Some of the large (and medium) format cameras I use: clockwise, from top left:
Cambo SC400 8×10 view monorail, Ilex-Calumet Caltar 375mm lens;
Bronica ETRsi 645 Special Edition (on my shoulder);
Cambo NX 4×5 view monorail with bag bellows, Fuji/Copal 90mm SWD lens;
Tachihara 4×5 Field. Rodenstock/Copal 150mm Sironar S lens.
In addition to these, there are several Minolta 35mm SLRs, A Canon Elan IIe, Sony A300 and A57 digital SLRs, 3 or 4 compact film and digitals from Panasonic, Minolta, Nikon, and Canon. I also work with a handmade Japanese Zero Image 6cm x 9cm pinhole/zone plate camera. The view cameras have a wide variety of lens from Rodenstock, Fuji, Schneider, Nikon and others.
Presently, the two Sony A57s are configured for digital HD cinematography, providing an A Camera and a B Camera capability. One is mounted to a 15mm shoulder/tripod rail system, that includes a Zoom H4N digital audio recorder, Rode NT2 shotgun microphone, wireless microphone system, 5.5in video monitor and removable LCD viewfinder shroud. This setup is basically a tripod based A camera system that can also be shoulder-carried as the situation demands. A second Sony A57 is used variously as a B camera on a tripod, Advanced Digital 6/9ft jib crane with a 9in video monitor, Konova slider, mini-stabilizer or a backpack style “steadicam”, or in a Tank II cage.
Additional audio is captured on a Tascam 60D digital recorder through an Audio Technica AT897 shotgun mic on a 16ft (extendable) boom pole, or via a variety of fixed microphones, both cabled and wireless.
HD video is processed on either Power Director 14 or Sony Vegas Pro 12 non-linear editing software. Audio is processed primarily in SoundForge 10 or 11, or Audacity.
For old time’s sake and the joy of back to basics photography, there is my magnificent Anthony Normandie view, above, ca. 1900 (built between 1899-1901). I still marvel that when this camera was first making images, the Wright Brothers hadn’t yet put up the Wright Flyer, and local transport was by train, horse, buggy and bicycle, and very, very early automobiles. This camera accepts “old style” 8×10 wooden film holders, and modern film, so in use, it’s basically the same as the Cambo 8×10. It doesn’t get out very often, but all of the view cameras certainly attract attention in the field, and none more so than my Normandie.
Darkroom: A wet/digital with a Nikon ED8000 film scanner, Epson large format scanner, Epson R2400 printer, Saunders/LPL Dichroic 4500II enlarger. Colour film materials are farmed out for development, Black & white are processed in-house. LF B&W negative films are processed in a Paterson colour processor (yes, a colour processor – temperature controlled bath, perfect agitation, daylight once the tank is loaded). LF stock is scanned and digitally printed in colour – B&W may be either scanned or wet printed.
Studio: A fully portable studio equipped with a variety of studio strobes, drops, reflectors, diffusers and softboxes.
I shoot mostly for my own artistic purposes, editorial photography for an online editorial publication, and do occasional commercial and portrait work. Some of the more rewarding past projects include documentary portfolios for people as grown-up children leaving the family home, particularly the family farm, for a future of bright lights, big city.
Fitness regime entails schlepping the 25lb Cambo 8×10 some distance from the truck…