Seaweed Cape Leeuwin, hand printed 11×14 inch baryta based silver gelatin print
Seaweed Cape Leeuwin Augusta Australia. One advantage of a 4×5 field camera is the bellows extension. Most field cameras will have a bellows which will extend out to approximately 300mm. With a standard focal length lens of 150mm this bellows extension can theoretically provide sufficient lens extension for one to one image magnification. It was just this set up that I used in this image of Leather kelp on the beach at Cape Leeuwin. The movement of front or rear standards can assist in optimising the plane of focus. In this image even the white grains of sand show clearly. About hand made silver prints.
Shrines fishing gods: we were walking around Augusta just on dusk, down by the banks of the Blackwood River. A beautiful windless evening with barely a ripple on the water. The clouds’ reflections were creating abstract patterns with soft pastel hues. Fishing is obviously a popular activity and every 20 to 50 metres dotted along the banks you will find these little fish scaling tables in various shapes sizes and design. As they floated in their own reflections they reminded me of little shrines or temples. The oil rich yellow lipped mullet caught fresh from the Blackwood are among my favourite fish. May the fishing deities be pleased.
During summertime I have to vary my darkroom routine to account for the heat. This means that I usually like to get to work early before the heat of the day sets in. With tasks like film processing it is important to be consistent, and that means keeping the temperature of the developer constant with the use of tempered water baths. It’s simple to do really, just add refrigerated water (during summer) to the room temperature tap water. You may also like to use a pre-rinse which can help adjust the temperature of developing tanks, film and reels prior to the actual development process. These days I just stick to a water bath and choosing a time of the day when you don’t have to fight too great a temperature differential between the room temperature and developer. Anyway, my point is that the window period for film development for me during summer is shortened, so it can take a while to catch up with a back log of film. So I was delighted when I viewed this morning’s processed black and white sheet films and rediscovered what I was photographing exactly one month ago during a trip to Augusta; in this case, bracken ferns. Developing films can be a bit of an adventure, you can never be absolutely sure what you have on film is what you see, and in this case I think I see more in the image than what I remember at the time on the ground glass.