Large Square Format Photography

I recently made some masks for my 13x18cm film holders to allow me to shoot square format for a change. Using an actual camera to make photographs was a nice break from other techniques I’ve been using in my recent work, and I was reminded of how I have always been interested in interacting with the environment in various ways in order to make photographs.

These are scans of contact prints that I accidentally made with the wrong filter, making the contrast too high. Nevertheless, these proofs are enough to give the general idea of the image, which is very important for me because I lack the ability to concretely visualise much at all, preferring to get something down on the page as it were, and then going from there.

With x-ray film, I use sellotape to stick each exposed sheet to a piece of glass or small sheet of aluminium, and then develop them in trays. After the development is finished, I place the sandwich in the stop bath and then remove the film from the support before another quick soak in the stop bath and then into the fixer. This method of processing allows me to have the developed image only on one side of the film, which greatly improves the sharpness and clarity when making enlargements. If however, I only intend to make contact prints I don’t bother with these extra processing steps, as the benefit is not big enough to warrant the trouble.

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