First go on the Horseman

No, not a man on a horse. My new Horseman 980 field camera! For geeks: it’s a view camera with movements. For normal people: it’s a complicated and fiddly camera, excellent for landscape work.

Horseman 980

I ran a film through the camera to make sure it was more-or-less working before taking any hard-to-repeat photos. The camera seems to be free of light leaks and other major faults, although this film produced some rather thin negatives. Might be an inaccurate shutter or aperture, or poor development of the film on my part.

First let me start with a simple demonstration of what the movements can do. The first picture of Brunel’s bridge has the camera in normal alignment. The picture looks “normal”.

Clifton Suspension Bridge

In the second image, I have tilted the lens away from bridge and in doing so, I have caused only the very centre of the bridge to be in focus. The near and far bridge towers are blurred. This can be a bit of a gimmicky effect, but it makes the subject look like a model. This is commonly called tilt-shift miniature because the camera is physically tilted and shifted.

Clifton Suspension Bridge

I’ve used the same effect again with this clock tower in Stoke Park. I’ve also used front rise to “look up” at the tower without it tapering towards the top. Unfortunately I appear to have double-exposed this picture by mistake.

Clock tower

And here are a couple more pictures, taken around Bristol.

Evening sunlight in Oldbury Court
Dower House

Like I said, this was mainly a test roll to make sure the camera was working and to start to get a feel for it. I hope there will be lots of improving pictures on this website in future.

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