Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Crown Graphic Camera
Three years ago, my father gave me an old Crown Graphic camera for Christmas. He had purchased it at a salvage sale at Tulane and lovingly refinished it for me. I love old cameras and have collected quite a few. This one is by far my favorite... and it has been calling my name. But I have been swamped and, quite frankly, intimidated by the bellows, the film holders, which have to be individually loaded with sheets of 4x5 film, focusing on ground glass. But I have been eyeing December and my calm shooting schedule as a good time to begin learning this camera. I am interested in creating a series of portraits with it. I am curious to see how the process of slowing down, releasing the shutter with a cable release (after metering, carefully focusing, closing the shutter, inserting the film holder, removing the film slide) affects my relationship with the person in front of the camera. Last week, my son Jesse and Maggie, one of my interns ( who just finished a semester-long course on large format photography at SCAD ) headed up to my studio to learn and experiment. I just picked up the processed film today. And even though these first two shots are far from perfect, I have to say I LOVE FILM! I'm not saying I love film more than digital. But there is something special about film that digital just can't quite imitate.