Update - 9/15/2006
Now that I've started in large format photography, where am I at? Ok, not started yet as I don't have my camera yet, the Layton is still in production. But I have everything else except for the filters which are easily available at local stores. Everything else is ready to start learning and doing. So what's next?
First, when the camera comes, after reading the books, you practice setting the camera up and taking it down into the cases. You do this 50-100 times to become familar with handling it and understanding the movements and controls. This includes practicing mounting and unmounting lenses and handling them so everything becomes natural in the field.
Second is the obvious, handling film and changing film in the film holders. You can save this for home practice if you have enough holders for the field work, but you still have to learn the same work in the dark, with either a changing tent or a darkroom.
Third is learning exposure. This involves the Zone System, getting the exposure readings, knowing your film (did I forget film tests, read about it), getting ready for the actual exposure.
Fourth is taking the exposure, meaning loading film in the camera, testing and setting the shutter, setting the aperture, taking the exposure, and then changing the film in the camera. It's where the learning meets reality.
And when the camera arrives, the real adventure begins.
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