What a long week. I think I was spoiled by taking four days off last week and being free to travel, photograph, and generally have an adventure like days of old. Lee from the clinic came over and watered all the potted outdoor plants, so I really did not give a thought to anything other than you, my four legged travel companion, and my art. After much mental bantering, financially in particular, I decided to also return to large format photography. When I think of my use of the digital camera....fully manual, focusing on the LED screen, etc., it became clear that I have never really left in spirit. I ordered a new Chamonix 5x7 in beautiful Teak from the factory, used Schneider 150mm G-Claron and used Fujinon 300mm lenses off Ebay. Film tubes for development, as I don't have a darkroom. My goal is to learn to produce Platinum/Palladium prints, using the late 1800's process and chemistry (and UV light source). Prints are made on a Rag paper similar to watercolor paper and are the most archival of all photographic processes. They are expensive and time-consuming to make, but simply beautiful contact prints. We admired them while visiting the Art Institute in Chicago and going down to the photography collection, While an 8x10 contact print is very awe inspiring, I don't want to lug around the weight. A 4x5 is really too small of a negative for contact printing, so the 5x7 format seems like a good compromise. Most of my Polaroid Type 59 Image Transfers have been printed and framed as 5x7 prints in 11x14 frames, so I am used to viewing that size on the wall. Really nothing available anymore for color film in 5x7, but plenty in Black and White (I will shoot Ilford FP4). If I want to shoot color, I would have to purchase the 4x5 back for the camera at some point.
The Chamonix 5x7 weighs only 6.13 lbs., in part due to a carbon fiber base. I will also be able to shoot panoramic by using a half film slide on the holders, and in essence, getting two prints per sheet of fllm (roughly 2.5 inches x 7 inches)-two inches wider than the Holga Pan While this is light for a 5x7, it is NOT something I would attempt to backpack with (but a hike in to a local falls or wilderness area would be fine). Edward Weston always said he never needed to haul his old and heavy 8x10 equipment further than a few feet from his vehicle to find things of interest (and of course, Ansel Adams used mules in Yosemite).
A sample Platinum Palladium Hand Coated Print from the internet:
Here is a brief tutorial on the process:
Headed out for a Friday evening bike ride towards the big lake, back to a hot bath, and equally hot tea. Looks like I am going to be learning how to cut a window hole in a log home tomorrow (with VERY big logs).