Surely, anyone who’s a fan of traditional photography today has large format photography on his or her bucket list. Thankfully, we have a lot of online resources to feed this curiosity with, whether it’s about getting the right gear to get started or learning the entire shooting process. In one of her recent videos, natural light photographer Irene Rudnyk gets to have a go with this beautiful medium for the first time, with pretty amazing results.
Many of us are probably more familiar with Irene shooting outdoors in natural with her DSLR. But in the video below, we see her try out two beautiful large format cameras with the help of Andrew Bolton. If you’re curious about what it’s like to go back in time and work with this timeless medium, you’ll definitely enjoy watching this video.
One of the things that make this video an interesting peek at large format photography is how Irene was able to answer some basic questions. First, we learn what is it that makes this medium still particularly interesting for today’s photographers: the negative size, which start at 4 x 5 inches, and can go as big as 20 to 24 inches. This means the images are high-quality, high resolution, and have a shallow depth of field. Next, Irene mentions two basic types of large format cameras: the monorail and field. For this shoot, she mainly used a Combo SCII RS 4×5 camera.
If you’ve been following Irene’s work, you’ll notice the change in her work process in this shoot. I honestly think it’s great to see her slow down, and shoot a “preview” shot with a Polaroid, just like the old times. It’s also a big change to see her work with indoor light. But it also goes to show that yes, she does know how to work with studio lights. Still, it won’t be an Irene shoot if we don’t see her work outdoors, so that was also interesting to see.
Her results are really beautiful, and definitely well done for a first large format session! Even her shots with the expired peel-apart Polaroids looked really great. I think this medium lends a certain mood to her already impressive visual style, and I do want to see her work more with it in the future.