Why Large Format Digital Photography?

Because large-format photography looks better than small-format photography.  It always has.


Click here to zoom into image created with a DigiTiler and Sony A7R.

Then why don’t more photographers use it?  For starters, you can’t throw this in your bag and shoot a wedding or corporate event:

Copyright Michael Darnton
Copyright Michael Darnton

From the beginning, photography has been practiced at two extremes.  The first using large cameras producing rich images, but a slow process; the second by small and fast cameras, but fuzzy images.  It’s the same with digital cameras. Today, the compromise is between the full-frame camera and the medium format camera, which has a 2.5 inch sensor (vs 1.5 inch full-frame).  Few work in medium format.  The latest 100 megapixel body starts at $32,995 (body only).  As for large format, did I mention that there ARE NO sensors?  Therefore, to shoot large format requires that you shoot film.  Between the difficulty of large-format, and price of medium format, 99% of all photography happens in less than 1.5 inches.

Even if there were 4×5 sensors, all those megabytes would choke one’s storage and software responsiveness. Anyway, who needs all those megapixels when you can’t really see the difference in an 8×10 image, say, once you pass 24 megapixels (which is what most cameras do these days)?  The fact is, the public doesn’t see a resolution “problem” in photography.  Indeed, most people love Instagram type, low-res, filter-effect images.

So why have I built a device, the “Digitiler”, which creates 4×5 digital images that are so large PhotoShop can’t save them as PSDs, in one file (they’re larger than 2 gigabytes)?  The answer, which I’m sorry to repeat, is that large-format cameras produce an aesthetic you can’t get with smaller cameras.  There’s nothing magical about the images; there are scientific reasons behind it, but I want to keep this post simple.  Any photographer or art director who cares about clarity, and a realistic 3-dimensional look, wants the look large format can provide.  Paying the price in time and effort for it, that’s the only question.

If you don’t know much about photography consider this, not a single knowledgeable photographer has ever said, “imagine how much better Ansel Adams or Edward Weston’s photos would be if they could have used today’s cameras.”

To view large-format digital photography please visit DigiTiler.com









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