Large Format Portrait

Our first assignment is to make a portrait. Portraits are not my favorite thing. People move, they get tired, I don’t know how to make them comfortable or pose them… with digital imaging, it’s easy to just click the shutter a few dozen times and pick the good ones. Unless something is wrong with your settings or your subject, you will make an acceptable portrait.

However, large format film is expensive. We are using a “student grade” film that costs about $0.90 per sheet, and that’s one image. And it takes for-ev-er to set up the camera. And focus it. And reset because something changed. And refocus. And try to get your subject comfortable with this big honking lens right in their face… so I ended up making four negatives in total for this assignment.

Two were of my lab partner on the evening we got our cameras, in which I got some good focus on his shirt.

The other two, made later after reading about using a string to help your subject stay in the right position for the focus, were of my ever-patient husband. Here’s my favorite (as rendered by the scanning software, and then converted to jpg by Lightroom):

Front facing face only portrait in black and white of a gray haired white man


It’s not easy to see in this small image, but his eyes are in super-sharp focus, which is what I wanted. I’m looking forward to seeing how it looks printed.