To decelerate the oversaturation and over-production of photographic media, artist and photographer Jahan Saber often searches for ways to slow down the technological consumption with photography by using analogue means. Part of the Vienna-based photographer's skillset is using a large format camera, known for its impeccable, high-quality print that not even digital medium can match. He tests out the LomoGraflok 4x5 Instant Back with his large-format camera, and here's what he has to say for first impressions.
Hey Jahan! Can you introduce yourself to the Lomography Community?
How long have you been shooting with large-format cameras?
I’ve been shooting with large format cameras for nearly two years by now and I’ve been shooting analogue for quite some time and large format was something I’ve always wanted to try, so I’ve been finding my way through it.
What do you like most about the shooting experience with large-format?
Well, since I’ve been shooting analogue for quite some time I’ve always wanted to take things slower and I think that large format is kind of like the absolute way of taking photographs in the slowest way possible because there are just so many steps involved and so many things you need to do to make that framework. That’s the main thing that I like about it.
Have you ever taken instant photos with the large-format cameras before?
No, I’ve never taken instant photos with a large-format camera, it’s my first time now, actually.
Can you tell us about your experience with the LomoGraflok 4x5 Instant Back ?
Working with the LomoGraflok was cool because usually, I do all my development myself, but it still takes some time until you see actually what kind of frame you have and since I don’t have the peel-apart film I was happy to integrate something into the workflow, to get fast photos. I think it’s cool especially with the features that the large format camera gives you like the whole depth of field and tilting and shifting so it’s pretty cool to get that into the instant format.
How would you integrate this new tool into your photographer’s toolkit?
Well definitely I think that the most practical thing that you can do is test with it – if you are using your large format on like a photo shoot or something and maybe you just want to test something and you want to see how a specific lighting condition works. It’s not only very handy and that can help you in your workflow, but, I think, with the ability to be able to do multiple exposures and stuff like that I think you can get very creative with it. I think it offers a pretty big variety of things you can do.
Can you talk about the shots you have been taking with the LomoGraflok 4x5 Instant Back?
Lomography was really kind to lend me the LomoGraflok and I was able to experiment with it for a couple of days. I think that the main thing that I wanted to try to do was to understand how I could integrate it into my workflow, in the best way possible. So, I got a bunch of color films and I mainly shoot black and white so that was, first of all, a bit of a challenge for me. The first thing that I wanted to do was playing around with depth of field because I used to own a few Instax cameras that I sold and I have a Polaroid now as well, but you can’t just get the entire amazing qualities that you can from a large format camera.
So, all I really wanted to do was just play around with it. There were a few experiments that I tried to do. So there was this one shot – I wanted to take a perfect picture of my hands above the ground – and doing this all by yourself it’s quite tricky. I wanted to take a photo like that in general always, just with my 35 mm (camera) so I tried to do it on large format – I kind of put a table in front of me, and I focused on the table, and then I pushed the table away, and I had the cable release around my leg and – it was a disaster. But it was a lot of fun trying to do stuff like that and I think just having the ability to get the photo out straight away just opens up so many doors into creative fields that you can experiment with. I think it’s helpful, I think this is the biggest benefit of it.
What do you think are the main benefits of using Fuji Instax Films over other peel-apart alternatives?
It’s definitely cool to have peel-apart film, I mean who doesn’t like it, the fact of peeling apart the film. But Instax is so available and is not as volatile. You can do a lot of things with it. The film is out and you can have it straight away in the sun, the temperature effect isn’t as strong as on Polaroid film for example. It’s pretty durable and I think that makes it pretty affordable as well.
Jahan is the founder of DEVELOP and a photography teacher on Skillshare. For more information about his work, visit his Instagram or read more in our previous article 100% Analogue: A Darkroom Love Story with Jahan Saber from DEVELOP.
Learn more about the AllFormat Collective in their website.
Widen the creative possibilities of your analogue arsenal and get the LomoGraflok Instant Back, now available at the Online Shop .