ku # 1425 / civilized ku # 3639 (ku-ish) ~ entre chien et loup and a sunrise

Blue Mountain and fog at sunrise ~ (embiggenable) • 8x10 Arca Swiss view camera w color negative film

sailboats on Lake Champlain ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

Theblue mountain sunrise fog picture is a companion picture to the from Castle Rock picture in my last entry. It was created, after climbing up to Castle Rock and camping the previous evening, next the morning. The fog that blanketed the entire landscape can be seen rolling in the from Castle Rock picture. Both pictures can accurately be described as f8 and be there. or, more precisely, f64 and be there pictures inasmuch as the fog was an unanticipated atmospheric event.

It is also fine example of luck rewarding the prepared. In this case, prepared meant not only an 8x10 view camera, 8x10 film holders, tripod and light meter but also a backpacking stove for a lite supper and breakfast, lantern, sleeping pads and sleeping bags (2 of each as I had my assistant along with me). The luck also included the fact that the fog fell below our perch on Castle Rock.

AN ASIDE: A gallery-crafts + a small room for photography-in Blue Mountain Lake was interested in selling the pictures. I had framed 8x10 contact prints of the pictures which I priced at $250/print. When the gallery owner heard the price, she had second thoughts about hanging them inasmuch at that time, c.1981, the price was quite a bit high for the market.

I convinced her to hang 1 of each. Much to her surprise (and delight), they sold as a set on the first day they were displayed. Needless to write, she wanted more and over time 20>30 sets were sold. The guideboat picture also sold quite well. She was happy and so was I.

FYISome very slight color banding in the sky might be visible. This due to downsampling for the web. The original is silky smooth.

civilized ku # 3637-38 / ku # 1424 ~ let there be light

from Castle Rock ~ Blue Mt. Lake, NY (embiggenable) • 8x10 Arca Swiss w 8x10 color negative film

guideboat ~ Blue Mt. Lake, NY (embiggenable) • 8x10 Arca Swiss w 8x10 color negative film

(embiggenable) • iPhone

(embiggenable) • iPhone

George Eastman opined:

"Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography."

iMo, this quote, coming from a guy who employed hundreds of research scientists who knew light and how to make outstanding light sensitive emulsions, can be understood in a number of ways .... Eastman's research department certainly understood, from a technical point of view, that "light makes photography". Those who make pictures came to understand it from an aesthetic point of view and worked to "embrace light" as a pictorial meme employed to enhance a picture's visual impact in ways both subtle and dramatic.

Numbered amongst the light from an aesthethic POV picture makers, there is a subgroup of landscape picture makers who, to my eye and sensibilities, "admire" and "love" the light to the point of being a fetish. These picture makers often describe their picture making activitiy as "chasing the light" and by their definition, the light is that which is both dramatic and colorful or which emphasizes the sturm und drang of the natural world. I have never been a member of this club.

That written, there was a time when I did pursue a particular type of light .... the soft and color subtle light found during the time of day called the gloaming or as-using my favorite descriptor-entre chien et loup (between the dog and the wolf). That picture making time was during the late 70s>mid-80s when I toted one of my 8x10 view cameras about my hometown and the Adirondacks. I did so because, at that time, that was what "serious" fine art color picture makers did.

In order to capture the subtle quality of the light and color, my film of choice was 8x10 Type L (long exposure) color negative film. Even though Type L film was manufactured to compensate for the color reciprocity failure due to long exposures (60-120 seconds), I was pushing the envelope out to 10>20 minute exposure times* due to my use of an f64 aperture setting.

Although I still have my 8x10/4x5 view cameras and lenses, for a variety of reasons those days are gone. Over the last 2 decades, I have increasingly let "the light" chase me and, when it catches me, I make pictures of it. To be honest, I subscribe to a picture making idea best described by Brooks Jensen:

"There is no such thing as "good" or "bad" photographic light. There is just light."

