(for blog entries about the 8x16 camera along with an image of it out in the field click here )
My contact prints are created using a hand-built 8x16" view camera made by Richard Phillips, one of the last master camera builders. The ultra-large format camera uses 8x16" sheets of film which results in a huge negative with great detail. I don't crop or manipulate the image; it is made 'as is' in the camera itself.
The entire printing process is done by hand, one sheet at a time. Using my wet darkroom and traditional techniques I first develop each sheet of film and then make a contact print. That’s where the process differs. Most film photographs are made by enlarging the small film image which gives a big print but an inevitable loss of some detail. A contact print is made by meticulously placing the film directly against the paper which gives instead a pure representation of all the tone, sharpness and depth that was captured in the camera.
Fine-art photographers have long valued contact prints because this method reveals the otherwise hidden range of grays and shadow gradation with all the texture and dimension intact.