The Large Format Group – Beechworth, VIC (1-3 March, 2013)

1-3 March, 2013. I was one of fifteen large format photographers who met up in Beechworth. It was a weekend held to gather like-minded photographers together to share ideas, to teach and learn and, of course, to take and look at photographs.

Beechworth is a wonderful little town – very idyllic with plenty of history, interesting architecture and some great surroundings for landscape images. It basically provided something for all photographers.

Richard White, fine art photographer, was the driving force behind the weekend and had arrange a fairly loose schedule for our first meeting. It was more about getting everyone together initially and seeing what people wanted to do.

The range of photographers were both young and old, new to large format photography and those who had been shooting with this format for as many years as I’ve been on the earth! Everyone had something to offer and the photographs shared (we did a “show and tell” on the Saturday morning) were as incredible as they were varied – from glass plates, salt and tin types to digital prints. The weekend attracted some notable photographers, other than Richard White, including David Tatnall, plus a horde of other unknown-photographers-but-certainly–should-be-known.

I was personally unlucky enough to arrive in Albury airport from Sydney minus everything I needed (lenses, film holders, film, light meter, tripod etc.) bar my camera due to chaos at Sydney Airport resulting from a broken down baggage machine. It all finally arrived around lunchtime on the Saturday and I was finally able to capture some images in the afternoon.

Saturday evening was discussions on photography over a few beers and a few glasses of wine, and also what we aimed to get out of the weekend and if we would be keen to join together again in the future. The response was positive and most, if not all were very keen to gather again later in the year.

It was decided that the group would meet on a six monthly basis – twice a year in the same location and the following year, we would move to a new site.

As a self-processed gearhead, I enjoyed looking at the variety of cameras including home-designed and built super-wide angle cameras, 8x10s, numerous 4x5s of all kind (monorails, wooden and field cameras) and the range of styles of photographs on display. It was a very inspiring and very educating weekend.

Thanks very much to Richard White for organising the weekend. It was great to meet him and to all the other photographers that were there. I look forward to the next one later this year!