Top 3 Large Format Photography Books to Get

I have been shooting large format photography for the past few years.   For large format photography, you need to be proficient in every step you do if you want your shot to turn out well. Other than shooting more, the other way is to read some of the best photography books out there . There are great images, and good explanation in the books that make learning easier. Here are a list of books I found to be extremely helpful.

1 . Ansel Adams: The Camera (The Ansel Adams Photography Series 1)

This is the first of the 3 Ansel Adams’s photography classics made accessible to a wider, new audience. It  covers everything from visualizing the final photo in your mind to lens choices. It also has  many of Ansel Adams most famous images. A bit technical but still very readable.

2. View Camera Technique
Already in its seventh edition, View Camera Technique is a very  comprehensive book that covers every aspect of the the view camera.  There are a diagrams, comparison charts, and more than 500 photographs and illustrations to accompany the text to make it easier to understand.

3. Large Format Nature Photography
This is the book to get if you want to see landscape photos taken using a large format camera.  The tips the author writes on how to work with the weather, keep images organized and maintain their personal vision are very helpful.


Black & White Photography Book- The Photographer’s Master Printing Course

Recently I have been doing more black and white printing in the darkroom. This leads me to renewing my printing knowledge. Here is one of the book that I think is great for learning darkroom printing.

The Photographer’s Master Printing Course

The Photographer’s Master Printing Course

The Photographer’s Master Printing Course is a great book by Tim Rudman.  This book is suitable for beginners to advanced darkroom users. I am amazed by the wealth of information given in this book on basic printing, toning, bleaching, multiple printing and so on.

In addition, the author shows  photographs before and after using some bleaching toning or other techniques.   He  explain very well how he got one or another effect.  Do get this book while it is still available new. 

New55 Film Kickstarter

The New55 4×5 instant film is moving another step towards being available commercially. The folks behind it has finally started  a Kickstart campaign  to raise funds for a commercial production.

What is New55 film? Well it is a film similar to Polaroid Type 55 film which is a black-and-white peel-apart Polaroid film that yields both a positive print and a negative image

Untitled | Polly Chandler (New55 FILM) (Photo from Kickstarter page)

As a large format photographer, I am happy that there is another choice of film and I greatly admire the few folks at New55 who took up the challenge of recreating this film.

The target to be raised is US$400,000 and the figure has reached US$61,000 when this post is written. Do pledge to this meaningful project here 

By the way, I have already obtained  the Polaroid 545 holder from Ebay which will be used to hold the film while prices are still low. Do not wait too long to get one.


Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Cordless Off-Camera Flash With Highly Advanced Power, Speed and Light Shaping Possibilities Now Available for Pre-Order at Adorama

New York, NY (PRWEB) November 05, 2013

Profoto today announced the official release of its brand new B1 500 AirTTL off-camera flash and Air Remote TTL-C for Canon (more info) both now available for pre-order at Adorama (, one of the worlds largest photography, video, imaging and electronics retailers.

Expected in-store and online December 2013, research and development for the B1 began four years ago to create the most easy-to-use, powerful and versatile off-camera flash ever released. Its compact, cordless design makes it the most convenient off-camera flash available, enabling photographers to take it wherever, whenever. The Profoto Air Remote TTL-C for Canon with patent-pending AirTTL technology integrates camera and flash, prompting the light to automatically adjust its output for perfect exposure without any manual metering.

Adoramas First Look at the Profoto B1 500 AirTTL and Air Remote TTL-C

Adorama Learning Centers Mason Resnick, a technology and photo industry expert, test-drove the Profoto B1 500 AirTTL off-camera flash and Air Remote TTL-C. He says, Four years in development, the Profoto B1, which was announced today, is an entirely new kind of off-camera monolight flash for location and studio photography lighting. With a powerful 500 Watt Second output, the B1 is completely cordless, battery-powered and wirelessly synched and controlled via the new Profoto Air system with an operating range of up to 1,000 feet. Read the full article here:

Watch a hands-on review of Profoto B1 500 Air TTL on AdoramaTV:

Groundbreaking Technology Brings a New Meaning to Wireless Communication

A new, patent-pending invention, the B1s AirTTL function integrates flash and camera like never before. With the Air Remote TTL attached to the cameras hot shoe, photographers simply point and shoot while the B1 automatically adjusts its light output to provide the perfect exposure for every shot. Those who prefer to manually adjust the light can easily switch to manual control with the push of a button.

