In today’s world of Instagram and Snapchat, large format photography is truly fascinating. It’s one of the oldest techniques in the medium, involving a tense long process of waiting and hoping (and carrying your heavy equipment around) – yet at the same time the quality is still unrivaled. In fact, it’s even better than the human eye can recognize from a few inches away.
“Through The Ground Glass” is a fascinating portrait of an equally fascinating guy called Joseph Allen Freeman, a large format photographer who climbs the vistas snapping stunning landscape images. The short film follows Joseph from capture to print, from lugging his heavy view camera and tripod over hills and into caves, to manually adjusting aperture and shutter speed using a light metre – to finally finding the perfect shot.
In the video he tells us that when it comes to exposure and framing, you’re constantly walking the line between being totally confident and then totally insecure at the same time – not knowing if you’ve hit gold or achieved absolutely nothing until you actually develop the contact print in your darkroom.
Directors Taylor Hawkins and Nick Bolton have done a stellar job in documenting Freemans and his photography. The process is almost philosophical at times and the footage is absolutely gorgeous. The video provides the perfect 5 minute escape from your workday – and once you’ve had the chance to see a great contact print in person, well, let’s just say that those Instagram filters will never look the same again.
Watch the video below.