January 26th, 2012

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Street portraits: paper negatives

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Yesterday I took my Speed Graphic 5×4 camera out to do some paper negative tests. There was no light for photography because the sky was heavily overcast and there was a threat of rain in the air. I was determined to make some exposures to see how the paper negatives would cope in such horrible conditions. The Speed Graphic always seems to attract attention and this occasion was no exception. I’m not surprised because it’s not every day you see someone out and about using a camera from the 1940’s.

It didn’t take too long before I found willing subjects to stand still for me. The exposure times for these was 3 seconds. The stone on the walls and the floor was a lot lighter than the dark clothing so I had to sacrifice it in the exposure. I was excited to scan these and did so in a hurry so perhaps with more time I might be able to get some more detail from these shots because there is more detail in the original paper negatives.

[Tech info]: Speed Graphic 5×4 with 203mm Ektar lens. Ilford multigrade glossy rc paper with a grade 2 filter on the camera lens.

This gentleman was very calm. When I asked him to stand very still he asked if I meant motionless. I like that word.

This guy was a cool character. He was only in Oxford for the day and was looking for interesting places to visit.