Sunday, November 14, 2010

Switching it all around

I've been taking a few weeks to reevaluate my own workflow, what I'm spending my time on, what is distracting me from the work I want to be doing.

So this is what I came up with.... it's a bit of a rant but makes sense in the end.

I've decided to continue shooting rodeo cowboy portraits for the next while. The enjoyment of shooting the portraits is what got this whole thing started.

It's important to know that I own a traditional photography retail outlet.... which does have some influence on the equipment I use and film's I shoot with.

Last year I backpacked through China with my daughter and took along a pair of Zeiss Ikon rangefinders and a pile of black and white Delta 100 and 400. Although I'm happy with the work from the trip, and made a series of nice portraits, I doubt if my future trips will be film only.... more likely one Zeiss Ikon and a M9. So I'm selling off my back-up film rangefinders. But you can't travel with just a rangefinder since they're a pain to use with a lens longer than 50mm and I really enjoy shooting portraits with a 135mm. Which means more gear to haul.

For regular 35mm I use Sony digital cameras, since I do work for Sony. They never made a film camera so I have a F6 for shooting with an SLR. I don't shoot with it all that much but will keep it in the drawer for now.

I have an entire Pentax 645 system, which is the odd man out and I'm going to get rid of it. It's a great system but I want to focus on large format and the Pentax makes me lazy.

My large format of choice has been the Ebony SV810. This is a great camera, a joy to use and I have an 8x10 enlarger to make the large prints I like to make.

The problem with the Ebony is that I carry five brands of 8x10 cameras at my retail store.... but Ebony is no longer one of the brands.... so I decided a while back to sell the Ebony brand camera and replace it with a new camera. This opened up a whole new can of worms.... which brand to use... Canham, ShenHao, Wista, Walker, Toyo. And since I'm switching cameras maybe it's time to switch formats????

I've noticed both my friends and enemy's are switching to lighter gear as we grow older. So after much thought I decided to switch to 4x10 from the 8x10 and also add a 5x7 back.

So there we have it. I'm going to shoot portraits of rodeo cowboys on a 4x10 ShenHao camera and print them in my darkroom. I just need to get a 4x10 negative holder built.

I'll have to switch film from the Delta 100 that I love but isn't in 4x10, and start using FP4+ since I sell that at the store.

I've sent in the order for the new camera, started selling off the excess gear and ordered a few extra boxes of film in the new format.

Now where did I put that saddle.
Rob Skeoch
pumped and ready for the new adventure

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