It was towards the end of our Winter 2012 your. More like Spring as it was late already early May. But we were still on the road and winding thru the nearly deserted back country of Oregon towards home. These are hills and forest where you find a tiny town every hundred miles or more and if you’re lucky it might have gas and groceries.
I saw this neat old house turned store turned abandoned farm off of the highway and turned the truck around in a truly tiny town a mile or so down the road. I returned and setup my for large format film, using the height of our camper roof to get me a high vantage point.
I must have taken at least a half and hour setting up for a single frame of film. When I finally had it composed just the way I wanted I waited for the late afternoon sun to peek through just right and release the shutter. The light and shadows were magic and the result is exactly what I had hoped for. Ghostlands.
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For Photographers. How it was made…
Technical Notes: Linhof Technica IV, 90mm S Angulon @ f20, 1/250, HP400 4×5 Film, Yellow 12 Filter, Induro Tripod.
Processing: Epson V700 Wet Scan, Lightroom 4, Photoshop, Seim Effects tools.
I really took my time on this. Perched on on the camper roof, I setup the camera and carefully used the movements to get the perspective exactly where I wanted. Since the property itself was posted, I had few options and had to get the view perfect from my roadside spot. Quality and detail aside, I love the large format medium for it’s ability to correct for perspective and line in the camera.
Once dialed in, I planned my scene placing the highlights of the house at around Zone 7 with the sky around 4. After development and a wet scan, I found the detail to be stunning and the light to work well. It seems I overdeveloped a bit, giving a bit more light and contrast which pushed me to compensate a bit in post. But extensive local tone changes were not needed as the light worked out beautifully. I had setup and then waited for the sun which was behind me, to peek out in such a way as to cast a glowing light on the home.
In the end some modest finish work and spotting of the scan gave me a resulting print that I’m quite proud of. I ended up putting the sunlit wood up into about Zone 8. There is small detail there and no clipping, but I high contrast worked well here. In fact there’s a great deal of range from darkest dark to lightest lights in this scene. There as a bit of softness at the far edges, especially in the branches to the left. But as the primary subject is beautifully sharp and the resulting print feels great I’m am satisfied. The subtle softening of the edges does adds to the feel of the scene.
I’m adding a crop below to show the immense detail in every crack.If you can come by the gallery and look at an original print because the complete intent gives it much more power. But using this example you can see how much is actually in this piece. It also shows the organic nature of the film. Something we do not get using an all digital process.