Monday, 1 March 2010

An interesting challenge

Floating leaves 2, Manila, February 2010

After my initial efforts picturing the floating leaves in digital, I reckoned it would make an interesting subject for a short series using the large format camera with the goal of producing some nice prints for the wall. And so, at he weekend, I decided to start on that effort, while the idea was fresh.

turns out it's quite a challenge for a few reasons. For a start, I've not done any close up work like this with the LF camera. there is the difficulty of working with the camera pointed at the ground, mounted low. Not too easy. Especially when it's suspended out over the water.

I also didn't realise how much the leaves move in the wind. In the course of the 45 minutes or so of fiddling around, they did 2 complete laps of the pool. With the narrow field of view I'm working with they traverse the ground glass in about 5 seconds. This will be a challenge of weather and shutter speed, too.

Needless to say, I didn't get a single exposure in. Instead i decided to bring it indoors and spend some time in the evening practising the set-up required. Below is a shot of part of my experimenting.

Staring at the floor, Manila, February 2010

With a 210mm lens mounted and working at about 2-3 feet above ground I'm getting out close to full bellows extension, hence the front standard hinged forward.

Another thing I've learnt from the digital trials is the difficulty of the white balance for these shots. It looks like I might have to get a grey card to help.

Fortunately there is no time limit on this - I can shoot almost any day while I'm living here, so plenty of opportunity to try things out. And I won't be exposing a single sheet of film until I'm happy I've got the technique sorted.

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