Large format photography is, for me, one of the ultimate pleasures of making a photo.
At the moment of launching this album (March 2021), Florence is in a semi-lockdown since November 2020, making it impossible to leave the city to make pictures (or otherwise). Thus, the subjects in this album are Florence views, especially from the “Oltrarno”, i.e., the part of the city within the most recent city walls (1285-1333) on the left of the Arno. Some of these are part of the Progetto Oltrarno (the website will be up and running by the end of April: https://www.progetto-oltrarno.it).
Focussing on Florence and city views allows me to explore potential photos in depth, going back to places and objects many times. First looking without camera, then making pictures with the digital reflex or iPhone. And, if an image is of interest, assessing the best angle, the best distance, the best light, and the presence of people and mobile objects.
Seeing the image on the 8×10 screen, making adjustments by moving the front and/or back of the camera (sometimes struggling with the limits imposed by the lens and the camera), are some of the most exciting moments of photography.
Measuring with an analogue spotmeter which parts should fall in which zones, one projects (previsualizes) even more the image.
Waiting for the moment where people, cars, , birds, clouds move all in what I feel as the most interesting composition (hoping that this coincides with a moment in which the someting strong wind slows down), makes one aware of creating a picture (not making, let alone shooting one).
Developing the (black and white) films and, even more so, printing the contacts is the ultimate magic of photography.
My initial encounter with large format photography was with my father’s Linhof Technica 4×5. After decades, I briefly used again a Toyo 4×5 camera five years ago and, again, in the first half of 2020 in the framework of the Progetto Oltrarno, together with my friend Franco Guardascione. In the autumn of 2020, I decided to embark in full on 8×10 large format with a Gibellini ACN810.
The scanned photos published here do, of course, not transmit the same feeling as the contact prints do. They can be viewed in my studio “La Pace 72” (and contact printed copies can be obtained).