John Austin wrote:An odd story - Do you have a 10x8" enlarger? - Have you tried contact printing?....
A very valid question and comment.
The 8x10 format gives productive access to silver and non-silver techniques via contact exposure. And those contacts are big enough to have presence and power when held in the hand and looked at. 4x5 and 5x7 are just too small and 11x14 requires a camera so big that it will eventually kill you. Both Paul Strand and Brett Weston "upgraded" to 11x14 early in their careers but gave it up not too long after because the burden was just too great.
I've settled on 8x10 as my principle format because it is the biggest I can traverse landscape with and still deliver those delicious detailed photographs. I do have an 8x10 enlarger (Durst 184) but every photograph from an 8x10 negative that has ever gone to a collector has been a contact. Maybe there is an elitist vanity in having photographs that are not enlargements
. I won't argue if they're buying.