Posted on

Paperbarks Margaret River Wallcliffe Western Australia

Margaret River Australia

Paperbarks Margaret River, hand printed 16×20 inch silver gelatin

Paperbarks Margaret River this wonderful stand of old paperbarks are located near Wallcliffe House, on the banks of Margaret River. This image was made just weeks before the Margaret River fires razed the Prevelly Park region in November 2011, resulting in the loss of many homes and historic Wallcliffe House. The area surrounding these trees was badly burnt and denuded of all vegetation, but a few of the older veterans pictured here still remain. The photograph is high in contrast due to the dappled sunlight and deep shadow. Additional exposure was  given to open up the shadows and  development was reduced. Film was  4×5 Tmax.  About hand made silver prints.

Posted on

Karri forest Margaret River Boranup Australia

Boranup Margaret River Australia

Karri forest Margaret River

Karri forest Margaret River with coral vine and purple hovea wildflowers at Boranup just south of Margaret River. This unique stand of karri forest is the most western edge of the karri forest belt. These  karri grow in limestone based soils as opposed to dark rich karri loam which is found around Pemberton and Walpole. Just above the purple hovea and red coral vine in this image you can see a limetone cliff edge. Its the presence of limestone which is responsible for the numerous caves within the Cape Leeuwin to Cape Naturaliste region. This image was made with a 6×4.5cm format Bronica ETRS camera using  velvia film and a 40mm Bronica lens. It has been published in magazines and calendars and in my Leeuwin Naturaliste postcard series where it has remained popular for over 20 years.

Karri forest Margaret River is available as a limited edition 16×20 inch photograph and larger.

 

Posted on

Sandy Cove Cape Leeuwin Augusta Velvia 4×5 Tetenal

Cape Leeuwin Augusta

Sandy Cove Cape Leeuwin AugustaSandy Cove Cape Leeuwin Augusta developed in Tetenal

I want a one shot process that gives me a maximum film yield of 12 films per 1000ml Tetenal working solution, and I want to process 12 4×5 sheets of film at a time.

After successfully  trialling the Tetenal E6 3 bath kit on Velvia 4×5 50ISO, I intend to make some modifications to the  procedures set down by Tetenal.

  • First, I will be using a one shot technique, rather than the re-use technique, thereby eliminating the need for  adjusted development times from chemical activity depletion.
  • One shot has the potential to minimises the overall process time and it also avoids the risk of cross contamination of chemistry.
  • One shot also avoids the problem of volume depletion of solutions, especially of the first developer,  from the incomplete return of all solution.
  • I intend to use the chemistry to obtain the full yield of films as recommended by Tetenal, ie 12 films per 1Litre of working solution. This is equivalent to 48 sheets of 4×5 (4 sheets of 4×5 = one 120 film =one 35mm 36exp film).
  • For the developing I will be using a Jobo CPE2 processor with a 2550 drum and 2 4×5 reels, holding a maximun of 12 sheets of 4×5.
  • The maximum volume of solution for my Jobo is 600ml. This will ensure all film is in contact with the solutions during agitation.
  • I will be using only 250mls of working solution for each batch of 12 sheets. That’s because according to Tetenal, 1000mls of working solution has sufficient development activity for 48 sheets, therefore, by proportion, 250mls has enough activity for 12 sheets.
  • Each working solution, once made up according to Tetenal’s instructions, will then be further diluted with water to make a total volume of 600mls.
  • This act of dilution may require additional processing times which I will need to test. So far, my development times have been based upon visual inspection of my own film tests with a grey card.

When I get my next batch of chemistry I will test the times using my new proposed dilutions. If it all goes to plan I will post the results.

Posted on

Velvia 4×5 tetenal E6 3 bath

Orange Lichen Redgate Beach Margaret river region

Velvia 4×5 tetenal E6 3 bath process, an alternative to sending your chromes to the lab.

This past week I have been trialing Tetenal’s 3 bath E6 process with 4×5 velvia. I must admit I had a little trepidation about undertaking a colour process. The last time I processed colour slide it was as a young teenager using my mother’s cement laundry troughs out on the back verandah. Back then it was the Kodak E4 process, and it required that I refog the film to a 500 watt light source after the initial development. I was processing Pacific 35mm slide film from my high school’s media department. The results were radical to say the least, blue and magenta colour casts and wildly contrasty images. Needless to say I loved it. But it’s not exactly a comforting result if you are processing your professional images that you have spent time, money and effort just traveling to locations to create them.

For years I was sending my chromes to Melbourne for processing, but I decided it was time to rethink how I wanted to process my 4×5 velvia. It was time to press my Jobo processor, which I use for all my black and white negatives,  into doing some colour work for me. I started with a 1L Tetenal kit and put a few 120 velvia film tests through first to confirm my development times. I found a development time of 7.5 min a good starting point for velvia 50 ISO. To my surprise the film processing was remarkably consistent between batches and the information provided by Tetenal is a good starting point, and the process much simplified with the 3 step chemistry.

