With Fall approaching I thought I'd share a new (yet to be released) gallery image that is a contrast to the coming season of color. I hope you enjoy the story...and the image, of course.
In June of this year I was commissioned to create a volume of forest images for a forestry investment company. Given the massive amount of land covered, and the required number of images, I did the entire project with my Nikon DSLR. However, I did pack my large format film gear, as I had a great distance to travel both to and from locations, as well as to and from home. While I only had one occasion to use the big camera and expose one sheet of film, it was well worth bringing the extra bag.
As I traveled between the coast and Mount Shasta, I crossed a bridge above a forested ravine. As often happens, at 60mph, this tree screamed to me. In a blur, I was struck with emotion. I knew I had to stop. Just past the bridge was a dirt turnout that I quickly pulled into. After waiting for a logging truck to pass, I ran onto the bridge to inspect what had caught my eye. The contrast of this fir tree skeleton draped elegantly in pale moss, against the dark green of the conifer forest was extraordinary. I knew I had to capture this moment, quickly, while not endangering myself.
I ran back to my car, set up my 5x7 field camera with the 4x5 film back, attached the 210mm lens, attached the cable release, put my focussing loop in my pocket, hung my light meter around my neck and attached the dark cloth to the back of the camera. After a lone truck passed, I ran back out the location I scouted and carefully positioned myself on the 3 foot wide ledge on the "safe side" of the guard rail. Carefully, I composed and focussed the camera. The scene was in open shadow, so the exposure was relatively easy. I loaded my film holder, exposed one sheet of film and ran back the car safely and satisfied.
Now, I envisioned this scene as a black and white from moment one. However, I only had color film with my on the trip. So, I exposed my one sheet of Fuji Provia 100F with the purpose of printing a black and white image. I did not have a large contrast range, but knew I could expand the contrast as desired after scanning my film. I also know that Provia 100F holds beautiful shadow details. So, I exposed my film for the light colored moss, making sure my highlights were safe, and stood out nicely against the darker evergreens in the background. I envisioned a subtle, elegant image, and knowing my equipment and media (film, processing, development, printing processes) enabled me to bring this vision to fruition.
This image is now available for your collection, but has yet to be displayed in the gallery. If you are interested in purchasing one of the first prints, contact me directly so I can connect you with the perfect art consultant!
Shutter Speed: 2 seconds
Camera Movements: none
Camera: Canham 5x7 Metal Field w/ 4x5 film back
Lens: 210mm Caltar IIN
Film: Fuji Provia 100F 4x5 inch Transparency Film
Tripod: Gitzo 1325 Carbon Fiber
Tripod Head: Really Right Stuff BH55 Ball Head
BTZS Dark Cloth
Light Meter: Sekonic R558 Digital Spot Meter
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