Film photography will always have something surprising for any photographer—veteran or beginner. It's all a matter of perspective. And in this case, that's meant both literally and figuratively.
Viewing the subject through the viewfinder is a common experience for us camera fans. After all, almost all cameras have viewfinders, even pinhole cameras. However, if you're into 35 mm photography, then chances are that you're used to looking at the world through the eyepiece of your viewfinder. While there's nothing wrong with that, it can get monotonous if you're the type of person that gets bored with routine.
This is where the ground glass comes in. Cameras with ground glass have been used since the earlier days of photography. It's a viewing instrument that shows the photographer what the camera sees with the help of a large screen that is traditionally made of glass. More modern iterations of the ground glass use molded plastic. They also saw the introduction of microprisms and framing lines to help photographers see and compose better. Large format cameras typically use this kind of viewing system. Medium format cameras also tend to use ground glass viewfinders that are often operated at waist-level.
These photos show just how charming ground glass finders can be. From the moment you open that finder cover to that instant when you hit the shutter and the view turns black, it's just pure joy for the analogue aficionado. The sensation is unique and the view you get from a larger screen lets you see the whole scene you're about to capture and more.
Through-the-viewfinder photography or TTV is a method that uses two cameras to capture photos or videos. One camera is used to shoot what the other sees through its viewfinder. The second camera acts as a sort of filter to make an interesting image. It's quite fascinating to see the different photo and video projects out there that feature this kind of technique. Of course, it's also great to see various camera styles, locations, and subjects from such a perspective.
How about you? Have you tried peering into a ground glass finder on a reflex or view camera? Sound off in the comments section below and share those through-the-viewfinder photos! Don't be shy!