Sunday, February 3, 2008

X-mas Darkroom binge - #३ of 5

The Powers that be

Starting point for this one, a lone shell left on an eroding plateau of sand, carved by wind & water. The way the sand has been carved, it feels like the shell has been somehow forced (down) into this spot by some unseen or long gone power.
The sky I had intended to use?... I couldn't #*%@-ing find the neg! It seems to have been mis-filed in the process of other prints that used the neg next to it, or in the same roll. I've only done this only once before and it took me several months to unravel it, and find the neg, but that time-frame isn't very useful now, with a print in progress!
I did 4 initial exposures of the shell, dodged out to 0% at the top.
The first 2, I used an alternate sky I thought would work....but was only halfway there - sure enough, it's spooky, but I wanted a more concentrated 'force' driving the shell.
I found it in a sky taken a decade or so ago, somewhere in the Apple/Lucerne Valleys (Southern CA.) area - it had a vertical strip of cirrus that blended right into the 'force' driving the shell.
Once again, I was happy - that was a 'wrap' for the session :-)

Larger images can be found at:

(One thing that's occurring to me as I'm doing these is that I haven't handcolored anything in quite a while, and sometimes what I can do w/ handcoloring to a print that isn't the best one (which I want to keep, as B&W)...... can be most amusing, and take the image to another level. I think I gotta try that again, sometime soon.)

An amusing anecdote?
....As I was taking the sky neg I finally used, I was driving along one of those long desert roads that's just two lanes, with an occasional turnout which was the beginning of another long desert road, this time a dirt road, that led to a cluster of small houses and trailers a mile or so away. The turnout has the mailboxes for everyone at the far end of the road. I parked in the turnout, & as I was tripping the shutter a few times, a grizzled old resident pulled up to the mailboxes, got his mail, noticed me taking pictures and said:
"Nice sky!..You takin' color?"
"No" I said, "black and white."
"Oooohh!!... like 'Adam Ansel'?"
"Yes" I said, not wanting to correct him - I figured that was plenty enough culture to have found it's way to a guy like that, who lived in a place like that.
Leave well enough alone, I thought.

One day I may live at the end of a long dirt road like that, and I won't want to be bothered by much 'modern/current culture' either.