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Large format photography

November 12, 2011

What most attracts me to large format photography is the ability it gives me to be able to achieve high levels of technicality and creativity, as it can produce the sort of images in terms of scale and perspective that no other camera is capable of.

The other advantage of large format cameras is that I am able to blow pictures up to billboard size without losing any quality, hence why many photographers working commercially choose to use this camera format. Indeed large format assistants are in high demand and will often travel all over the world with top photographers.

The design of large format cameras is such that they are also able to correct the normal problems encountered with a regular camera of lines within the picture appearing to converge. The use of a large format camera, with which the angle of the image plane is able to be altered, renders a different result, with true lines and angles. Essentially it is able to give a much more realistic, and almost 3D, image that brings the viewer closer to what he or she is looking at.

In the same way, and again angling the image plane in the correct way, large format cameras can be used to photograph buildings, showing the front and side views with the correct perspective

By moving the back camera plate, horizontal lines can also be straightened. This is most often needed in commercial photography where products need to be shot in the most attractive light with straight horizontal and vertical lines.

The same concept, of shifting the image plane laterally, can enable a photographer to take a picture of a mirror without appearing in the photograph themselves. This is done by displacing the lens or film standard sideways so that the lines stay parallel but the camera itself doesn’t appear in the photograph.

Click here to find out more about large format photography.

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