Time Exposures Sugarloaf Rock Cape Naturaliste

Seascape time exposures Sugarloaf Rock with Velvia 35mm 50 iso film, first published in the Leeuwin Naturaliste postcard series then in a calendar.

This time exposure of Sugarloaf Rock is unlike any other I have made to date.

I made this on a summer’s evening. It is a long time exposure of several minutes, well after the sun went down. The sea was dead calm and the evening air was sticky with summer humidity.

I had set up my tripod on the rocks close to the shore. On this evening I had my Pentax LX 35mm film camera loaded with Fuji Velvia 50 ISO film. All I had was a Pentax 28mm wide-angle lens. I used no colour correction filters on the lens, however, there was a UV filter to protect the front element from grit and salt spray.

I simply ignored what gear I did not have or wished I had, and got on with the photograph. The inclusion of the foreground boulders is important to impart a sense of ruggedness that is prevalent in the Sugarloaf Rock region.

In this image, the sea was dead flat, unlike an earlier Sugarloaf Rock post where the sea was moderately calm. Again, just as in previous time exposures, the colours are soft and somewhat muted.

Colour Slide Film Exposure Latitude

With film you can never be exactly sure what the final transparency will look like. Indeed, the exposure latitude of colour transparency film is notoriously small. One-half stop over or underexposure could result in a film that could not be published. Two other important factors when making time exposures on film is reciprocity failure and the introduction of colour casts.

This image was first published in the Leeuwin Naturaliste Series of postcards in 2001. Later, it was published in the Margaret River Sketchbook 2003 Calendar for Scott Print, Perth.

Pentax LX, Pentax SMC 28mm lens, Fuji Velvia 50, no correction filters, tripod and long exposure

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Since 1989, Alex Bond has published cards, calendars, books, and posters under his imprint Stormlight Publishing. His images showcase the West Australian environment. Bond's handcrafted, silver-gelatin, fibre-based prints are personally made by the author in his darkroom.

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  1. Nice Alex. I think the foreground rocks make it. I’m wondering how you scanned the neg. Is it a drum scan or did you use a flat bed scanner. It’s so good.

    • Hi Peter, the 35mm Velvia 50 ISO transparency was scanned with a Flextight scanner. I had to preserve as much of the low and high values during scanning. The sky is quite thin as I did not use a graduated filter. Yet I had to give sufficient film exposure so as not to completely silhouette the foreground rocks. With careful scanning and post-production, I was happy I had achieved a close digital facsimile to the film.

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