Monument Valley Aged A Few Minutes ago.Thursday, July 28, 2011
|Monument Valley circa 2011, Noblex 175 U, Ilford FP-4|
Most of my life, as a photographer, I have asserted that I am a portrait photographer. I like to control my light and I don’t have the patience to wait for light. This does not mean that when I see a beautiful scene in nature that I don’t have an urge to snap whatever camera I might have handy. And I know enough about landscape photography to know some of the rules of composition and exposure. Most of all I know that the good landscape shot is rarely one of good luck. It is the result of knowledge, having good equipment and most of all having the patience to know when the light is just about perfect and if you wait one more minute it will be gone.
In our trip to south Texas, our Malibu took us to the Grand Canyon, Red Canyon, Great Salt Lake, the Painted Desert, Bryce Canyon, Petrified Forest, Shiprock Peack and many other landmarks of note. In most cases the light I found them under was the only light of choice as we were on a tight schedule and we could not linger much.
The light at the Grand Canyon was muted in a late afternoon of undecided rain or shine. My photographs of the Grand Canyon are not spectacular except that the light was just about perfect for portraits. So the Grand Canyon served as a perfect backdrop for pictures of my granddaughters.
There are three pictures here which I took with my Noblex Pro 175 U. This monstrously large camera made in Dresden (the digital age hastened its route to bankruptcy) is hard to load and is finicky in use. I have taken quite a few unintended double exposures. I have no yet despaired as some of them might be interesting, I was not shooting these panoramic (the lens swivels in a 150 degree arc) for any magazine assignment so my reputation is not on the line. I am attempting to take the successes (few) and the failures (many) with a grain of salt.
As it stands right now (there are still three more rolls that I have yet to process) I have only one panoramic of Monument Valley. The negative is marred with processing marks on the sky which could be the result of repeated cooling and warming up of the film from hot car to cool hotel refrigerator. Or it could be something else. There are two versions of the same negative. One is a more or less straight scan to which I have added a vignette border with Corel Paint Shop Pro X2. The other is my jury rigged method of instantly making a panoramic negative look like an antique. I place my negative on the scanner and the lay a sheet of white paper on top. I then scan the negative from the bottom as if it were a document. I reverse the resulting scan (to make the negative a positive) and the result shows the scratches and texture of the paper. I then add red and yellow to give it a sepia tone look. And that’s it. The other picture is a volcanic formation a few miles after Shiprock that seemed to have no name. It was odd to see it just there jutting out of nowhere.