Overall I have been pleased with the results and I will be continuing with the Tetenal E6 during the year, using a one shot technique, processing 12 4×5 sheets at a time, with 48 sheets processed per litre of stock solution. I still have that 500 watt bayonet photo flood globe I used for E4 all those years ago. If you have a use for it let me know.

Posted on

Clematis flower Old Man’s Beard

clematis alex bond

Clematis flower Old Man’s Beard. Yes it’s an odd name, but old man’s beard is a common name to describe the feathery tendril like appearance of the native clematis flower as it matures. This soft, fine structure is so delicate it literally blows away on the breeze. Luckily there was no breeze on the evening I made this photograph, I was tucked away in a sheltered section of thick coastal heath, south of the Margaret River. The sun was almost on the horizon, but undeterred by the fading light.  I pulled out my trusty wooden field camera from my backpack and reached for my 150mm Schneider lens. Comparative to the 4×5 inch size of the transparency, I knew I would want to achieve at least a life size reproduction to fill the frame adequately and I had just enough bellows extension, about 300mm, to do it. With a 2 stop exposure increase for the bellows extension plus an additional adjustment for reciprocity failure – the velvia film was exposed for about 90 seconds. I also made some black and whites negatives. Somewhere in those I have a blurry looking ant as it walked around the flower during the exposure. The local talent can be uncooperative at times.

The 4×5 velvia was processed in Tetenal 3 bath E-6 which I have been trying out recently in my jobo processor, the perfect activity for a 40C degree day!  This is a “straight” scan off the tranny.

Posted on

North Point Cowaramup Bay Last wave of the day

North Point Cowaramup Bay Margaret River region

North Point Cowaramup Bay is where I had been exploring the coast for new images over the past few days. As the sun was setting I was reflecting on how I had started the day,  near this spot,  before dawn. About 12 hours ago, the blue pre-dawn gloom of the night sky was giving way to the soft magenta projected skywards by the earth’s shadow. The sea had been relatively calm that morning, but the swell had been building steadily all day, something I had noticed further up the coast where I had spent the day hiking and exploring. Now I was back at Gracetown  at sunset, my movements had gone full circle.

The coastline around North Point Cowaramup Bay offers elevated views over the surf breaks. North Point is a  granite cliff face and rock outcrop, strewn with boulders the size of cars. As the sun set, a few people with cameras materialised at certain vantage points around the cliff tops, looking towards the sunset. But my camera was aimed squarely at the last surfer of the day, bobbing gently in the swell off North Point, waiting to catch that final wave of the day before the fading light. A set appeared, he took off, cutting clean lines across the back lit wave, riding it all the way past the point.

I included this image in my latest update and printing of my Leeuwin Naturaliste postcard series, which will be available shortly. It has come as a bit of a shock, but next year, 2013, will be the 25th year I have been producing this series of cards that have showcased the coastline between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin and the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park.

Posted on

Margaret River in winter flood flowing through tea tree forest Australia

Margaret River Western Australia

The real Margaret River in detail. On the day I made this negative it had been drizzling consistently with rain, a typical winter’s day with an overcast sky, and then a late afternoon burst of sunlight. The river was flooded with fresh rain and the noise of rushing water could be heard several hundred metres away from within the marri -jarrah forest from where I had emerged. The forest (now a proposed national park) formed a natural buffer between my grandparents’ farm and the river valley. I have fond childhood memories of the river in various moods, with its secret rock pools, forested banks, jumble of dark rocks and fallen trees. But it is during the midst of a winter flow, with the rush of water over submerged rocks, swirling around partly submerged peppermint trees, that the rhythm of the river is most mesmerising. Kodak Tri X 4×5 film, exposure was probably f22 at 1/2 second, Rodinal developer.

Posted on

Coastal heath Rock Thryptomene Margaret River Region

Rock Thryptomene Margaret River Western Australia

Detail of Rock Thryptomene, Margaret River region. The relationships and spaces formed between the living and the inanimate often create a fascinating visual harmony. These wind pruned, stunted coastal Rock Thryptomene sit high on granite sea cliffs just north of Margaret River.  Their tendril like branches of rough, fibrous bark and miniature hard spiky leaves are further testament to this harsh environment. The cliff tops are exposed to the height of winter gales which sweep up from deep within the Southern Ocean, sometimes with hurricane force. Grasping a root hold in shallow soil depressions between boulders, their branches spread outwards, caressing the very surface of their rocky domain, twisting and curving back upon themselves in a graceful, almost calligraphy like gesture.

The exposure information is as follows: Film was Tmax 400,  4×5 format,  90mm lens, f32, 1 second exposure,  developed N+1.  I was interested in experimenting with the contrast of a duplicate negative by toning it in Kodak Rapid Selenium toner diluted 1+3. I toned initially for 3 minutes, but could not detect any change in density, so continued up to 10 minutes. There was still no change so I tried straight toner for two minutes without dilution, still no affect. When I contact print both negs side by side there is no difference. I have only recently started using TMax 400 4×5 film, and this is the first time I have ever tried toning it. Previous toning has worked with Tri X 4×5.  Maybe it is something to do with the chemical state or silver content of processed TMax films? (This is the New TMax film).