Beautiful Large Format Images Captured at the Sochi Olympics with a 4×5 Camera


Men’s bobsled competitors head down the track and the Sanki Sliding Center during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, February 16, 2014.

Two months after being in Sochi to cover the 2014 Winter Olympics, photographer Guy Rhodes is sharing some of the images he captured there. But they’re not just any images. They’re analog images. 4×5 images, to be exact.

Using 34 sheets of Tri-X and a Crown Graphic 4×5 camera, Rhodes describes capturing the games with such a beast (while also shooting digital) as, “among the top experiences [in his] life.”

As to why it’s taken him this long to get the images developed and scanned, he said the reason was two-fold. First, he’s been busy; paid gigs, of course, but busy nonetheless. Second, a lot of the photographs he captured didn’t live up to his expectations, a realization he came to when he finally scanned the images in.

However, he accepted the images as they were, reminding himself that he signed up for it. At one frame per minute, Rhodes kept reminding himself that imperfections were the reason he didn’t shoot only digital.


Visitors walk near the Olympic Cauldron in Sochi, Russia, during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Happy or unhappy as Rhodes may be with the results, there’s no doubt in our minds that the images are stunning. In a world where we’re used to hearing bursts of 14 frames per second, it’s always nice and humbling to see someone take the time to go about capturing action at a slower, more deliberate pace — even more so when the stakes are as high as they are at the Olympics.

Below is a collection of the scanned images Rhodes has kindly shared with us:


The second of two forerunner bobsleds leaves the starting line of the Sanki Sliding Center.


France’s Clemence Grimal on her qualification run in the ladies snowboard halfpipe event.


Katie Tsuyuki from Canada on her qualification run in the ladies snowboard halfpipe event.


Competitors warm up prior to the men’s halfpipe snowboarding semifinal of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.


Switzerland’s Curdin Perl competes in the men’s cross country skiing 4 x 10km relay during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center.


Skiers on course in the men’s 4×7.5km relay during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center.

Head over to Rhodes’ blog to read all about what it’s like to shoot the Olympic games in large format, and then check out his main website to browse through more of his impressive portfolio.

(via The Photo Brigade)

Image credits: Photographs by Guy Rhodes and used with permission

  • Zos Xavius

    Mastery of 4×5 doesn’t happen overnight. I have mad respect for anyone that wants to tackle large format. I’ve been sorely tempted to find a press body lately.

  • David Kirk

    Some nice work, fix the rangefinder and you’ll be fine (in midst of doing that with mine, need to calibrate it for an 8″ Pentac f2.9. . . ) also, a graphmatic back or three really helps reduce the bulk to carry, its just finding them in good condition (i.e often the septums are thrashed. . . )

  • Cassio R Eskelsen

    Too bad in your case digital photography does not help to improve your talent, is not it?

    Looking at your portfolio on the internet I see that there is much to be developed before criticizing others.

  • oscar

    The look in 4X5 implies shallow DOF, profound but soft bokeh and high detail and contrast in the focused parts. If it is film also posibility of high luminance contrast (natural look HDR or more detail in the very much iluminated and very dark parts of the photo).