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.
Granite Canal Rocks Yallingup hand printed 16×20 inch baryta based silver gelatin print
Granite Canal Rocks is a detail study of the many rock formations which characterise the area. Canal Rocks Yallingup has remarkable granite formations and canal like structure that form a massive bulwark against the pounding Indian Ocean swells, creating dramatic plumes of sea spray. The area is characterised by cliffs and rocky headlands and some small sandy coves. Canal Rocks weathered granite formations and coastal cliffs provide a range of potential compositions. Some shapes and patterns look like they are just ripe for a sculptor to release them into some free form. The patterns and shapes of the rocks combined with the heaving ocean swell are mesmerizing and it is easy to lose track of time watching the endless swell lines marching towards the impenetrable rocks. Tmax 400 4×5 sheet film with a 210mm nikkor lens with a cut in exposure and additional development. About hand made silver prints.
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.
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.
Sandy Cove Cape Leeuwin Augusta Western Australia is available as a 16×20 inch photograph and larger.
Sandy Cove Cape Leeuwin Augusta was developed in Tetenal E-6 in a trial. Cape Leeuwin Augusta is a rocky granite promontory renowned for the location of the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. This rocky finger that points into the ocean is seldom without wind or swell. There are tiny partially sheltered coves complete with their own miniature beaches. Their sand varies from coarse yellow granules to sand interspersed with finely ground shell grit. I believe the colour of the sand is this particular cove is partly due to mineral carried by ground water leaching out into the area. In the foreground a spring water swirl can be seen, its flow originating from beneath the sand. The film was 4×5 velvia, no colour filtration, 90mm Grandagon lens.
Tetenal E-6 Chemistry and Velvia 4×5 Trial
My initial trials of Tetenal E6 3 bath kit on Velvia 4×5 50ISO were successful. However, I intend to make the following modifications to the procedures set down by Tetenal.
What I want:
- a one shot process that gives me a maximum film yield of 12 films per 1000ml Tetenal working solution.
- ability to process 12 4×5 sheets of film at a time.
Modifications to Tetenal Procedures
- First, I will be using a one shot technique, rather than the re-use technique. This will eliminate the need for adjusted development times from chemical activity depletion.
- One shot has the potential to minimise the overall process time. It also avoids the risk of cross contamination of chemistry.
- One shot avoids the problem of volume depletion of solutions, especially of the first developer. Incomplete return of all solution is no longer a problem.
- I intend to use the chemistry to obtain the full yield of films as recommended by Tetenal. That is 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. A Jobo 2550 drum holds 2 4×5 reels, with 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. According to Tetenal, 1000mls of working solution has sufficient development activity for 48 sheets. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Cape Naturaliste at sunrise with the shadow of the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse projecting across the Cape’s heathland. Spring is a wonderful time of year to be out photographing. Of course there are the Spring wildflowers, but even more exciting is the constantly changing weather and the drama it plays out on the landscape. I had left Perth about 3am on a cold clear morning. By the time I had reached Bunbury, pockets of mist were collecting in the open fields and flowing westwards towards the warmer coast. When I reached Busselton, visibility was reduced by what was now a congealed bank of mist, the beam of oncoming car headlights barely penetrating it. The dense mist remained all the way to Dunsborough, but just 5km out of town on the way to Cape Naturaliste the mist suddenly disappeared.
I was on my way to Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse having arranged in advance with one of the guides to accompany me so that I could get some sunrise images from the lighthouse as part of an update to my Leeuwin Naturaliste postcard series, now in their 23rd year. Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse sits high above the limestone cliffs of the Cape, and is shorter than its more southerly cousin, Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, which sits on a low, granite finger that protrudes into the ocean. While Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse may not be the tallest it certainly has commanding views of the Cape, Geographe Bay and the Indian Ocean. From the lighthouse I could see the morning mist which I had driven through flowing offshore into Geographe Bay. For a brief moment the sun broke through on the horizon, flooding the Cape with intense yellow light, creating dramatic, colourful scenes both east and west. I sighted several whales offshore making their annual migration. All too soon some rain laden cloud from the south had rapidly swept over the Cape, throwing the landscape into a deep shadow, the first spatter of rain drops hitting me. My work finished, I left the Cape, the rain was passing and the clouds were giving way to vast expanses of blue sky with bright sunlight hitting the distant landscape. Mist, cloud, light rain, a colourful sunrise, and the promise of a warm sunny day, Spring offers four seasons in one day.