Independent Photography

Medium Format

It has been almost two months since my last post.  While I find that hard to believe, the last little while has been very busy.  Although I’m not inundated with photo work right now I am in the final stretch of my undergraduate degree at Carleton.  I’ve also been preparing for Costa Rica somewhat.  One consideration has been which film camera to bring?  At the advice of a friend I’ve decided against bringing a 35mm SLR and opted instead for 6×6 medium format.

I’ve been playing around with a Bronica Medium format.  I’ve used it for a few daytime walk arounds but for the most part I have had unstable results with low light exposures.  However, last night I performed test using a roll of Ilford HP5+ rated at ISO 1600.  I’ve figured out the camera’s operation, mostly and have my first scans.  The operation and results have been great thus far and medium format strikes me as a great new medium (hahah) to play with.

Firstly; the frame is square, for someone used to the standard 4×6 ratio of a 35mm frame this is new.  Secondly; the camera uses a top down view finder which means rather than hold the camera to your eye you cradle it in your hands and look down to frame, its called a ‘waist-level view finder,’ great for low angles.  Also the focusing screen is mirrored so all the framing movements feel backwards.

Here are some low-res uploads regardless the sharpness and level of detail is incredible…

Self-portrait of myself taken at the new Ottawa Convention Centre

The Chateau Laurier and the locks in front of it pouring into the Ottawa River.

The back of the Parliament buildings and a Rideau cruise ship on the river below.

The statue of Samuel de Champlain overlooking Ottawa and Gatineau. It's on a point behind the National Art Gallery and provides one of my favourtie views of Ottawa.

The massive spider outside the National Art Gallery, it was supposed to be a temporary installment - but positive reaction lead to it becoming a permenant thing. I tried to frame it like it was eating the church...

A view from beside the Chateau Laurier looking North towards Gatineau and the Ottawa River.

The view of Cowan Lake near Huntsville, Ontario. It's from a trip to my dad's cotage at the end of August.

The view of Cowan lake at sunset from the water level.

The colour photos were shot on Velvia 100 ISO 120 format film and processed by the good folks at Labworks on Bank St.

The black and white photos were shot on Ilford fp4 ISO 120 format film and processed by myself in my kitchen..

However, the cost of scanning 11 negatives at medium resolution (equivalent to 3 megapixels or so) was $37… Kinda ridiculous, the film is still affordable, especially if you buy in bulk and purchase online; scanning at high resolutions is not.  So I think I need to find an affordable high-res medium format film scanner.


Adam Dietrich

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