Slow Photography at the Aegean Center
20, November 2012 § 1 Comment
Sunday’s large format class. In Lisa Nam’s photo above, Emily Eberhart is adjusting to f 22 on our sweet and plumbed 1958 Deardorff with Piera Bochner assisting; soon to be loaded with Ilford FP4 for a carefully pre-visualized and crafted Zone Exposure.
The students very quickly grasp the concept that working with a view camera is indeed slow photography and very much a practice of meditation compared to the click-whirr hand-held reality, especially when using a tripod mounted 8 x 10.
The Aegean Center continues to value and teach the gelatin silver process. Of course part of an in-depth understanding of silver based film photography is knowledge of its history, process, tools and equipment. I believe the experience with Slow Photography is enormously important and crucial to teaching the craft, more so now than ever in this digital age of 32+ gig memory cards and hyper-active digital capture.
I am not intending this to be a negative assessment of digital photography, (those of you who are familiar with the Aegean Center know we have an excellent digital course and state-of the-art digital lab) . I do, however, want to make the point that experience with Slow Photography is important to the true understanding of the aesthetics of photography in general.
A snap by, Anvitha Pillai, of John adjusting for the challenging backlit portrait of our faithful and smiling Hygou as John chants, “Place and fall…Place and fall…!”
I absolutely agree, working in large format has personally benefited me in every area of photography. Taking the time to consider every aspect of the image from the exposure to the print is such a valuable skill to be able to utilize in the days of instagram (which is certainly fun). I’m glad to see John’s Deardorff still in action at the Aegean Center and knowing the Zone System is alive and being passed on!