Crown Large Format Through-The-Window San Francisco Sunset Chinatown

Crown Large Format Through-The-Window San Francisco Sunset Chinatown

Technical considerations are definitely important. Sweating the details is what will make the difference between OK and wow. But there is always a time to stop being squeamish and just shoot!

The above is an example.

I saw this scene and barely had time to run and set up the equipment against a not-entirely-clean window. Shooting through windows is not normally a great idea but just look! This was not a scene to miss by obsessing on perfection.

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Najma Area Construction II

Najma Area Construction II

Ah, the magic of urban long exposures!

As I sit here in my San Francisco hotel room I really need to get to bed but the travel half way around the world seems to have whacked my body clock. So I’m exposing.

I made a very conscious decision on this trip that I didn’t want to be wasting my time getting sucked into “tourist snapping”. No digital, no 35mm SLR. I took only the Crown Graphic to force myself to be selective and not be tempted into any “casual” photography.

Large format is not casual.

However, I did want something carryable so I also took along my Grandfather’s old tourist camera from the 1950s — his Kodak Retinette. No exposure meter, no rangefinder for focus. Just a peephole for framing.

It is so freeing.

I’ve just taken two shots off the balcony at f11 and two minutes. Well, two minutes felt right. That should be about EV0. Assuming that there is iso100 film loaded in that camera. I’m actually not sure. Just did this last one about four minutes twenty. It should fill in the shadows a little more.

Now I’m off to try to sleep. I won’t see anything that I’ve taken until I get back. Maybe even some time after I get back depending how busy I am. I know I’ll have some thick tasty negatives to work with at some point. And that is good enough for me.

I’m free.