The one thing I try to do as I work is keep a very firm grip on what is
important, and what is peripheral to my vision. In light of this, four days after the demise of my beloved Wista 4"x5" view camera, I was back
working, this time in the girders under a railway bridge 8 meters up in
the air, with my 8"x10" camera and Ingrid as a model. The fact that one
camera had an accident is not sufficient reason to change the way I work
- plus, I did not want the wait period for my replacement camera to
hinder my photography, so the following Sunday I loaded up 12 borrowed
film holders and set out.
It has been a long time since I photographed with only the 8"x10" camera so the first thing I realized was how comfortable I was with it. Unlike working with the Pentax 67 (or 35mm, for that matter), seeing with the 8"x10" was second nature. The image was the way I was used to seeing it (upside down and backwards) and all the controls I take for granted (rise, tilt, swing etc) were at my fingertips. Though the 8x10 was slower to use, and considerably heavier (24 sheets of film in holders weighed about the same as 72 sheets of 4x5 loaded!), it was a joy to use, and renewed my desire to use it more frequently.