently moving the bark. The blur was designed to step away from the picturesque or the tourist style. 

The method chosen was a  double exposure of one 5x7 sheet of film  and 2  long exposures of around 40 seconds each. The composition  had been pre-determined with some earlier scoping with a digital camera.  

Alas, the experiment did not work at all.  Failure. 

The tonality of the photo  turned out to be utterly different to what I'd pre-visualized and planned for.  I couldn't believe  what I was seeing when I scanned the negative. "What the hell" was my immediate response. I was dumbfounded.   Then, when I realised the scan was okay, a wave of embarrassment surged through me.  This was such a long way from the quality standards of the large format culture.