Cameras and Lenses
While my roots are in black and white film photography, I'm currently working exclusively in digital. I prefer cameras that allow me to use movements. For several years I used a tilt-shift outfit that I built around a Fuji APS-C camera and Olympus OM lenses; I wrote about that setup on a page dedicated to tilt-shift on APS-C sensors.
Tilt-shift adapters are very useful, but the range of movements they allow is limited. Therefore in 2019 I changed to a full-fledged, medium format digital view camera for most of my work. I've prepared a page dedicated to adapting a Toyo VX23D digital view camera for use with a Fuji GFX 50R.
Carbon Inkjet Printing
Most of the images we see today are on screens. For me, a photograph is still a physical thing -- a print. I used to make silver gelatin prints in a darkroom. The prints I make today have very different qualities, while still preserving the core values of black and white. I use inkjet printers and monochrome inks to print on natural, unbrightened matte cotton paper. These monochrome inks range in tone from deep black to the lightest gray. They replace all the coloured inks you'd normally find in the printer. The result is a truly monochrome print that testing has shown can last longer than a silver gelatin print. With the addition of a small amount of blue toner in one position in the printer, I can use this monochrome inkset to make prints that have tones ranging from warm to neutral. There are two main approaches to this kind of printing: the turnkey system developed by Jon Cone, and the open source system developed by Paul Roark. I use Paul Roark's “Eboni Variable Tone” system because of its enormous flexibility, its low cost, and the excellent results you can achieve. For more information visit Paul Roark's website (www.paulroark.com). This approach to carbon inkjet printing requires Epson printers. I’m using an Epson 3880, a wide format printer that can make prints up to 17”. I have a second Epson 3880 in storage as a backup because newer models of Epson printers no longer allow cartridge re-filling, which is essential in my workflow. Roy Harrington’s Quadtone RIP software drives the printer and allows for the extremely smooth tones and precise control needed in this workflow.