Another Large Format Session With Chiara

by Harlan, December 19, 2013

In November, I was lucky to work with Chiara. Chiara is a photographer studying with the same teacher I’ve been studying with these past few years, and she currently has one of her recent works on exhibition in Rome.

But for a moment or two, this photographer turned model. We had one session in October, and she was gracious enough to return in November. The session called for much patience on her part, as I’m still working my way around the large format film camera and its idiosyncrasies and frustrating processes.

I still have not had one session with the 4×5 camera that has not resulted in lost frames, whether due to misloading the film in the holder (see the exposed edges of the negative in at least one photograph from this session), misloading the holder in the camera, or destroying or scratching the negatives in the development process. It takes practice, and the materials aren’t cheap these days. Apparently, I’m not very coordinated, particularly in the darkroom.

After ten sheets in the large format camera, using purely window light and Iflord HP5+ 400 film, I again switched to my Mamiya RZ67 Professional II for one roll of medium format, Ilford Denta 400.

I chose one negative from this session to print on Ilford warmtone fiber paper at 11×14, and it looks fantastic. The choice is the first image below in the gallery. Unlike other photographs I’ve prepared for this website, I’ve made no changes to the digital versions from this session, so the pure “computer black and white” images lack the warmth that exists in the one print, where grey is not really grey.

I also used a few of these negatives to create 4×5 contact prints, which also look fantastic.

Don’t forget to check out Chiara’s fantastic photography.

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