Photographic Society

Published on October 11th, 2019 | by Content Admin


Photographic Society: October 2019 Report

Click here to see the whole photograph –  Figures In The Mizzle by John Cavana ARPS…….Copyright John Cavana

October’s presentation, entitled ‘Large Format Photography’, was given by Adderbury’s Laura Walker. We could see straight away by the cameras and equipment Laura brought, that her photography – large format and mirrorless – is quite different from what most of us are used to. She classes herself as a heritage and rural life photographer, and is greatly influenced by James Ravilious, an English landscape photographer.

For composition and perspective, Laura’s cameras of choice are the Seagull Medium Format, the Horseman and the Wista 45. Large format cameras consist simply of a back plate (an area where the film is placed), a front plate (an area where to place the lens) and the bellows (to catch the light between lens and film) which connect the two. Rather than SD cards or film, these cameras are loaded with individual plates, using 4×5” sheet film which gives approximately 100 MP resolution.

The Seagull is compact and lightweight compared to the other cameras, and has twin lens. The Horseman 4×5” L-series view camera is heavy and supported on a monorail, and is good for a studio environment. There is no mirror, therefore the images appear upside down. The Wista 45 camera is collapsible, supported on a baseboard and portable. Again, it is mirrorless and so the composition is shown upside down. It is less flexible as there is no monorail, but is good to carry for landscape and portrait photography.

Equipment needed for this type of photography is a sturdy tripod, cable release, magnifying glass, loupe, heavy blackout cloth, loaded film cassettes, additional lenses, tape measure, light meter like Sekonic, notebook and pen to record settings, and of course the camera. And a backpack for all this kit.

Ansel Adams, Gregory Crewdson, Sally Mann, Edward Burtynsky are some of the photographers who use large format photography to great effect. A round of applause was a perfect end to Laura’s talk – some may well be inspired to explore large format photography in the future. To see more of Laura’s work, go to her website:

The monthly photo topic, Strange Signs, did indeed produce a variety of effective and amusing images from the membership. Next month’s topic will be Shadows.

Wendy Meagher


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