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Photo-Du-Jour: Rocks @Martha's Vineyard 


This is one of the first images posted on this Blog that has been shot using large format film. I used my 4×5 Toyo viewcamera, the film was Fuji Across. I was traveling along the East Coast, on my way to Maine when I stopped at Marha’s Vineyard. A resort-type island getaway, this turned out to be one of the most picturesque locations I visit during my trip (if you had long exposure in mind that is). I spent 3 days on the island, shooting from dusk ’till down. For a small place, there seemed to be photographic opportunities everywhere.

The image above was made just after sunrise. Exposure time was about 20 minutes. Aperture was F11, using 13 stops of ND filters. Don’t quote me on these figures. I recorded all analogue exposre in a small notebook, but gotta’ say that I have gotten real used to having metadata readily available now that we are in teh digital age. Matching up frames with notes was never fun nor an exact science…

The tide came in rather quickly that morning, so once this exposure was finished, it was high time to move my tripod (and myself!). The 53mm ultra-widenagle lens was shifted down to give me the dramatic low angle pespective (the rocks in the foreground were actually fairly small, but the wideangle exagerates their dimensions very well).

The film was hand-processed, and scanned using an Imacon (now Hasselblad) virtual drum scanner. The resulting file is over 600 megabytes in size, printable at almost any size. When quality is your priority, well exposed, processed and scanned film still beats digital capture. this is especially true with long exposures, as film shows no artifacts or noise no matter how long you push your exposure time.

Once scanned, the image was edited in Adobe Photoshop. I’ve experimented with some sepia toning methods, and ended up with the above as the final version. I used an excellent Photoshop action put together by my friend Greg Gorman. You can download the action free from his website. Since my image was black and white already, I was mostly interested in the way it allowed me to apply a realistic looking sepia tone. If you haven’t tried Greg’s action, go ahead and do so today. You won’t regret it.

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