Behind the Scenes of 8x10 Camera Shoot on NYC's East River

Sunday night Kate accompanied me on an 8x10 shoot by the East River. I packed the 8x10, the tripod, and my film holders loaded with Fuji Neopan Acros 100 film. This was the first time I've used this legendary film in 8x10. It's incredibly hard to find in the US and I had been lucky enough to get this box a few months ago from a fellow large format photographer who had visited Japan. Wanting to get a decent shot of the abandoned Domino Sugar Factory before developers tore it down, we walked the desolate stretch of Delancey Street to the East River with all of my gear in tow. Kate had the D700 with her and planned to take some shots of the Willimasburg Bridge as well as me setting up the 8x10.

8x10 Camera Shoot on NYC's East River - that's the Williamsburg Bridge in the Background 8x10 Camera Shoot on NYC East River

Adjusting Lens Aperture on the 8x10 Camera, NYC Adjusting Lens Aperture on 8x10 Camera, NYC

Checking Set Up on the 8x10 Camera by Williamsburg Bridge, NYC Checking Focus on 8x10 Camera by Williamsburg Bridge, NYC

Checking Final Focus with the Darkcloth on the 8x10 Camera, East River by Willimasburg Bridge Me Shooting 8x10 on East River by Willimasburg Bridge copy 2

The Resulting Photograph The Abandoned Domino Sugar Factory, 8x10 Fuji Neopan Acros 100 Film Domino Sugar Factory, 8x10 Fuji Neopan Acros 100 Film *Larger Version on Flickr.

And just so you know that I'm not the only photographer in the family - the Williamsburg Bridge and East River During the Blue Hour by Kate Williamsburg Bridge and East River shot by Kate

Technical details: the camera is an old 1935 Eastman 8x10 View Camera with a modernish (1970s) Schneider 300mm f5.6 lens. Since there were very few developing times online for Fuji Acros in sheet film, I resorted to using an old favorite developer and estimating the times. I used Kodak Xtol developer as a 1:1 solution and developed the sheets in trays. The time I figured out was 10 minutes, but since I use brush agitation I reduced the development time by 20%, giving me 8 minutes. It's pretty much where I wanted it. The center building is very dark in real life compared to the buildings around it and I worried that it wouldn't get enough light. Instead of a four minute exposure, I gave it an extra minute for a total of five minutes. Worked like a charm.