Large Format Diaries

#6.  Revisiting Broughton Church


I revisited Broughton Churchyard at dusk once again last week, and have now just got the film back from the lab. Now that the clocks have changed and the light is lasting a little longer, it’s easier to get out at dusk on a nice still evening. I took both Nikon D800E and the Technikardan; initially I was happy with the Nikon shots, and almost didn’t take any sheets of 5×4 (I only had 2 sheets of Provia 100F and 1 sheet of Delta 100 loaded anyhow). In the end, though, the 1 image I made on Provia knocks most of the others into a cocked hat. I only had time to set up one composition on 5×4 before the light made focusing and setup impossible, and junked one sheet of Provia when the dark slide refused to go back in after the film – which had been left loaded for some time – had obviously popped out of its rails.


Here are the best 5 shots of the evening, digital first (best left till last!) – digital shot with D800E / 85PC-E




Side door detail


ISO 100 2.5” f/9





ISO 200 30” f/9 (couldn’t be bothered to shoot in bulb with cable release so raised the ISO…)



Side door 2 detail


ISO 200 1 minute f/9 (had to use cable release now!)




(both shots “scanned” using D800E and 85PC-E and lightbox, 4-frame stitch


Side door detail:


Delta 100:


Linhof Technikardan S45, Nikkor W210, Ilford Delta 100

f/32 for 8 minutes, 20mm front fall for composition.


Here I note the vast reciprocity failure of the B&W compared with the Provia (the reason why I didn’t bring any Velvia, in addition to the fact that I had none loaded).  For the Delta 100 shot, I set the shutter to bulb and had a good walk around the churchyard (in the dark!) while the time was counting down. (I used the Reciprocity Timer app countdown for this since I couldn’t see the second hand on my watch!)


And the one shot on Provia 100F


Linhof Technikardan S45, Nikkor W210, Fuji Provia 100F

f/32 for 1 minute and 5 seconds, 20mm front fall for composition.


Tonality is stunning on this I think – Provia really emphasizes the blue tones of the light of the clear night sky reflected off the door. For my money Provia wins the large format contest on this one hands down over my other shot on Delta 100. My wife thinks this Provia one actuall looks like the night sky, with the spider webs as the stars.


Looking back over the first month or so, and the first few sheets processed, I’m pretty pleased with my progress.  I’m still finding the black and white more difficult to expose for correctly than I imagined I would, and I’m still making a good number of screw-ups.  I’ve only trashed about 5 sheets so far, and am gaining confidence in my ability to accurately expose the colour slide film.  Things I have to remember to do include stopping down the lens for exposure, and tightening up/locking all the knobs and locks on the Technikardan after composition.  But I’m begining to fully appreciate how rewarding shooting large format is: the fact that it is time-consuming – remember all that film-loading as well! – is all part of the allure.


Hope you enjoyed. I certainly did!


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