LA Times Photographer Shoots Olympians With 100-Year Old Field Camera And DSLR

Jay L. Clendenin has been shooting Olympians using not just a standard DSLR, but also a 4x5 field camera and century old lens

Every year the Olympics coverage seems to get more and more high-tech — we're already in the position of using remote controlled cameras for those hard to get shots. But one photographer has gone in a totally opposite direction, using an ancient piece of gear to capture breath-taking photographs of the Olympians. The LA Times' Jay L. Clendenin has paired his DSLR with a "4-by-5-inch field camera and a 100-plus-year-old Petzval lens."

Clendenin lugged the field camera around Southern California for four weeks, recording the athletes directly onto photographic paper, which he developed in a darkroom set up in his own bathroom. From there, they the paper negatives went to his scanner, allowing him to upload the images.

Of the process, Clendenin said:

"But shooting the large-format film was a relaxing and, most important, creatively rejuvenating experience. With no motor drive to capture three frames every second (as with my Canon 5d Mark II cameras), I was forced to slow down and think about each frame.

I was reminded of the creative serendipity that comes with shooting film: I couldn’t look at the back of the camera and see what had just happened when I took that picture! It’s a habit we’ve all become accustomed to with digital photography, and though there are obvious downsides to not seeing if your timing and composition were precise, I enjoyed the challenge and reveled in the “mistakes” that happened along the way."

You can see more of the shots that he grabbed Here. The juxtaposition between analog and digital sure makes for some stunning images.