Revisiting Favorite Negatives

It’s been a busy month and a half.  I've added two new galleries, THE JAZZ CLUB and FACES OF NATURE (AND A FEW OTHERS)-MONOCHROME to the website and images within other galleries.  Please check them out.   I've been doing a lot of post processing of digital files, scanning old negatives, and printing.  I always make a final print before adding something to my website.  Holding the final photograph in my hands is a satisfying last step in a long and enjoyable journey, from something that I saw to something that is a physical representation of that seeing.

 Two Callas

Two Callas

There has been lots of yard work this spring after much needed rain.  I won’t complain about the yard work as it gives me a chance to observe and plan possible subjects to photograph in the garden, some of which are in my galleries.  The photograph to the right is also an example. 

After many years working in the darkroom, I now have a substantial number of negatives that I want to scan, edit (burn, dodge, spot, tone, etc.), and print.  (I have the printing instructions that I made when working in the darkroom and can refer to them as needed.)

I recently scanned and printed an image made with my 8x10 view camera and added it to the YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK-MONOCHROME Gallery.  It is the one titled Blue Heron on Ice, Merced River.  It brought back memories of how the image was made.  I have a number of images taken along the Merced River and hoped to add another one. I saw the scene below and liked the patterns of the ice and the contrast.

 Ice, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California

Ice, Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California

I set up the camera, focused, metered various places in the scene, and made one exposure.  I knew I had what I wanted, so I replaced the lens cap, took the camera off the tripod, and put it down on my back pack that was resting on the snow.  Just then, behind me, I heard "braaak, braaaaaak".  I knew what it was as I had heard it before, but a lot further downstream.  I turned around and saw a Blue Heron standing in the right place on the ice that I had just photographed.  Realizing that I had not racked in the bellows or changed any of the movements or lens setting, I slowly replaced the camera on the tripod, took off the lens cap, turned the film holder around, and cocked the shutter.  I was ready.  But wait!  The heron was looking directly at me which meant that its beak would not be seen in the image.  At that distance the bird would look like it just had a long neck with no head.  I waited, hoping it would turn its head to the left or right.  After a minute or so It finally looked to its left and I made the exposure.  I had hoped to get another film holder in place in time to make a second exposure, but that was asking too much.  My friend got cold feet and flew off.