The core problem with this kind of photography is that it’s a major effort carrying the gear to and from the car to the particular location. Once I’m on location its okay–its actually very mediative as it takes 30 minutes or so to set tripod and camera up. So I am very much in, and attuned to, the moment. I find that an enjoyable experience. I’m at peace with the world.
I’m doing 8×10 on a budget and my gear–the heavy Cambo monorail and the Linhof tripod with its Pan/Tilt head—is just not practical for this kind of on-location work:
It is very old equipment that I bought cheap a couple of decades ago–it was probably made in the 1960s or earlier for use as studio workhorses. The camera weighs a ton, as does the tripod, whilst the old Schneider Symmar 240mm lens cannot cover the extreme movements of the monorail and it is stuffed–its electronic but the battery housing is so corroded that I can only shoot at 1 second exposure minimum. That’s not a bother as at f45 I start my exposures at 1 second.
So I’m hardly modern, but what the heck. I accept that large format photography of this kind is slow and frustrating at times and that shooting large format equipment is costly, time consuming, space wasting, and challenging. I’ve learnt that the camera itself is not the main point in taking the picture.
This kind of yesterdays’s photography stands as a counterpoint to the contemporary DSLR world currently defined by Canon and Nikkon.