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Friday, 27 October 2017


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These are all beautiful. Thank you photographers and thank you, Mike!

Thank you, Mike for including me in your inaugural "Baker's Dozen". Great work that you have featured in this post and its nice to see a wide range of various styles and subject matter. Also good to know that there are still a few of us out there still using traditional large format film!

". . . he shoots in 10x12, 7x17, 16x20, and 20x24 . . ."

7x17 was a "Banquet" camera, designed for that specific purpose. Not my original, and once removed from the contact print I copied, but I thought it would be fun to see what they were primarily used for in their heyday.

A much larger version may be seen here.

This is of Carol's Aunt Annie's wedding. It's technically amazing for the DOF and sharpness right out to the corners. It's also an amazing photo because of the great wealth of characters captured having a great time in Brooklyn shortly after the war.

This sample from about half way from center to corner also happens to feature Carol's parents.

(Tripod on Annie's kitchen table after lunch, books on the corners of the print, 5D and 90mm macro lens.)

This is a glorious set of images! Really. Some fabulous work among TOP readers. Wow.

It is wonderful (and very reassuring to us lovers of photographic art and history) to see the diversity and beauty of the work here. Thank you, Mike.

The subject of the first photo is Els Vanopstal, a fine photographer herself: http://www.elsvanopstal.com/ And yes, these are all great - thanks for assembling, Mike.
PS If it's not Els, please correct me, Johan!

I really liked this post. It’s amazing what wonderful work is being done by photographers around the world that would not likely be seen but for forums like TOP. Keep up the good work Mike and my sincerest congratulations to the photographers who submitted their work whether or not it appeared in this Baker’s Dozen.

Great article, great pictures.

Wow. What a great series and wonderful photographs.

Thanks for including me in this post! Nice work by all included.

Any entries from photographers in developing countries?

Ufft. I recognized the Ilford/Harmon direct positive paper at a glance - that stuff is weird, wonderful magic, and a great use of it here. Now I want to go back to it...just as the light becomes scarce. A thank you somewhere between very sincere to very sarcastic for making me want to use that 4x5, Mike...

This is a great beginning (to your planned series)! I do like seeing the images captured by other TOP readers (modern terminology deliberately applied to these large-format contact prints).

I do have contact prints from some of my 4x5 negatives—just like with my 35mm negatives. My index prints.

Great post. Hope you do more of them.

Thanks Mike, for a great Idea.
Thanks to all doing the work, it's wonderful, and inspirational.
I keep saying I'm done with film......
....but I can't get myself to dismantle the darkroom nor sell the cameras
from 11x14 & 8x10 deardorffs B&J 8x10 5x7 & 4x5 and beautiful Zone IV 4x5 as well as a few crown graphics
Every time I see work like this I get the bug.

I'm grateful to all who participated. Thanks

I wish there were some way of seeing the difference between a contact print and a, what do you call it? a non-contact print? on a computer.

Digital seems to have erased most of the difference between large camera and small camera images in technical terms. I've made my living selling contact prints because my customers appreciated that there was just so much more to see. You can almost walk into the image.

Now I can replicate the image with digital, it's complicated to make them look the same but it can be done. I just flipped through a stack of prints on the counter next to my computer, and it's easier to tell a contact print from a digital print by touch than from how they look. Yes, they feel different, but if they look the same.....?

This is superb!

Thank you, Mike, for your creativity in thinking of it and making it happen.

@ Moose - how did the photographer ensure that everyone (bar possibly one woman) has their eyes open?!

I'm sure this is a "Top Ten" post, thanks so much. Kind of liberating for me personally.

Loved looking at all these pictures and processes — thank you to all who submitted.

And Moose, thank you for posting that wonderful wedding shot — just fantastic. I was on that block of Flatbush Ave. about a year ago — a friend lives in a house around the corner, on the same block as the studio of the photographer who took your picture back in 1947. So your shot gave me that sense of wonder I always feel when photography reveals the layers of time that attach to a place, or a building, or even a person, and the change that time brings with it.

I also love learning new things about how professional photographers worked in the good ol' days. The banquet camera concept was new to me, but, of course, it makes perfect sense.

Thank you Mike for posting these beautiful and inspiring images from the TOP readers!

This has me longing for the large format and ancient processes :)

Good work everyone!!!

Love this post. I have a Crown Graphic and have always wanted to try contact printing LF, but felt that 4x5 was too small to do so. I may need to rethink that....

"@ Moose - how did the photographer ensure that everyone (bar possibly one woman) has their eyes open?!"

"And Moose, thank you for posting that wonderful wedding shot — just fantastic."

I'm not THAT old. I was 3 1/2 at the time, and living on the other side of the continent. Not my shot; I'm just another appreciator, passing it on.

What tricks of the trade got everyone looking at the camera with eyes wide open and lit so evenly, I don't know.

I am glad you folks enjoyed it and that I got a chance to copy it.

This is a breath of fresh air. What a great idea Mike. I am looking forward to the rest of the series.

First, thank you for including my submission into this inaugural gallery. I am both surprised and delighted.

But second, and more important: I am impressed by the other works presented. So much so, that I would like to try to do some things as good and as unique. Been on eBay several times today, looking for the right 8x10 camera. I'm afraid you might have unleashed a demon.

"@ Moose - how did the photographer ensure that everyone (bar possibly one woman) has their eyes open?!"

I will jump in here to help a guy out. What worked for me was to ask everyone to close their eyes, then count "one, two, three, open!" I would take three exposures which was adequate for getting the shot. As a photographer you need a little personality (I am happy when I shoot), be a bit of a director, but not the center of attention (people appreciate a little direction at special events), be quick (get in and get out), and know the capability of your gear in the environment. Easy peasy!

You are quite right. She's a wonderful phtographer who works primarily in 6x7" MF.
Thanks for pointing this out.

At the risk of "outing" Monty McCutchen, whom I admire as a photographer, a teacher, and a person, you and TOP readers might enjoy knowing that he's also an NBA referee, and generally considered to be one of the best. Type his name into a Google image search to see him in action.

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