The 52 Project, Week 28: Large Format from Westpoint

The large scans are starting to roll in and will be posted over the next few days. All of the following scans are made from 8x10 contact prints on Oriental RC VC paper. If you haven't had the chance to try this stuff, it's got a very predictable print time, that translates well over to Ilford Multigrade IV RC VC & FB VC papers. Oh yes, and it's also economically priced in 100 sheet boxes coming in just above Arista EDU products and well below Ilford. As always, click the scans for more specific exposure data. Anywho, onto today's scans:

A scenic from Westpoint Military Academy onto the river. Proof that the Zone System works!

A little bit of spot metering, a dash of the Scheimpflug Principle, and some patience on the subject matter, and you too can throw together a successful landscape, even in harsh early afternoon light. And if you're willing to go the extra mile, selective filtering and compensating in development will yeild even more favorable results in the final print. I wouldn't call the above "final" just a made for the internet scan. Still pretty nice.

Only about 300 yards away from the first image, this second was captured about a half hour later. From what little information I was given about the historic Westpoint campus, I was told this outdoor theatre serves many purposes from commencements to spring and summer concerts. The high contrast afternoon light provided some interesting tones from the brushed silver stadium seating. Those were metered as my Zone VIII highlights and the deeper brush on the middle left of the scan provided a usable Zone II/III shadow.

Something Good: The exposures are fairly even and have a wide tonal range. Turns out writing down exposure data and previsualizing the final image really does help in capturing a landscape.

Something Bad: I'm new to landscapes, hence the slightly boring nature of the compositions. Also, only after making these contact prints did I realize that my contact print frame needed some intense cleaning. Try to ignore the "crud" in the upper parts of both scans. >__<

Something Learned: Patience for landscapes is a virtue that I soon won't have. Some of the greats truly did wait a LONG time to get the image they were seeing in their heads. When given a very strict window of working time, try to document the surrounding area, not make an award-winning landscape.

Next Week: More large format scans! I did shoot a whole box of Tmax 400 (10 sheets) afterall. :P