Douglas Kirkland on Photography: Shooting with an 8x10 Camera
In the Douglas Kirkland on Photography series, well-known photographer Douglas Kirkland explores a variety of real-world photographic scenarios, sharing technique insights and critiquing the results.
This installment is a love letter to the large-format Deardorff view camera, which shoots a negative measuring eight by ten inches. Douglas begins by showcasing a dozen startling and luminescent portraits from his years working in large-format photography, featuring subjects ranging from celebrities such as Nicole Kidman to Australian Aborigines.
Next, Douglas tours the 8x10 large-format camera, showing how to achieve effects such as shallow depth of field and describing the printing potential that such a large negative permits. He then demonstrates a variety of lighting, posing, and styling techniques while photographing both indoors and outdoors at the Kirkland studio in Los Angeles, California.
The course concludes with a critique of the resulting photographs. Douglas also shows how he resized and cropped the image to fit a print campaign.
(upbeat rock music) - The traditions of this camera goes back to the beginnings of photography. It's an 8x10 Deardorff. We find in this large camera, it's almost impossible to over expose a negative, that may seem extreme, but in other words, put a lot of exposure. When in doubt, over-expose with these big cameras. (camera shutter) Exposed. (whispering) Beautiful. (whispering) Yes. (upbeat rock music) (click) (whispering) Wonderful.
(whispering) It's very exciting. Look down slightly. Look under the camera. (click) (whispering) Wonderful. Finished. (camera shutter) Again, you see that you've got a little more feel here and it has softened these lines quite a bit. In other words, I would say this is a more successful image immediately than this. (camera shutter) To the other chromes and negatives if you want to digitize them, different ways of doing it, but a simple and quick way that we have worked out is working with our copy stand. What Jeremy's gonna do here is photograph these and what we will do is inverse it.
(camera shutter) So, here we have an image and in Photoshop, I come down to the Invert. Suddenly now Charlie is one of us. And watch this, this is Charlie as we got him a minute ago. There he is now. Cool, isn't it? (camera shutter) All the magic we would've never imagined just 20 years ago. Look at that, everybody. See we've got this wonderful detail, precise in his eyes. That is sharp, sharp, sharp.
You have this softness that melts inwards, it's just so fluid and beautiful. (camera shutter) (upbeat rock music)
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