Battery-Powered Freedom

The Profoto B1 is a cordless off-camera flash powered by an exchangeable, high-capacity battery that provides up to 220 full-power flashes. Wirelessly synced and controlled via the Air system, the B1 raises the bar for lighting mobility, allowing photographers to position the flash and shoot at will. With an operating range of up to 300m (1,000 feet), photographers are no longer tethered to their lighting solution.

Power, Speed and Light Shaping Possibilities for the Record Books

Sporting 500Ws of light, the B1 is about ten times as powerful as the average speedlight, with enough watts to overpower the sun on a cloudless day or light up large groups of people. The light output range is nine f-stop controlled in 1/10th f-stop increments, providing serious control and flexibility. At full power, the B1 will recharge in less than two seconds, while at lower settings, it can produce up to 20 flashes per second thanks to the innovative Quick Burst feature. For photographers seeking unique lighting looks, more than 120 compatible Light Shaping Tools can be added to shape the B1 into just about any light imaginable.

Integrate Camera and Flash With the Profoto Air Remote TTL-C for Canon

Merge your Canon camera with a Profoto AirTTL flash like the B1 to let the flash automatically adjust the light output directly from your camera. Acting as a wireless link between camera and flash, the Air Remote TTL supports manual and TTL control of B1 lights in up to three individual groups. One of the most reliable wireless systems available for syncing flashes and cameras, Air is fast enough to provide a perfect flash sync down to the fastest X-sync speed of a camera. The Air Remote TTL-C is compatible with a wide range of Air products, from camera transceivers and accessory cables to software solutions.

Launching with the Profoto B1 500 AirTTL off-camera flash, the Air Remote TTL-C is now available for Canon cameras with E-TTL II support. The Air Remote TTL-N for Nikon cameras with i-TTL support will be available in 2014. Please visit for a complete list of compatible cameras.

ADORAMA: More Than a Camera Store

Adorama is more than a camera store its one of the worlds largest photography, video, imaging and electronics retailers. Serving customers for more than 30 years, Adorama has grown from its flagship NYC store to include the leading online destination for photography, imaging and consumer electronics. Adorama’s vast product offerings encompass home entertainment, mobile computing, and professional video and audio, while its services include an in-house photo lab, AdoramaPix, pro equipment rental at Adorama Rental Company, and the award-winning Adorama Learning Center, which offers free education for photographers in video channels such as the popular Adorama TV.

Adorama is listed as Forbes.coms “Best of the Web” and in the Internet Retailers Top 100, and is the official Photo and Electronics Retailer of the NY Giants.

Visit ADORAMA at

Good Places – A Medium and Large Format Photography Exhibition

Good Places Exhibition
Good Places Exhibition

Good Places / 好地方 is a medium and large format photography exhibition held in Singapore. As the name implies, this year  theme revolves around the Good Places or 好地方  found in Singapore. The images on display are the heartfelt works of an ardent group of Singaporean film photography enthusiasts. The aim of this exhibition is to promote the virtues of film photography, as well as to showcase the best of Singapore landmarks.

This exhibition is unique as all the images are shot on film, instead of the ubiquitous digital camera. Specifically, medium and large format film are used as opposed to the conventional 35mm film. The benefits of larger format film is an image with greater dynamic range, tonal nuances and finer details. There is also that alluring “film-like“look that is almost impossible to replicate digitally. Most importantly, film is tangible. Your images and your memories are eternally etched into the negatives. They are yours to hold, to caress and to physically safe keep in your drawer. While your digital image lives at the mercy of the next hard-disk failure, your precious moments captured on film is physical, permanent and enduring.

