4x5 Monorail View Camera Build
I felt that the only way to move forward as a photographer would be to push myself into a new format and the only way to master that format would be to start from scratch. So I decided to build a 4x5 View Camera.

The idea of using my man hands to sculpt the raw materials into parts,

then joint the parts to form something functional

and take this something functional and make it beautiful

then to use my something beautiful to expose large sheets of film

which I develop in my bathroom

to form a meaning photograph

Just filled me with romantic splendor.

I shed sweat, tears, cash and blood on the floor in my lounge (which, in retrospect, was not the ideal work environment) but it all worked out just fine and I ended up with more than a just a camera - I ended up with one with its own origins story.

I thank Jon Grepstad whose book on building a large format camera I used extensively and rate as the absolute best resource in the internet for anyone interested in a build. He was kind enough to make it freely available on his webpage. I strongly recommend that you visit his page home.online.no/~gjon/index.htm .
58 photos · 1,248 views