Anyone familiar with this website knows that I own far more cameras than any non-photographer would think sane. I love cameras—the funkier, the better. So, choosing my favorite (for now) work flow necessarily involved camera choice. In harmony with the goal of "simple and fun," I've settled on one camera/lens. For the portfolio Beyond Her Garden Gate, I'm using a Travelwide Wanderlust 4"x 5" camera with a 65mm lens (Schneider-Kreuznach Super-Angulon 1:8/65). The lens doesn't fully cover the format, so each negative has a ready-made vignette. To me it feels as though I'm looking through a telescope to another dimension.
The camera can't be focused, but the lens mount can be positioned at a hyperfocal distance of 3 feet to infinity. I leave the lens settings at f/16 and "T." I start and stop the exposure by removing and replacing the lens cap. It's not possible to compose the image as one could with a standard view camera, so framing is like with a pinhole camera. The exposures are long (several minutes), at least this time of year and in the shaded scenes I prefer. I often shine an LED light into especially dark areas. Needless to say, the camera has to be on a tripod. The emulsion is coated on Rives Lightweight (115 gsm) paper. The negatives are developed in TLF-X Developer.
I scan the dried negatives on a flatbed scanner at 16-bit grayscale and 3200 dpi. An invert, horizonal flip, spotting, and curves or levels are all that's required to prepare the negatives for either screen viewing or digital printing. The files are perfect for making enlarged digital negatives for any printing process. Direct contact printing and traditional enlarging both pick up a little too much paper texture for my taste, but of course, that is a very personal choice.