Studio Practice: Shooting Faces 5×4 Workshop

For this workshop we were tasked with setting up the 5×4 cameras for a group portrait. We would need to decide how we wanted to shoot the portrait on 5×4, would we include the Scheimpflug Principle or need to include the Bellows correction formula. For this shoot we used the standard 180mm lens but could have gone for something slightly wider 90, 120 or 150mm. Because we were doing quite a big portrait we set up camera with the standard lens but set it further back. We set the camera up to expose with an aperture of F/32 with no bellows correction. This would give a large enough depth of field for the portrait without having to resort to the Scheimpflug Principle. Once everything was ready one of the academic instructors loaded the film and took the image for us.

However unbeknownst to us the film had been loaded in the wrong way so we never saw how the film should have looked. This was an important lesson for us that 5×4 is time consuming and isn’t easy to fix you need to get the image as perfect as possible. If you don’t make sure the film is loaded correctly the shot is ruined and all that prep is wasted.


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