Many of my images are born from a feeling. Artistic intuition, if you will. This new image, Zephyr Evening, Lake Tahoe, was exactly that. We had a blustery day in Lake Tahoe with clouds rolling in and the forecast called for a stormy evening. For some reason I envisioned this location, and this general image emerged in my mind. So, I set off to investigate the reality of this image I had conceived.
With thoughts of this creative vision, I chose the camera equipment I thought best for what I felt I might compose, as well as what I may have to deal with in the environment. I chose "my small camera". A Canham 4x5 Metal Field Camera, with which I can shoot relatively large 4x5 inch sheets of film in both color and black and white. I chose this camera knowing the film size would enable me to produce enormous prints, yet it is roughly 1/4 the size of my 8x10 inch film camera, which might not fare so well in the extremely high wind. My final choice was to shoot black and white film, as I felt it would portray the mood of the scene more effectively.
In selecting my location, I was mindful of aligning the small island with the shape and direction of the blowing clouds. This enabled me to draw the viewers eye into the center of the composition...the island. I was also mindful of the light and dark aspects of the scene, and I consciously moved in order to have the lighter clouds (where the sun was setting) as close as possible to the main subject in the scene. I used a wide angle lens to accentuate the sky and the feeling of motion in the scene, while also communicating the sense of scale in this grand location. The landscape, weather, mood and emotion are all "grand" and moving here. Zephyr Evening, Lake Tahoe is an expression of that energy.
The style I have evolved with is very personal, especially noting I haven't had any mentors or photographers I have chosen to emulate. I believe this relative isolationism has lead me toward singular images that call to me. My artistic process, which joins the external environment and my inner creativity, seams to be almost involuntary. I shoot what feels right. Visions that elicit emotion within me come to life with feeling, as opposed to vast amounts of thought. My large format film cameras are an extension of this. I want to do justice to the scenes that move me and fill me with creativity. I hope you enjoy the view!
Camera: Canham 4x5 Metal Field
Lens: Rodenstock 90mm
Filter: Lee Yellow contrast filter for black and white film
Film: Ilford FP4 4x5 inch black and white negative (rated 100 iso)
Tripod: Gitzo Carbon Fiber
Tripod Head: Really Right Stuff BH-55 ball head
Exposure: F32 @50 seconds
Processing: N-1.5 in Pyro developer and fixed in Photographer's Formulary TF4.