Thursday, August 27, 2015

Dead River, North Florida

Took me a while, but I finally got all my film developed and scanned.

This trip with Dominick was a lot of fun. The "Dead River" may or may not be the official name of this place - it's an offshoot of the Alapaha River. If you Google search Dead River Florida you'll find a different place.

It's a very interesting place with lots of hills and limestone. The river runs to a dead-end where there is a siphon that sucks the water underground - definitely don't want to be swimming here!

There's even a Horseshoe Bend -esque 180 degree turn in the river that I need to photograph.

Anyway, here's a variety of images from the trip - mostly taken with my 58mm XL. B&W film is T-Max 100 developed in FX-39, 1:14, and color film is Velvia 50:


At the end of the river there was a swirling eddy near the bank that I took several images of. Here's a few of them, I haven't decided which I like best. First is one with Dominick posing further along the bank:

Here's a horizontal version:

And some color versions:

I'm looking forward to exploring more of this place. I also have some video from this trip I still need to edit - I will post that soon.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Dead River Canoe Trip Preview

Last week Dominick and I went out again along the Alapaha but specifically to what's called the "Dead River."

I shot 26 sheets and have been developing/scanning all weekend. Here's a quick preview. This is an image near the end of the river, where it sinks into the earth after rushing through a series of twists and turns.

Taken on Velvia 50, with my 58mm XL + center filter:

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Wacissa River Canoeing

As I mentioned last post, my second canoe trip was along the Wacissa River. We went to the so-called "Slave Canal."

I took a few photos along the way at a large Live Oak that had fallen into the river. Here was the shot I printed and showed last post:

And here is Dominick on top of the same tree:

He was shooting down at the roots, which I shot as well from a different perspective:

While canoeing I shot one image from the front with my Rolleiflex:

At the Slave Canal I wandered a bit in the wilderness and shot a bit as well:

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Back to the Darkroom

I haven't done any silver printing in a long time, not since getting ready for my show in November. Simply no time and not a whole lot of motivation either.

I remedied that this evening and made a pretty nice 16x20 print from a 4x5 negative I shot on the Wacissa River a couple of weeks ago. I actually haven't posted any of those images on the blog yet so I'll do that soon. This one was taken with my 58mm XL of a huge Live Oak that had fallen into the river.

Here's the print in the final wash:

Since I've gotten a bunch more large trays and a new 20x24 easel I am going to get my butt in the DR as much as possible this semester and print some of the negatives that have been stacking up. This one might get printed one size bigger, to 20x24, tomorrow. We'll see. I also got an Ilford EM-10 meter to help me dial in prints faster and easier when increasing the size.

One more thing before I go:

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Testing the Horseman Optical Exposure Computer along the Alapaha River

I recently discovered this meter made for medium and large format view cameras - the Horseman "Optical Exposure Computer." This is a CdS meter made to slip into the camera just like a film holder and meter directly through the lens - a somewhat uncommon thing, but perhaps a helpful accessory for the intrepid large format photographer?

I found the meter on eBay and got it for next to nothing - about 1/20th the original sale price. There are a few different versions, some made for 6x9 style cameras and some for 4x5, with a correspondingly larger metering area. I got the 6x9 version as I can use it on my Linhof 70, and it has an adapter piece to use it on 4x5 cameras. I figured the smaller meter area wouldn't be too big of a deal, but I'll have to be careful of what exactly is in the meter area!

In use, it was very simple to operate. The biggest issue is the batteries - it was designed for older mercury cells that provide 1.5v, while modern equivalents only hit about 1.35v when fresh. This causes a discrepancy in the readings - but from what I've read it's equivalent to about 1-stop overexposure. This means you can set the ISO to one stop higher than your personal EI. Practically speaking, I metered a gray card at home and compared it to my spot meter, and this seemed to be the correct offset. Testing this for yourself is important.

The results were good. I compared the meter reading to my spot meter calculations before shooting and was pleasantly surprised to see they matched for the most part. When using an R25 filter, I gave it an additional stop of exposure compared to the meter reading as I normally do for any TTL meter (due to the spectral sensitivity of the film). I believe this is a general rule of thumb for red filters.

Here is a video showing the operation of the meter and several images taken on this outing:

Here are the images themselves:

As I mentioned in the video, it wasn't perfect - I underexposed the last image here of the overpass. I'm not sure why though, I might've knocked the ISO setting (which is easy to do on this unit) or perhaps it simply biased to the sky/clouds too much. However, overall I am very pleased to have this meter, especially for close-up images where bellows extension factors in.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Inside the Live Oaks at Grand Bay

Last weekend I went hiking at Grand Bay right after a big rainstorm. I had a goal - to photograph inside the two Live Oaks way out near Moody AFB in the hunting tract of Grand Bay.

I brought along my 4x5 and a few lenses, including my 47mm XL lens. I knew I wanted an ultra-wide-angle lens.

I took a few photographs - here's the best shots from inside the huge trees:

I shot another one but somehow it turned out blurry. Must have kicked the tripod? It's too bad because it would've been a great shot. I'll have to redo it sometime. Here it is for posterity:

As I was leaving, I realized I only had one more sheet to shoot so I went ahead and shot it out at the field of what I think is tobacco? I did some heavy burning on the sky here, and cropping:

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Canoeing along the Alapaha and Dead Rivers in Florida

A few weeks ago I went canoeing with some friends along the Alapaha River and then the Dead River in north Florida, near Jennings. I've been meaning to post some images for a while so here goes.

The first part of the trip we battled some intense currents going upstream due to recent rains. We were able to make it to Turkett Falls, a beautiful little waterfall surrounded by limestone. I took both a black and white and color image (the color shot is on Velvia 100F film):

I don't normally show both b&w and color images but I like both of these a lot!

I also shot some images of the other photographers shooting with my Rolleiflex:

We left and the rest of the trip was downstream luckily. However, the swiftness of the water at first was quite hard to manage and we plowed into some limestone at one point. I was filming with my GoPro at the time and captured some footage here:

I shot a few images from the canoe with my Nikon F2 on Rollei CN200 film:

 Finally we made it to the mouth of the Dead River. Here we trekked into the woods and found the sink where the river went underwater. There was some intense rapids. It was a very interesting place and I can't wait to go again.

Here is one image where the river goes around several bends:

And here's some images from around the area:

I also took a color photograph of the rapids. It was a tough shot because the sunlight was really intense on the water but the surrounding area was very dark. I tried a new technique in Photoshop with the scanned film - I overlaid the color image with the black and white image, and then put a mask on the image. Finally, I brushed in some tone where the water was just totally white using the masking tool. Here is the result:

We were exhausted at this point so we headed home. Here's just a few more shots from my Rolleiflex to finish up:

Last but not least, here's a video with a few more scenes from the trip:

Sunday, August 2, 2015

100 Black Men of Valdosta Barbecue Competition 2015

This year marks the 20th Anniversary for the 100 Black Men of Valdosta's Barbecue Cook-off.

I've missed the last couple of years but was able to come out this time and really had fun shooting some images of the barbecuing. Meagan enjoyed some jerked chicken and a snowcone while I snapped away with my Rolleiflex.

Here are some images from the event, with either Tri-X or Plus-X film, both developed in Acufine: