For the most part it’s a big 10x8 inch negative camera that takes in a huge amount of information. I have used it for many years. It’s a simple enough process of seeing something, being there and taking the picture. If you want more detail, here it is;
I am looking for not just the changing nature of what presents itself to the camera, but the variety of pace within that change. Winters end, spring returns, birds migrate and the tide ebbs and flows twice a day. There’s also geological change; vast eons of time that shape the ground we are upon, planetary alignments and the daily occurrence of sunrise. And all the time the wind blows, changes direction, and stirs the world, moves things... often very gently indeed. It is amongst these pulses of nature that we find ourselves; often brief and elusive moments but magnificent nonetheless.
One of the appealing aspects of contemporary photography is how, in spite of powerful editing possibilities available post production, it is a medium still bound closely to reality, at least in perception. The premise, for the moment, is that what you see is intended to be valid. This means that any transcendence that a photograph is able to express has the opportunity to be both real and magical at the same time and I find this good, fertile territory.
A particular puzzle in the practice of using the 10x8 camera is when to press the shutter. There are many independent things going on, movement everywhere. You cannot look through the camera while you expose the film, so the only way is to see is from just by its side. Because the lens takes in roughly the same span as the eye I find that if I concentrate on the ‘centre’ of the view ahead, I become pleasingly aware of the various interactions within the whole at the same time as witnessing the whole itself. It is as if you are seeing nothing and everything. I am not saying that this approach works every time... far from it, but this has become a part of the process; look and take what you are given.