Introduction to Large Format, Part II
 

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Introduction to Large Format, Part II

Contents

Movements introduction
Basic Swing and Tilt Operations
1. Rise and Fall
2. Shift
3. Swing
4. Tilt
Verticle Perspective Control
Horizontal Perpective Control
Vertical Image Placement
Horizontal Image Placement
Depth-of-Field Control

Movement

The principal features that set view cameras apart from all nonadjustable cameras are the cameras movements. In a nonadjustable camera, the relationship of the lens to the film plane is fixed and permanent; other than switching from one lens focal length to another, or changing your camera position, fixed cameras offer you little actual control over image manipulation.

A view camera, on the other hand, allows you to change virtually every aspect of the lens/film relationship, including: lens-to-film distance, vertical and horizontal displacement, and angular relationship. Because of this flexibility, you have almost limitless control over the ground glass image. You can enhance, change or exaggerate image size, shape, sharpness, depth of field, and apparent perspective. In addition, you can shift the placement of the main subject within the borders of the ground glass without having to move the camera, allowing you to fine-tune composition even after the camera position has been established.

Basic Swing and Tilt Operations

The following basic movements are possible in actual use:

1. Rise and Fall

These terms refer to moving the lens and/or film upward or down ward while keeping the lens and film planes perpendicular to each other. Upward movement is called rise, downward movement is called fall. The effect remains almost identical regardless of whether it is the lens or film holder that is moved. However, it must be remembered that when the film holder is moved, the image moves in the opposite direction as when the lens is moved. (This is also true for all other movements.)

2. Shift
"Shift" (sometimes also called "slide") is movement of the lens and/or film horizontally while keeping the lens axis and film plane perpendicular to each other. It is used to move the subject area laterally.

3. Swing
Swing means slanting the lens and/or film holder to the left or right. Unlike with rise, fall and shift, the lens axis and film plane are no longer perpendicular to each other. Swing is used to correct or deliberately exagerate distortions in the (horizontal) linear perspective.

4. Tilt
Tilt means slanting the lens and/or film holder upward or downward. In other words, "tilt" does for vertical lines what "swing" does for horizontal lines. Swing and tilt are used to change the depth of field to match the subject, or to compensate perspective lines for correct image size. Since each of these basic movements can be performed by moving the front and/or back of the camera, there are 16 possible patterns using the four movements. In actual work, a combination of two or more of these movements is often used to obtain the proper effect for each photograph.


Vertical Perspective Control

Useful when photographing buildings from a low angle.

If the camera is pointing upward. . . and the subject looks like this on the ground glass (converging vertical lines). . . remember, the image will be upside down.


1. Tilt camera back parallel to the face of the subject to correct perspective.
2. Tilt camera front parallel to the back to correct sharpness.


Refocus if necessary and . . .
The subject will look like this. The perspective is corrected.

Horizontal Perspective

Useful in architectural, still life and product photography.

If the camera is pointing at a slight angle to the subject. . . (top view)

And the subject looks like this on the ground glass (converging horizontal lines). . .

1. Swing the camera back parallel to the face of the subject to correct perspective.
2. Swing the front parallel to back to correct sharpness.
Re-focus if necessary and . . .


The subject will look like this. The perspective is corrected.

Vertical Image Placement

Improves composition, eliminates reflections.

If the subject looks like this on the ground glass...
...or like this...


Use the front rise or fall or the back rise and fall, and . . .

The subject will look like this, properly composed.

Horizontal Image Placement

The Horizontal Image Placement is used for the same purposes as Vertical Image Placement.

If the subject looks like this on the ground-glass...
...or like this...
Use the front lateral shift or the back lateral shift, and . . .

The subject will look like this, properly composed.

Depth-of-Field

To control depth of field with the camera.

To achieve maximum depth-of-field from the front of the subject to the back. . .


Tilt front of the camera forward, and stop down as necessary to achieve desired effect. The swings are used to control depth of field on the left to right subject plane. The swings and tilts on the back of the camera can also be used to control depth-of-field.

Continue to Part III »


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