Our little group of friends and film enthusiasts gather for weekly outings to seek out and capture Singapore (good places) through our lens. As Singapore rapidly modernises, shiny high-rises are erected while the historical landmarks are getting lost and forgotten. Sterile glass and steel are fast replacing these heritage-laden sites that are a crucial part of our cultural identity. As such, there is a need to preserve the memories of these significant sites for the benefit of our generation and the next. Additionally, the exhibition also aims to educate the public about the lost and beautiful art of film photography. Through our images, we hope to share our joy and passion for film photography with you.

Where: Millenia Walk, Level 1, 9 Raffles Boulevard Singapore 039596
(Nearest MRT: Promenade, Circle line)

Taiwan Day 3 – Moving to Hualien

This is the day that we will go to Hualien. We would be going by train. Based on the advice of the minsu owner, I booked the tickets via the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) website 14 days before the day of the ride. This is to ensure that we have the seats. The website is a bit basic so I suggest you use the Train Timetable page  to check the different trains and timing for your date of travel.  The results page is a bit confusing especially for the “Origin-Dest” column as tat shows where the train starts and ends. It is not the starting and ending points for you. for example, it may shows “Shulin→Zhiben”. But you will board the train at Taipei and alight at Hualien. From the results page, there is a Booking icon on the right which you can then proceed to book the tickets.

Once booked and paid via credit card, you will need to print out the forms to collect the tickets from the TRA counter 30mins before the ride. In the end I book the Train no 216 from Tze-Chiang Limited Express which leaves Taipei at 10am and will reach Hualien at 12:33. Some folks prefer the earlier trains as they want to reach Hualien early and then start their Hualien tour that day. As we are spending 2 nights there, so we decided to take it easy and take the 10am train.

Taipei Main Station
Taipei Main Station, the place to board the trains to Hualien

A few things I learnt when travelling as a family on train:

  1. Pack light. There is not a lot of space for luggage on the train. Board the train fast as it is just stopping for a few minutes at the Taipei station.
  2. Pack the stroller before boarding the train as it is not possible  to wheel the stroller in the small aisle.
  3. There are restrooms in the trains, Use them as you never know where is the next toilet

The train ride was smooth and the train did not make too many stops. There are also packet meals available on the trains. Along the way, you will pass through nice scenery like paddy fields and coastal views.

Paddy fields
Paddy fields

Upon arrival at Hualien, the lady boss of the Hualien Bay (洄瀾灣民宿) picked us up from the train station. The minu is undergoing some renovations which we were not informed off beforehand. However the hospitality of the owners made up for it. We spent a bit of time exploring the farm just behind the house. They have a pig, 3 goats, turkeys and chickens where you get close to them.  Just across the minsu, you can walk across the “secret tunnel” in the green foilage and get close the the beach where you can collect the millions of pebbles lying just off the beach.

Hualien Bay Minsu
Hualien Bay Minsu

Taiwan Day 2 – BabyBoss City

Babyboss Taipei
Babyboss Taipei

Our second day saw ourselves spending time at Babyboss City. BabyBoss City is Taiwan’s first simulation city made for children. The city is designed to create an environment for children to play and learn at the same time. There are 50 professions and over 70 different occupations waiting for kids to explore.

Remember to bring your passport along as foreigners are entitled to 20% discount. They are open from 10am to 8pm. You can choose to pay for a half day (10-3pm or 3 to 8pm) or a full day ticket.If you are there in the morning,  they allow you to buy a half day ticket and later top up to a full day ticket if your child enjoys the place. However you must do so by 1pm. We reached about 11am and  by 1pm , we only tried 2 occupations. Therefore we topped up to a full day ticket instead and managed to complete 7 jobs by 7pm.

