Canning River Perth burnt woodland Western Australia

Canning River Perth burnt woodland

Canning River Perth  burnt woodland

Canning River Perth  burnt woodland was first published in “Lost in Suburbia” in 2013, “Dissociation” 2015 Heathcote Museum & Gallery exhibition catalogue. 

When I first viewed this on the ground glass screen of my camera I was excited by the prospect of producing a wonderful print. As is so often the case in photography, Burnt woodland Canning River proved for me to be much harder to realise in print than I had anticipated. The curve of the trunks and branches combined with the lines of shadow created a visual rhythm.

The image is back lit and high in contrast and the negative received reduced development and slight increase in exposure. My main problem in making this print is to preserve the feeling of intense light which reveals the flatness and dryness of the subject. To make an print consistent with my vision I had to avoid the back lit trunks and and their shadows from printing too dark. The print was made with a series of hard and soft exposures. An initial soft exposure was made to retain a suggestion of detail in the dried sunlit leaves, during which the central trunk was carefully dodged. A series of higher contrast exposures were made to selected areas to introduce more black and therefore some contrast. It is not an easy print to make and if making a new print I may well try a different approach to see if I could get a print closer to my vision. Hand printed 16×20 inch silver gelatin print.

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