Chris McCaw Chris McCaw is based in San Francisco, and works mostly with a 7" x 17" format camera that he designed and built himself. He makes platinum contact prints in his home darkroom — some taking as long as 65 minutes for one exposure to print.
What’s especially interesting about his work is the range of subject matter that he chooses to explore with this very old analog approach. He has documented skateboarders in mid-air, casual road trips and campfires with groups of friends, Food Not Bombs volunteers, and the disappearing legacy of his grandparent’s farm and ranch in California’s central valley.
For the first six years, he had only two film holders that fit his camera, so he was limited to making only four exposures before he had to retire to a changing tent or a darkroom to reload film. This need for selectivity and intentionality was a good thing, he thinks.
“It taught me to be really patient about photography. This process is slow, and I have a high failure rate… but I like shifting the plane of focus compositionally within the wide-angle view. The optics of this set-up — and the tonal range of the platinum — have qualities that I can’t get otherwise.”