Thursday, August 14, 2008

The New Toy-o

How to justify buying a new camera…

I own too many cameras, and I only use two of them. I avoid any gear talk on here but it has been a subject I’ve had roaming around in my head for the past few days. I would like to talk about a feeling rather than a purchase here. A feeling I get whenever I do finally come to the conclusion, Hey I want a new camera. Just two days ago, after almost a whole year of use, I put down my Crown Graflex, my baby (yes, I call, once in a great while, certain cameras that) and my dream camera since I could remember, for another. Besides from a mod-ed Polaroid Pathfinder, the Graflex(es, s) are the smallest large formats you can get, and they are light weight and can be taken anywhere. I tend to travel light, and so when I first got my Graflex (whom I call Grand Master Graflex) it didn’t take too long for it to replace my medium format camera. For all the right reasons it took the most important parts from medium format I found useful and concentrated them into an even slower process of taking a photograph. I found when I slowed myself down as much as possible, I could mediate on the subject at hand and focus deeper into it. I have to always have a tripod for large format, and carefully go through an entire list of sequences for each photograph (meter, open aperture, open shutter, direct subject, pull focus, close shutter, adjust aperture, cock shutter, direct subject again, load film back, remove dark slide, release shutter, and if using a 6x12 film back, advance film, repeat) each time I go shooting. But to spite the occasional mess-up (which I will always know I did instantly after the fact), the images have been highly detailed and highly worth it. Today I shoot with a Toyo-Field 45A, which slows me down just that much more and open rise (and swing) to my photographic scope. So the gear isn’t just for collection or show, it is a planned out investment and a step further into my progress, with each addition making it finer-tuned to the image I envisioned.

(images above; first images from Toyo: Jacquie in Grange, Parking Lot View)

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