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In Conversation…Charles Cramer

LPM: The first thing I should like to ask you is this: You mention on your website that you had two revelations in your early years. Can you describe those revelations?

CC: I spent my youth as a musician, staying indoors and practising the piano for 6 hours a day.  When I first visited Yosemite at the age of 24, it was a revelation, since I had not really been amongst nature. I realised I wanted to be out of the little practice rooms!   After seeing some of Ansel Adams’ fine prints, I realised also that photography too could be an art form. I became a disciple of the “cult of the fine print”, and wanted to make prints that were as brilliant as those of Adams, who also started life as a pianist. Actually, interpreting either a negative or a musical score, is very similar.

LPM: I know that you started with large format film cameras and still photograph with them. You printed also with the dye transfer system.  Can you say a few words about this?

CC: To make prints like Ansel Adams, I needed a 4x5 camera and did almost all 4x5 work for 30 years. During that time I upgraded to a Linhof Master Technika, but, in 2006, a digital camera (Phase One P45) was produced that offered 39 megapixels. After some intensive testing, I decided that this digital camera could make 30x40 inch prints that were very close to what I obtained with 4x5 film. 4x5 still had a very slight edge in resolution, but I felt all the other benefits of digital...

Read this and many more articles in High Definition inside Issue 13 of Landscape Photography Magazine.

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