Wednesday, 3 May 2017

BTEC Art and Design Photography - materials, techniques, processes and equipment - TLR camera

TLR camera (Through the lens reflex)

·         Firstly, this is a fantastic looking camera that draws attention to you as the photographer, and you simply using this camera says… I know what I’m doing, I’m an artisan with advanced knowledge of photography.

·         Looking down psychology. People don’t like being scrutinized through the lens of a camera. With SLR cameras, your face is on the same plain of focus as the lens and the subject often feels uncomfortable and uneasy about the apparent level of scrutiny implied through the use of SLR’s. With a TLR you focus with your face and head pointing and looking down and not at the subject. This has a potential effect in that they’re not so aware of being photographed and may feel more at ease and potentially a better result may evolve?

·         Prime lenses – they don’t use zoom lenses, all of the lenses that come with these cameras are fixed focal length and therefore prime lenses with better optics.

·         6cm x 6cm negative. This is a big negative that produces a very high quality image if used with the right films, processed correctly and printed on the right type of papers.

·         Focus on need to get the shot (12 frames). Again, this is another psychological factor, the whole process or making images using a camera that only has 12 frames per roll focuses the photographer’s attention on the job at hand. The process of making the pictures becomes slower and more measured and potentially better for it.

·         Requires use of hand-held meter – again another set of skills and it looks more professional and people potentially take you more seriously – you look like a photographer and you should be telling them you’re an artist… Digital photography is for snappers and amateurs.

·         Requires more advance knowledge of photography – filters out the cowboys and the wanna-be’s.

·         The square format also makes you think about the space in the image and creates further awareness of backgrounds in images.

·         Enables and encourages darkroom skills and a greater under-standing of the relationship between exposure, light and the print.

·         Enables you to shoot and create images in the style of the greats such as Avedon, Bailey and Penn through the use of techniques such as the inclusion of the border, again making you consider the frame. (Shooting full frame).

·         Working with such cameras demands and identifies more advance skill-set and increases potential to attain higher grades.




·         12 shots on a roll – although can be seen as a positive aspect (See above)

·         Lens parallax error – what you see through the viewing lens doesn’t correspond with the ‘Taking lens’.

·         No internal metering system

·         Bellows extension factor – with different lenses at different focal lengths and the closeness of the subject, the camera has a bellows system to facilitate focusing which affects the exposure. This needs to be factored into the exposure calculations.

·         You have to know about film in order to expose properly.

·         Need to have access to 6x6 format enlargers.

·         Need to additional skill-set of processing and printing skills/knowledge to get full advantage.

·         Size and weight – cumbersome.
Cost factor - film is expensive, photographic paper is expensive too.
Environmental factors - Film and photographic paper is full of sliver and there are issues with regards to discarding Fix which is one of the key parts of processing procedure.

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