Chamonix View Camera

We tried and tried to make our digital images look like Edward Curtis'. We tried a tilt/shift lens, a digital Petzel lens, played with extreme shallow depth of field, and even with the Photoshop mastery skills that John and I have, we could not achieve the same results. So what does one do then?? You get a new Chamonix 6.5x8.5" View Camera (couldn't find a working version of Curtis' favorite camera, the Rochester Reversible Back 6.5x8.5") and find antique lenses to go on it! For you camera/techy peeps out there... we got a Miller Petzel 355mm f5.6 which dates back to 1863!! How crazy is that?????? The other lens is a Wollensak Optical Co.Rapid Rectilinear normal to slightly wide angle (we haven't figured out it's focal length yet) circa late 1800s as well. The other secret ingredient is to photograph with glass plates and process dry plate. Our glass plate negatives are special ordered from Jason Lang in NH. 

The camera...

We keep meaning to photograph someone with both the digital and the view camera, so that we can show you them side by side... but we keep forgetting! We will have to post that at a later date. In the mean time... here's a sample of my friend Tracy (photographed digitally) with my son Cole (photographed with the view camera). If you zoom in at all, there is a big difference. Not sure how well it will show at this resolution, but trust me, they look very different. There is a much deeper intensity especially in the eyes. 

 

Below are a couple other test images we have done. We are LOVING these! Practice, practice, practice!