Upon the anniversary of my 50th year on this chunk of dirt, my wife took me to Costa Rica. Beaches, volcanos, rain forests and kick ass photography potential awaited me! I was torn as usual on which camera to bring: medium format, 35mm or large format? In the end, I decided on bringing my Voigtlander Bessa R 35mm rangefinder fitted with the Voigtlander Color Skopar 35mm lens for colour negs and my Toko 4×5 (5×4 for you Brits) field camera for black and white. The Toko is best described as a Wista that went out of the factory back door. I have neither camera anymore but kept the Color Skopar lens to use on my Leica.
[EM: Yes, that’s Toko, not Toyo]
While driving around we stumbled upon an abandoned coastal resort near Dominical. The following five images are part of a set I created there. This was definitely large format territory! The heat and humidity were atrocious which made working under the dark cloth unbearable. All images were made on 4×5 Agfa APX 100. The developer used was my standby at the time, Kodak HC110, Dil B. Some fifteen years on, I still love these images.
Agfa APX 100 was my favourite film for many years. It was great in LF and was a match made in heaven when the roll film equivalent was loaded into my Hasselblad. It just had a brilliance and tonal range that I could not get with any other film available at the time.
It would be interesting to revisit the location and see if the jungle has totally taken it over.
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This series is being produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
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