*FYI, something I did from time to time, during a 20 minute exposure, was to walk through the scene I was picturing. I never detected any impact on the negative of such activity. I just did it to be a wise ass.

pouporri • civilized ku / ku ~ flogging a dead horse?

Adirondack Guideboat ~ Blue Mt. Lake, NY -(embiggenable) • 8x10 Arca Swiss view camera

Adirondack Lodge ~ The Hedges / Blue Mt. Lake, NY -(embiggenable) • 8x10 Arca Swiss view camera

Sunset from Castle Rock ~ Blue Mt. Lake, NY -(embiggenable) • 8x10 Arca Swiss view camera

Sunrise from Castle Rock ~ Blue Mt. Lake, NY -(embiggenable) • 8x10 Arca Swiss view camera

From time to time I come across something, most often something written, which gets me ruminating on a subject, in this case the medium of photography and its apparatus.

Most recently, while searching for something different, I came across a online piece addressing how to make better landscape / nature pictures. In that piece, the author addressed what he considered to be the shortcomings of the "traditional" landscape / nature picture. In a nutshell, a "successful" traditional landscape picture depends upon the primacy of its referent(s) in order to be considered a beautiful picture. In other words, pictures in which dramatic referents are pictured in dramatic light / atmospherics with saturated color a plus.

Here in the Adirondack PARK (it's actually a forest preserve), there are a handful of picture makers dedicated to making "traditional" landscape/nature pictures. In addition to them, there is a continuing flood of legions of "serious" picture makers coming into the region with the same picture making intent. iMo, they are all engaged in making pictures which, to my eye and sensibilities, are all somewhat minor variations on the the same "standard" landscape/nature picture.

Re: my history, re: landscape/nature picture making - my "serious" Adirondack picture making began circa 1980. All of that picture making was accomplished using and 8x10 Arca Swiss view camera with TYPE L (3200K/long exposure) color negative film*. Since my intent was to create very high quality (technically) prints, the use of an 8x10 view camera was a no-brainer, as was the choice of color negative film.

Aesthetically, my intent was to create pictures which fell into the traditional landscape/nature genre albeit with a slight twist ... I limited most of my picture making to that time of day known in some quaters as entre chein et loup, aka: between the dog and the wolf. A time when the sun has set but some daylight lingers on. My referents could also be considered to be of traditional iconic Adirondack stuff.

Judging by the substantial prints sales of those pictures, I apparently it the sweet spot of Adirondack picturing. However, in 1985, I moved to a place far enough away from my then easy access to the Adirondacks and my Adirondack picture making waned almost entirely.

That situation changed in 2000 when I moved to the Adirondack PARK where I now reside. And, over the intervening years, actually decades, something else had changed. I was no longer interested, flogging a dead horse as it were, in making traditional landscape/nature pictures. That is to write that I was no longer interested in making pictures in which the primacy of the referent(s) was the thing. Rather, I was interested in making pictures in which the visual qualities / characteristics, independent of what was depicted, as they appear on the surface of the 2D print are what defines those pictures that are "beautiful".

Quite simply, that is to write, making pictures which, when the image resides on the surface of a print, a thing in and of itself, is considered to be a beautiful object.

That written, I am re-issuing a series of my "vintage" Adirondack pictures. The reason for that is quite simple ... I have recently discovered that there is still (and most likely always will be) a considerable market for such work. So, why not?

FYI, the 2 Castle Rock pictures above were made one evening and the following morning. I stayed on Castle Rock over night along with the 10,000lbs of picture making gear (or so it seemed on the hike up to Castle Rock) needed to make an 8x10 color negative picture. I had no advance notice of the atmospherics which presented themselves, almost on cue. Strickly a case of f45 and be there.

* low light, small aperture (f45, although it might have been f64) and ASA 100, resulted in shutter speed of 20 minutes. Hence TYPE L color negative film which was developed to compensate for the recoprocity effects of long exposure, Although, a 20 minute exposure was severely pushing the boundary of that compensation.