Updating a Classic - part 4 of 1 2 3 4

by Sean Conboy Published 01/01/2014


Changing Gear

Up until very recently the nature of Sean's work meant that he worked with vintage-looking large-format film cameras because he needed to utilise the various built-in movements to ensure an enormous depth of field or to correct such things as converging verticals. "Years ago I was told that architectural shooters would be the last to abandon film because we needed what these big old cameras could give us," says Sean. "However, with so many pro labs shutting down and fewer places taking on the processing of sheet film, something had to change.

"In the end I switched to a Hasselblad H3D 50, which was the first camera I used that gave me files that had a true film-like appearance, coupled with an amazing tonal range. I was also able to use it in conjunction with the fabulous 28mm wide-angle lens, and this set-up is giving me results that I consider are better than I could get by drum scanning 5x4" originals.

"Up until 2009, however, I was still having to do certain shots on 5x4" cameras, either an Ebony or a Sinar, because of the combination of a very wide angle with camera movements that some shots required. Now though I'm using a Linhof Techno camera and a Rodenstock 23mm and 32 mm digital lens, and I'm capturing my files using the digital back from the H3D. I love it: this set-up is giving me more in the way of movements than I ever got on my equivalent 5x4" set-up, and the Linhof Techno is so well engineered that I have no alignment problems with the back at all. I can also use some of my old large-format film lenses with this camera, and they work well."

For anyone who enjoys the whole art of photography, it's fascinating to look at Sean's work and to hear him talk through the processes that he's used to create his final images. The good news is that, having recently signed up to become a member of The Societies, Sean will be delivering what is sure to be a sell-out seminar at the Convention in January, where he'll be showing off some of his stunning work and talking about the techniques he uses to create his amazing pictures.

"I love the way that The Societies works and I really appreciate the open, positive attitude that I've encountered," says Sean. "I've not spoken at the Convention before, but I'm really looking forward to it. I'm also going to make sure that I get to see as many of the other speakers as possible: it looks like a really good line-up and if I had the chance I would try to see them all!"

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1st Published 01/01/2014
last update 06/11/2019 11:05:03

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