Large Format Workshop

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to spend my Sunday hanging out with some genuinely amazing people learning how to use large format (4×5) cameras and talking all things film. The Analogue Laboratory is an artist run community darkroom facility within the heart of the Adelaide CBD. Created and managed by Alex and Aurelia, their passion (and knowledge) for all things analogue is contagious. They run a number of different courses throughout the year depending on what your needs are (large format, darkroom basics, cyanotypes etc). So, why go and play with a large format camera? Well, why not! I’d played with the idea of getting one some time ago but settled for my GW690III for film economy and use in aerials. However being a bit mad on film I really wanted to experiment with one as it’s a significant departure from using roll film (135 or 120). So, doing a course was a no brainer as I don’t study photography or have a friend with a 4×5 camera. The large format course runs all day but has a gentlemanly start time of 10am. Covering a bunch of history and theory behind large format, Alex and Aurelia do a great job of imparting their wisdom before you get to practice loading film. Then a couple street and a couple of studio shots later I had 4 images ready to develop. Queue some tasty lunch! Following a stint in the darkroom developing and eagerly awaiting the results we also tried some New 55 instant 4×5 film (colour and monochrome) with mixed opinions. All in all, I ended up with six pleasing images but more importantly the memory of a very happy day! If you’re interested I can highly recommend the experience.

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