'Small Towns of the American Northeast'
(5x7 negatives) 36 prints, 1993

Fox Talbot Museum, UK, 1998
Laurier Gallery, Toronto 1995
Art Gallery of Peel, Brampton 1995

All images in this portfolio taken with an 1898 Century
Grand 5x7 Camera & Goerz Dagor f:6.8 Series III Lens

Unfortunately, this camera has no built-in GPS. But I have included links, where
possible, to present day views of some of these locations.


Sadly, the extraordinary detail and tonal richness of large format negatives is now a mostly lost art. (see chain link fence and trees in bottom image, and window mesh and siding in 3rd image). Lost to the digital age, which for the most part, can't come anywhere close to replicating it*. It will be many years before larger digital sensors develop commercially and affordably beyond the medium formats of present. (as if medium format digital backs are 'affordable' now anyway). *An exception though, is the 4x5 formatted digital scan back. But it is time consuming to use, and the file sizes are huge. It is mostly a special application sensor used for photography schools, museums and libraries, and high end commercial work. It is completely impractical for use 'in the field', as it has to be tethered to a computer. I took many of these images from under a large umbrella. Working with such equipment, if even available 22 years ago, would have been near impossible for this portfolio. So, for the foreseeable future, medium format (Phase One, Leaf Aptus etc, approx 36x49mm sensors) is as good as it gets for present day practical commercial and creative photography.

With most large format view cameras, the near/far fine focus is accomplished using lens standard forward tilt. In the case of this 5x7 camera, the back standard is tilted back.(focus rail board dropped in fact, combined with very small aperture) Unfortunately, this camera has no front swing, so I wasn't able to attain critical focus at distant left.

2012 view


From: 'Small Towns of the American Northeast'
Adam's Grist Mill, Bellows Falls VT April 1993 (5x7 negatives) 36 prints

One of the hallmarks of large format, is the opportunity to look very closely at the myriad fascinating details. In this case, the small drain pipe extruding from the brick wall, the narrow steep wood stairs and discarded millstones at bottom right....plywood board and its stampings (easily readable with a lupe b.t.w)

2012 view


From: 'Small Towns of the American Northeast'
(5x7 negatives) 36 prints


From: 'Small Towns of the American Northeast'
Bellows Falls, 1993 (5x7 negatives) 36 prints

2015 view


From: 'Small Towns of the American Northeast'
Benson Mines NY 1993 (5x7 negatives) 36 prints

2008 view


From: 'Small Towns of the American Northeast'
Tupper Lake 1993 (5x7 negatives) 36 prints

2015 view


From: 'Small Towns of the American Northeast'
Chicopee MA 1993 (5x7 negatives)