I was contacted by Southwest Airlines to do a shoot for the in-flight magazine Southwest Spirit. They were doing an article on "Vintage San Francisco" and they wanted it shot in B&W. It sounded like a great project and I was excited to get it. Then the Photo Editor said something I couldn't believe... she said that it was ok to shoot digitally. As she was describing the project I was already envisioning how I was going to shoot the project. Getting a request for a B&W shoot is rare enough now days, but a story about Vintage San Francisco that contains primarily architecture and wanting it in B&W is even rarer still. I thought there is no way I'm going to shoot this with a 35mm digital camera! (which was the equipment I had at time) Don't get me wrong. I'm no "anti-digital" purist. I am a tech nerd through and through (yes, I got the iPhone days within release). Tech was even what I used to do in a past life before photography. I am fully digital, 35mm to Medium Format and Large Format. But if there was ever a project that called for using a large format View Camera and Polaroid Type 55 film, this was it. At the time i didn't have a View Camera and had never used Type 55 film, but it was something that I've always wanted to use. So, I went out and bought the equipment and learned on this shoot. It was great traveling all around the city and looking at places I've seen every day in a whole new light.
The Photo Editor loved the results and I think the images were far better than a 35mm digital camera could have produced. I know its not the equipment that makes a photograph, but there is something a little more soulful to taking a picture with a View Camera and Polaroid film. For me, its like the difference between Vinyl and an MP3... sure there are pops and scratches on the vinyl but it gives a different mood and warmth that can't be matched, even if it is just in my mind.