We recently did a feature on Eliot Dudik’s 8×20 large format film project and he just let us know that he’s been able to do some preliminary scans of his images so far as he prepares for the documentary project. You may also recall that Eliot is on PDN’s “30 New & Emerging Photographers to Watch” feature for 2012 which is quite an achievement. But not too long ago, Eliot sent us an update on the project; and the images that revisit the American Civil War sites are really quite stunning.
Eliot is working with a very special type of camera called the Korona Panoramic View, which was manufactured by the Gundlach-Manhattan Optical Co. in the early 1900s. There aren’t many of these beasts still in active use, so it’s rather impressive to see one in such usable condition. He has chosen to use a C.P. Goerz Dagor 12 inch F/6.8 lens for now, but Eliot mentioned that he’s actively on the hunt for a longer 14 inch Dagor lens (also made by C.P. Goerz). The reason for this is that such an enormous film area to cover creates an exceptionally wide angle image and the 12 inch is a bit wider than Eliot is looking to work with for the project.
As mentioned in the title, Eliot has chosen to shoot this project on Kodak’s beautiful Portra 160 film–the very same emulsion that you will see from 35mm through large format. While Portra is obviously most well known for its exceptional rendering of skin tones, Eliot also finds that he enjoys the colors and tones it produces for landscapes. I’m definitely inclined to agree with him, being a Portra 400 shooter myself.
So far Eliot has been able to do some test scans utilizing an Epson v700 flat-bed scanner, he has told us that the colors and quality are far from finalized as he is going to have the final scans done via a drum-scanning system which will yield a highly impressive result in the end. You’ll notice that there is a break in the images, and this comes from the fact that Eliot has to use two 8×10 sheets of film side by side in the holder to be able to shoot a single image on this monster camera. In the past, one could purchase 8×20 format film but it is becoming more and more difficult to source. I have to commend Eliot on this awesome undertaking for his project, and I can’t wait to see the finished work.
If you would like to see more of Eliot Dudik’s work, be sure to stop by his website.
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