In 1995 after shooting 35mm for 25 years I decided it was time to buy a large format camera. I purchased a Zone VI 4×5 wood large format camera. I was coming from the fast paced World of shooting wildlife and bird’s in flight with long telephoto lenses and now moving to the slow paced World of shooting a large format camera using sheet film. It was a big challenge and learning how to be a good Photographer using cameras and lenses at both ends of the spectrum was a great learning experience! I enjoyed that process very much and still enjoy it today.
In 1997 I purchased the Toyo 45AII 4×5 camera above. With a large format camera you have a camera that does nothing but act as a darkroom for a sheet of film. The Photographer must go under a dark cloth and look at the image on the ground glass at the back of the camera. The image you see is backwards and upside down. The camera has movements that allow the image to be brought into focus. The lenses must be set manually for aperature and shutter speed. You also have to use a hand held light meter to figure out the correct exposure. In the end a photograph in a digital camera takes seconds. In a large format camera it can take 15 minutes to get ready to take your first photograph.
I still shoot film and I will continue to do so as long as film is available. I do my own B&W developing and color transparency E-6 processing is still being done by a local lab. I do all my own printing, matting and framing. Transparencies or negatives are scanned by my Epson 10,000 XL Scanner and loaded into my computer. I use Photoshop to dodge, burn and adjust exposures as I did in my darkroom. The images are printed using my Epson 7900 large format printer.