Beach detail seaweed Augusta, hand printed silver gelatin
Beach detail seaweed Augusta. I made this image on the most south western tip of land in Western Australia. Cape Leeuwin is a boulder strewn granite promontory that juts out into the ocean. It is sculpted by small sandy bays and weathered boulders of various shapes and sizes. At its terminus is Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse looking out onto the Southern and Indian Oceans. Over the years several ships have come to grief along this rugged piece of coastline.
There is an abundance of seaweeds and small shells in this area. Hidden amongst the bays and the rocks are ocean treasures waiting to be discovered. I came across this delicate necklace like arrangement of seaweed floating in a shallow rock pool. Its almost translucent seaweed looked like it had been carefully arranged over the rock.
I have browsed through the botanical illustrations in my copy of “Walking Round in Circles”. From the drawings of seaweed it would seem that this is a deep water species called cystophora racemosa.
An 11x14inch print, Foma silver gelatin fibre based paper mounted on 16x20in 100% rag museum board.
Ref: Walking Round in Circles, Jane Scott & Patricia Negus, Cape to Cape Publishing, North Fremantle 2007.
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.
Even in this age of digital cameras, there is still something truly amazing about Polaroid Type 55 positive/negative film. Rated at about 32ISO (rather than the recommended 50ISO), this film is capable of recording superb detail and tonalities. With Polaroid Type 55 4×5 film, each exposure yielded a positive 4×5 polaroid print and a 4×5 negative that could be used in an enlarger for printing. My approach to using this film has always been to treat it like regular film, compose the image and expose carefully, then process the film when I get home. Using the Polaroid back I would do this processing in my darkroom, keeping any light exposure of the negative to a minimum until the negative had safely cleared in a sulphite solution. Then I would complete the processing with a wash period, photoflo immersion then dry just like a regular film. You now have a 4×5 contact print in one hand and a perfectly usable 4×5 negative in the other, what a bargain! This image of the Dune Cabbage is an enlargement from Polaroid PN 55 made on Forte graded paper. This Dune Cabbage (Arctotheca populifolia) was photographed near Cape Leeuwin, Augusta in Australia’s south west, although this successful dune coloniser is widespread around coastal regions, it originated from South Africa. Apparently the leaves can be peeled and eaten as salad or lightly steamed. Here’s one I prepared earlier.