We confess: We love medium format. The way it makes you slow down and the beauty of its negatives are somehow obsessions that are very hard to escape from. What about large format, then? Shouldn’t we give it a try? How would it feel? To find out, we got in touch our talented friend Mikah Manansala and asked about his recent experience with a Graflex Super Speed Graphic and different films.
As a photographer, Mikah believes that a quote from American spiritual teacher and author Ram Dass describes his work best: “The nature of my work concerns the spaces between the words rather than the words themselves.” We can see this in the way he sees the differences between medium format — with which he has already worked extensively — and large format, in which one requires a very different way of working from the other.
“The work you need to put in just to set up your gear and get everything just right,” he begins. “It takes time but also enables you to really think through the image you want to capture on a single sheet of film.”
“Unless you’re travelling with a suitcase packed with film holders, you generally don’t carry as much large format film around as you would when using medium format. Therefore, you generally take more time to get the shot just right.”
For those who are hesitant about trying this challenging format, Mikah advises not to be turned down by the whole process it requires. “The bulkiness of the gear can be hard on your back, but the reward is even greater since you don’t get as many shots as you would have when using other formats. Appreciate the ritual that is setting up your gear in order to align the perfect combination of things to get a shot you will truly love.”
To see more of Mikah’s work, please follow the links below: