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clmbr wrote:For large printing photography at that time at least 6x6cm (middle-size) cameras were used or even so called large photography gear (e.g. Ansel Adams) to get more details, less grain and sharper lines, plus other optical characteristics.
Medium Format = 4.5cm to 9 cm in film length. Not "so called large photography gear". Large Format = 4"x5" to 20"x24" film.
Not sure how you interpreted my writing and what was your point but just in case here is a bit more detailed (although still very minimal) angle for more demanding audience. However, I doubt you did not understand.
Small size (35mm performed "roll" film; typical frame size: 24x36mm): e.g. Cannon, Leika, Nikon, etc.
Medium size (120 or 220 roll film; typical frame size: 4.5x6cm, 6x6cm, 6x9cm): e.g. Bronica, Hsselblad, Roleiflex
Large size (anything above of the above sizes; frame size: e.g. 4x5”, 8x10”): e.g Linhof
The importance of the film size (and type) was not just the captured image resolution but death of field, camera’s speed (shutter, not film), and camera and its associated equipment portability, to name a few.
To view large size prints properly you need a distance like with a large size TVs, for instance; otherwise, you would see grain/pixels and other imperfections. One of the tricks to overcome 24x36mm limitations, however, was to make a dub on 4x5” or 8x10” transparencies and then blow it up to large format prints. The photographic paper and (printing) film also had different qualities such as color spectrum, contrast, and “sharpness” as well (different light sensitivity too).
Enlargers to expose prints had only three basic filters to manipulate (or balanced) colors, YMC. In digital world, besides the old method, we may access separately and individually YMC and RGB (plus whites, neutral and blacks or shadows and highlights) and modify each independently without altering other (opposite) colors. In Fact we may access and modify every pixel separately or any desired image area (based on any need) if there is a reason and time for that. However, so called “fixing in post” is a bad assumption and attitude?
ROL wrote:Fuji Velvia transparency was (is) also known as Velveeta among landscape photographers for its (cheesy) high saturation/contrast properties. Rowell preferred it because of his human eye – contrast theories as well as its fine grain. Sometimes the results speaks for itself, sometimes not.
The different characteristics of various film were just features available to photographers who could make choices based on their perceptions and the final work purpose, for instance, portrait, architecture or landscape. Fuji Velvia was excellent for landscape photography to achieve vivid colors and contrast (and fine grain) which was important in large printing. However, everything is based on perception and preference. If you want to sale it, it’s the perception of your audience to buy it.
Nowadays all these features are build in and ready to use in cameras as well as in post production software. So what’s left to photographers beside right moment, target, compassion and framing? Lighting! And Galen Rowell knew how to take advantage of it.
BTW, his large prints (regardless of technical limitations and imperfections) show more details and tell more story than their small equivalents; however, way too large and too expensive for an ordinary person. Photography has never been valued as much as even crappy painting.