62-325 The View Camera


You must complete eight of the assignments listed here.
Some weeks you will have a definite assignment; other weeks you can choose one from the various categories

1. Shoot something you've photographed before
Dig out a photograph you've made in the past, with a small camera, that you think is successful. Go back to that same subject and, as far as possible, shoot it again using the view camera. The primary point of this exercise is to become conscious of the ways that both the process of photographing, and the resulting image, are changed.

The Camera

2. Photograph with the plane of focus altered
Use swings and tilts to put the focus plane through two or more objects at different distances from the camera. Make one photograph which uses this technique to maximize depth-of-field. Make another with a large aperture, emphasizing the manipulated focal plane.
2b) Throw areas of the normal, parallel-to-the-film plane of focus out of focus.

3. Use perspective/convergence controls
In other words, make a classical architectural photograph by correcting the convergence of vertical lines which occurs when the camera is aimed up or down.

4. Close-up work
Simple exercise -- use the Bellows Extension Factor card to compute the additional exposure needed. Make one exposure at the metered exposure, and one at the adjusted exposure. Important: on the negative shot at the indicated exposure (i.e. the underexposed negative), leave the 2" target in the scene for the shot. Mark down on your negative page the bellows extension factor you computed, and the exposures given to each negative.
Deliverables: two negatives, and paper showing the details of your calculation of the exposure adjustment.

5. Use a primitive or "wrong" lens
Take advantage of the simplicity of a view camera by experimenting with all of its elements. Make yourself a lensboard out of cardboard and stick some sort of odd lens in it. Another idea: Substitute printing paper for film in a film holder, and make a paper negative.

The Negative

6. Control the contrast of the negative
Shoot at least two sheets of the same composition. Either expand or compress the contrast of the negative by adjusting the development time. An inferior alternative is to process two negatives identically, and then to intensify one. Make prints (on the same grade of paper) which shows the change of contrast.

7. Multiple exposure on one piece of film

8. Alter the surface or integrity of the big negative
It is physically a large enough object to do handwork on. Scrape off the emulsion, draw on it, cut it up. Run it through an inkjet printer and print something on it. Bleach off part of the image with potassium ferricyanide. Tone part of the negative.

9. Solarize the negative
There will be a significant loss of contrast, and the print will require a higher paper contrast grade.

10. Define a custom film format
Declare your own format, either rectangular with a nonstandard ratio, or in a nontraditional shape. Make a negative printing mask, and shoot using only the custom format's area on the ground glass.


11. Paint with light

12. Print big
(Mandatory) At least 16x20 inches. It is not possible to fully understand the quality of the big negative until you've made a substantial enlargement from one of them.