Once you entered the “city”, you are not allow to leave and reenter. There is a food outlet and restrooms inside the city.

All the occupations have scheduled starting times and usually allow no more than 10-12 kids per session. So you can see parents cracking their brains to plan which occupations should their kids try. Some even dashed from one occupation to another hoping to make it into the waiting queue.

So what does trying out a occupation means? Let take the flight attendant as an example :

  1. The child will be ushered into a room to put on a flight attendant uniform. The staff will be on hand to assist the child if necessary.
  2.  A briefing will be conducted for the children on what to do when up on the mock aircraft. Parents are invited up to mock aircraft to act as passengers.
  3. Once ready, the children will be lead out of the room with their luggage and go up the aircraft. The parents will follow.
  4. On the aircraft, the children will do some serving (of magazines).
  5. After that, the parents and children will get off the aircraft. There will be enough time for parents to take photos of their child.
  6. They are ushered back to the room to remove their uniform. Babyboss dollars and certificate will be issued to them.

Sound interesting? Our child definitely enjoys this place.

BabyBoss is at 7F., No.138, Sec. 4, Bade Rd., Songshan Dist., Taipei City 105, Taiwan (R.O.C.), 台北市105松山區八德路四段138號-京華城購物中心7樓




Shilin Night Market

Taiwan Trip Day 1

I started planning for the family vacation early in February by booking the promotion tickets offered by Transasia  ( 復興航空) airline. The tickets were being offered for S$380 and i have to purchase 3 tickets for myself, my wife and my daughter. Since it was a promotion, I have to pay the full promotion price for the child ticket.

I planned a 10 days holiday but only covering 4 places as I do not wish it to be too rush and want to make sure we have enough time to rest. So my planned itinerary was as follows:

Day 1-3 Taipei 台北
Day 3-5 Hualien 花莲
Day 5-7 Cingjing 清境
Day 7-10 Taipei 台北

On the day of the flight, I could not do the online checkin on Transasia website and was advised to go to the airport to do the checkin. The check in was smooth and we were told that our stroller was to be brought in at the plane door.

Overall I found Transasia flight to be good and comfortable. The cabin staff were attentive and helpful. The inflight meals were reasonable good but the inflight entertainment movies selection was pretty small.

Noodle for Breakfast
Noodle for Breakfast

Transasia flights landed at Taoyuan Airport Terminal 1 at about 0530hrs. Obviously it was too early to go to the hotel so we took the Skytrain to Terminal 2 to have breakfast there as there wasn’t anything much at Terminal 1. After a slow breakfast we took a taxi to Rido Hotel in Taipei. I am pretty impressed with the taxi system and the taxi drivers attitude. The fare was based on the meter fare so there wasn’t a need to bargain over the fare like in some countries.

Rido Hotel is easy to access and is only a few minutes walk away from the Dongmen MRT station. We reached the hotel quite early about 9am. Unfortunately they were not able to allow us an early checkin despite us having a 4 yr old child with us. When asked when was the earliest check in time, they told us the standard timing which was 2-3pm. Nevertheless, they allowed us to rest in the small business center. We then decided to go shopping from 10 to 3pm,

They had a good buffet breakfast spread except on Monday. On Monday,they will give you a voucher to have breakfast at the nearby Dante Coffee joint. However you are only allow to pick a 90NTD breakfast set.

So where did we kill our time while waiting to check in. We visited the Eslite Mall 誠品書店 which has a big bookstore. The nearest MRT station is Taipei City Hall Station. From there just follow the signs   in the station underground links. As we are book lovers we enjoyed our 4 hours there.

Shilin Night Market
Shilin Night Market

In the evening, we went to the Shlin Night market (士林夜市)。 As it was a Saturday evening, it was really crowded. I must give credits to my wife for handling the pram around in the big crowd. This night market has many good snacks and these were what I had tried that night:

  1. Chinese pancake
  2. Smelly beadcurb
  3. Sugarcane with ginger drink

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