Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Vintage images from another life

Recently, I was going through some of my older film negatives and scanning them as an alternative way of making platinum prints from them. Originally, they were all printed on a matte paper and then selenium toned, a process having a similar look to platinum but not the extensive tonal range.

Working with film negatives seems very far removed to me now that digital imaging has come to dominate photographic life in the 21st century. Recently, my son, Daniel, was on a shoot where his camera LCD finder stopped functioning and he lost the ability to immediately analyze what he was doing. His camera worked otherwise and he continued the shoot with it. Later he mentioned he thought of me and the way photography used to be without the instant analytic gratification allowed by digital technology. I suppose its a bit like life before sonograms when we didn't know the sex of a baby before it is born.

Here are a few old favorites I came across last night:

A 4x5" photo taken in 1981 of a jeffery pine and rock with shadow on Sentinel Dome in Yosemite, This is the same tree Ansel Adams made famous in a 1940 photo. It was already on its way out when I took this photo and finally passed away forever in 2003.

Taken with a Hasselblad in 1981 showing the fading light of sunset just hitting the top of Half Dome and the water fall behind it.

This 4x5" image was taken in North Carolina in 1988 of an abandoned store called, "Mull's Grocery".  I always like to photograph this store whenever I was in the area. It was still there and abandoned when I passed through a couple years ago.

A 4x5" time lapse photo of a stream in the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina, 1988.

A cropped 35mm photo taken with a Nikon in 1990 of a lone saguaro and cloud in New Mexico.  The blackened sky is the result of using a deep red filter on the lens. 


  1. How did you calculate right exposure for a photo of stream. Were you using ND filters?

  2. I just know from a lot of trial-and-error experience that fast moving water in a stream or a water falls require a shutter speed between 1/2 and 2 seconds to give me the blur I like. I do use ND filters when necessary to cut the exposure down, but in a situation like this, in a dark forest with a polarizing filter already on the lens, and with the shutter stopped way down for depth of field, it wasn't necessary.