View Camera Landscape Photography (five-session workshop)

The 4×5 view camera, capable of rendering any scene with unsurpassed detail, is a natural tool for landscape photography. These intricate, early-style cameras promote attentive looking, thoughtful composition, and unhurried practice. This workshop introduces you to the technical and aesthetic aspects of shooting with these large-format cameras. You’ll explore the compelling upside-down image on the ground glass while shooting various sites (urban and natural) in Philadelphia. Loading film and exposing one shot at a time, a slow and methodical process, will expand your creativity and visual ideas. You will develop positive paper negatives in our wet darkroom and enjoy class critiques of your work. A view camera, tripod, and light meter are strongly recommended.

What you will learn in this workshop:

  • Fundamentals and pleasures of using a large format view camera

  • How to visualize and compose on a ground glass

  • How to measure light manually and expose film properly

  • How to work with film holders and positive paper

Required supplies:

  • 4×5 view camera (folding field camera, not studio monorail style) with lens

  • Sturdy yet portable tripod for field work

  • Durable tripod head that can stand heavy weight

  • Dark cloth for blocking out light while composing (recommended)

  • Manual light meter (phone app meters okay) (recommended)

  • Loupe for checking focus on ground glass (recommended)