Going On a Road Trip with a Large Format Camera and Glass Negatives

A fair number of artists disillusioned with digital are turning to various types of analog photography these days. In this video produced by Element Skateboards, photographer Brian Gaberman explores the East Coast with some antiquated equipment that produce beautiful results.

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The Road to Wolfeboro follows Gaberman with his Speed Graphic 4x5 camera. This is a rig that was famous in the mid-twentieth century a press photographer's go-to shooter. Gaberman's setup is a bit different, in that instead of using sheets of film, he shoots onto glass negatives that he then develops using the tricky and unpredictable collodion process. The images he ends up with are liquidy and ethereal.

Alternative and obsolete analog processes are sort of a trend nowadays, and working with these tools doesn't make you an interesting photographer. I think Gaberman brings a unique sensibility as a skateboarding photographer by looking for subjects that are, as he says, "on the sideline." He expresses it perfectly when describing coming upon a beautifully picturesque field, yet not taking a picture. "It just didn't need to be a photograph. There's plenty of that."

Check out Brian Gaberman's work here. [via Petapixel]

DISCUSSION

I'm a digital only photographer myself, but I like his work and I really respect Brian Gaberman's unpretentious view on why analog photography "speaks" him. Anyone who does photography as a hobby has run into a "film-only guy" who gives really weak reasons on why still shoots analog and poo-poo's "soulless" digital photography.

I personally know another pro photographer that has recently moved to doing collodian wet plates and I watched him make an image with it and it looked like just about the most annoying and difficult thing to do (he was using 10"x12" tintypes as his negatives so his view camera was literally "mammoth format"). He readily admit that analog is super inconvenient and imprecise... but like Brian Gaberman... he found it spoke to his personal vision of the world.

You can check out his work here - http://www.chrishoneysett.com/#a=0&at=0&mi=2…