Road trip with 8x10 + poodles

I drove up to Talem Bend -the base of the Mallee Highway -- yesterday with the poodles --to continue working on the low-key  silo project  with the Cambo 8x10 monorail. The negatives from the previous photoshoot had been damaged. Hence the re-photography.  However, things didn't work out for me.

Since the light wasn't right at the silo around lunch time I decided to scoot up to Geranium to scope the silo  there, as I recalled it presented difficulties in photographing because of  the surrounding trees and bushes. It took me longer to return to Talem Bend than I'd allow for, so I was running out of time for the photo session. 

The conditions were what I wanted: overcast, soft light, no wind.  I  had limited time before dusk started  to fall, and  it just doesn't pay to rush  the process of setting up the camera when using an 8x10 monorail.  

a disappointing Lamaroo photoshoot

The general consensus is that film-based, large format photography will endure in the digital age due to its simplicity  i.e.,    relying on minimal technology to render a high-quality image. It is true that there is very little that can go wrong with a view camera from the standpoint of technology failure. 

The picture below  is the result of my first steps in the 8x10 Mallee Highway  silo project. This  is a silo at Lamaroo that I photographed whilst returning from Canberra in 2015.  I had scoped the silos  on my way to Canberra  a week earlier,  and I thought that they would be a suitable place  for me to start.   There was easy access  to the silos,  no security and the silos  suited  the afternoon light. 

As it was raining when I arrived in Lameroo, I waited in the Subaru for the squall to pass,  then  I carried  the Cambo monorail out to the location  to make a couple of photos. It started raining just as I finished the shoot, and it rained all the way on the drive back to Victor Harbor.  

The 19th century  photographic look of the  sculptural form of the silo imposed on  the landscape is what I am after. Though there  is  an emerging  climate of photographic nostalgia  for traditional photography and the craft of handmade images,  traditional photography for me  is  just large format + film;   rather than alternative photographic processes,  such as the wet plate  process,  tintypes or ambrotypes.  

Unfortunately,  my  old 240mm Schneider Symmar f5.6 lens could not cover the movements of the Cambo's raised front standard; the trees in the shade on the right of the silo have no detail;  the negative has streak marks from the tank development of Ilford FP4 Plus at the Analogue Lab in Adelaide;  and scanning  the negative  with the Epson V700 flatbed scanner  has caused  Newton Rings  to appear on the digital file.   

All in all this is a  disappointing,  and somewhat disheartening result. Sure  the project and equipment are a low budget, but I had  been hoping for better results than this.  

8x10 at Hindmarsh River estuary

I've been exploring the Hindmarsh River estuary at Victor Harbor, South Australia. I'd initially scoped  the malaleucas with a digital camera--the Sony NEX-7, handheld:

It's  a low light camera on a tripod situation. 

I returned  for a more considered photo with a medium format camera--Rolleiflex SL66--- using black and white film  and a wide angle lens.  

Now I'm trying to make a 8x10 photo   using the Cambo monorail and black and white film.  I've been waiting for the mouth of the river to open in winter, then for the winter rains to ease so that the swamp-land dries out. It's been  been very wet this winter. I was wanting an overcast day with little wind. 

That was today. I started  the photoshoot with the Cambo around lunchtime,  but the rains returned before I'd really got started.  So I have to wait for the rains to ease, the ground to dry out, and an overcast day.  

8x10 colour

I finally managed to use the  old Cambo SC monorail to make some 8x10 colour pictures of  the bark of the redgum in the reserve.   

I mucked up one exposure---the first one--- as I'd forgotten to take off the yellow filter on the Schneider Symmar 210 mm lens that I'd been using for my black and white exposures. 

The next step  is  take the  sheet film to Atkins Technicolour to have them  to process the  negatives. That service will not be cheap-- probably around $16.50 for one sheet of film. The next step is to  scan the negatives  myself with  the Epson V700 scanner. 

I did  two abstractions of the  peeling bark in  the open shade:

I'm not sure that 8x10 colour is an economic  proposition or that it is worth the expense.  I had the sheet film in the fridge and I needed to use it before it expired.