Shooting a Challenging Large Format Photo

Large format photography is already a highly challenging genre, as it requires a lot of technical considerations other formats don't. This great video follows a photographer as he shoots a difficult scene with an 8x10 camera while walking you through his methods and creative decisions. 

Coming to you from Steve O'Nions, this fascinating video follows him as he shoots an 8x10 photo of a wrecked boat in difficult conditions. I have always enjoyed large format photography for a few reasons. First, the process is vastly different from 35mm or even medium format and requires a lot of careful technical methods to achieve a single successful image. Second, the resultant images have such a unique and fascinating look. Last, I find the entire process very calming and contemplative. You might only shoot a few images in an entire outing with a large format camera, as each image is costly and requires a lot of careful preparation and measurements. To me, this makes it all very meditative and a great way to spend a day returning to the fundamentals of photography. I totally recommend picking up a 4x5 camera and trying it out yourself sometime. Check out the video above for more. 

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4 Comments

Kim Bentsen's picture

Are we there yet?

Emile Husson's picture

I admire the perseverance it takes to get just one of these shots, and I think it's a great exercise to understand the fundamental mechanisms of photography in this way. O'Nions is clearly immersed in the contemplative side of the art, and that can bring tremendous value to a shot simply in the attention paid to every detail, such as the desire to drive the mid-ground slightly out of focus while getting the foreground grass and the boat in focus.

Having videos is as frustrating as sites that want you to pay after their ads load. F stoppers should have an icon for video so O can skip it.

Alex Cooke's picture

We do. It's the play button on the thumbnails on the homepage.