“The actual process of creating something from it’s inception to completion in the form of a finished work of art was and still is challenging, and I enjoy the limitations that come with the format and time component of large format film photography.”
Who is Steve Sherman?
While I had met Steve at local PPA gatherings from time to time, it wasn't until I had a question or two that I approached Steve to go over some of the functions of my 4″x5″ field camera.
The truth is, my field camera baffled me. I have a stash of old Polaroid Type55, and I recall playing with it about 15 years ago, but the camera, the shutter release, and the storage box had not seen daylight much. And, to me, that's a travesty. Steve, I'm sure, agrees, though he prefers to use a 5″x7″ field camera instead.
Given how ubiquitous screens are in our lives today, I suspect way too many of us haven't laid our eyes on an actual print produced from a large format negative.
To put it bluntly, a well-exposed negative, dutifully processed in the right developer will yield prints that are nothing short of divine.
And, if you were to walk into Steve's darkroom, you'll see first-hand these gorgeous prints, well, everywhere. It's fair to say that Steve's life revolves around his family and his photography.
When my one question turned into three or five, I had to stop myself from asking more because Steve's responses were immediately actionable.
“Here, let me show ya,” he would say as he embarked on a mini-lesson that I was sure customized on the spot for me. If you were to meet Steve, you'd find him to be patient, observant, and thoughtful.
I didn't want him thinking that I was just there to exploit his 35+ years of knowledge on the subject. So, I invited him to what I thought would be a quick chat in his darkroom.
Peter Dylag, who had initially introduced us, was also there, setting up his video cameras to film the entire episode for Steve's YouTube channel.
If you would rather watch the chat, check it out here –
Large Format Environmental Black & White Photography
Here are some examples of Steve's large format photography. Yes, I do fully understand the irony of publishing these small and on your screen for you to see. Let me repeat – if you ever get a chance to view Steve's work in person, do it. Each frame is a wonderful journey.
From one of his recent posts:
“My three part video on the theory and operation of the View Camera will premiere on New Years Day. 34 minutes of Hi Def video is my gift to all who have interest as I take a break from Social Media.”
I do hope you spend a little time away from social media learning something brand new (if it is that) in 2020!