John Sexton's Aspens They Are NotWednesday, December 15, 2010
Today’s blog is really an extension of yesterday’s. These, are again not portraits but landscapes I took at VanDusen Botanical garden in the mid 90s using a German box camera of questionable sharpness and exposure control. But it does shoot a negative that is 6 by 8½ cm. This kind of photography is the kind that so many, particularly in the United Stages have pursued with 4x5 inch or even bigger cameras. They want to capture nature at its sharpest and want to produce prints that will have every shade of available gray with luminous whites and black blacks. Perhaps the most famous of the photographer who do this sort of thing is a photographer called John Sexton who is also well known for giving workshops on the use of the 4x5 camera in the landscape. One of his most famous images is one called Aspen Reflections.
For many years when people urge me to take pictures of nature I simply retort that when I see a beautiful landscape I just might buy a postcard!
If anything the lack of brilliance (as in expertise) of these images helps to keep me humble with the idea that not every picture I take is a good one. Yet as I look at some of the prints I made from these negatives (as opposed to the scans you see here), they are nice and dark and they have a quality (on really good photographic paper) that simply cannot be gleaned from just looking at a monitor, no matter how good your monitor may be.