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What is your most embarassing moment in LF photography?

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Joined: 29 May 2001
Posts: 164
Location: Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2002 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


On the large format website, someone posted the subject question and I thought it would be interesting to hear some humorous stories from the Graflex is my worst moment:

Back in 1973, at the age of 15, I was in the local high school auditorium where the Port Washington (NY) school board, union officals and teachers were discussing a potential teacher strike. I thought I hot ---- because the local town newspaper would send me out on local assignments. Now picture this.....there were 4 -5 professional photographers, all with Nikons as I recall. Then there's me...a 15 year old kid with his 4 X 5 Crown Graphic taking shots! I got many strange looks! (my first camera was a Crown Graphic at 13 years old, thinking I'd learn more about photography with a large format than the typical 35mm) I had just purchased a junky condition Grafmatic back, which I loaded with 6 sheets of Tri-X. I took a shot and was so anxious to take a second shot I quickly cocked the shutter and yanked the Grafmatic back so hard that the dark slide (which is suppose to lock) pulled all the way out and all the septrums popped out, sprung forward and landed on the ground! I was in the front of the auditorium when this happened....I received a lot of laughs...much to my chagrin!!!!

JP Mose
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Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2002 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was an assistant, the photographer recommended I try a different way of loading the holders, so I did. On ONE of them, the film didn't get under the rails. We were out on assignment shooting a new house model. When she pulled the darkslide on that holder the film fell out and got stuck in the bellows of the camera blocking the image. Of course we didn't know this until we'd shot all the film for that scene, struck the sets and moved onto the next shot.

Not quite as embarrassing was the time we were on the highest point of SE Detroit--a covered land fill actually.

We were shooting the front of a GMC/Iveco truck and were using this rented huge flat--10x20 I think.

This was used to reflect light back into the shadow side of the truck. It was mounted on two very stout light stands, called crank-a-vaders because they had winches to telescope them. The stands alone weighed close to 100 pounds.

The photographer was a big nut on sandbags, we must of had 15 or 20 on each of these stands so they wouldn't tip over.

There was a very nice breeze of about 10 to 15mph coming up the back side of the hill. At one point the photog said, "Tilt the flat",
I protestested, "But Dave, "It'll catch the wind."


Well I figured the worse that could happen was that the whole thing would topple over.

"Alright", and I grabbed the trailing edge of the flat and put it near the ground, the breeze filled the flat and I watched in horror as those two beefy crank-a-vaders bent over as easily as a 5 year old bending a coat hanger.

the reply,

"Well I guess we won't use the flat afterall"

Behold the power of Breeze!

[ This Message was edited by: Les on 2002-01-17 09:20 ]
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