View Full Version : Into the Redwoods: 4x5 or 6x17?

11-Jul-2016, 01:06
I will probably be going to Arcata for a photo session. Of course will probably take advantage of the locale and make some photos in the Redwoods park. May be I will be lucky to be shown Hyperion.

Any case, I will have my 4x5, but judging from previous outing, I think pano view with a 6x17 may be more appropriate for the redwoods. What do you think?

Randy Moe
11-Jul-2016, 01:37
Both as they are complementary and each works way different.

Jim Fitzgerald
11-Jul-2016, 03:12
I've always had luck with my 8x20 in the Redwoods. Have fun.

Jim Jones
11-Jul-2016, 04:43
Despite not having photographed redwoods, I'd recommend the 4x5, and take along the widest angle lens you have. The normal aspect ratio may be most appropriate for most shots, and you can always crop W. A. shots for panoramas.

11-Jul-2016, 08:10
After almost 40 years of photographing in the redwoods, and a little thought, I can not say there is any particular format that shines over any other. I have used 2 1/4, 4x5, 5x7, 4x10, 8x10, 11x14 and 7x17 so far (oh, and digital).

I like using the 8x10 and having a modified darkslide so I can also do 4x10 if such an image presents itself to me-- but I just got back from a little backpacking with the 4x5 in the redwoods. As I was about to hike down the trail, a fellow just coming out offered me the directions to Hyperion. I did not take the offer...not really interested in that kind of trophy-hunting. And besides, some of the trees I was under in a couple of the small pocket groves along Redwood Creek are in the "Top Ten" as far as height. Then there is the Redwood and the Douglas fir that have been growing next to each other for so many centuries that they have become one tree (a Dougwood?). It is not on any list and definitely not easy to find! I would have to have my good friend guide me back to it!

If you are on the Arcata Plaza, I invite you in to the Arcata Artisans Cooperative Gallery on the Plaza (west side). I always have some work up there. Right now i have a lot of little 2 1/4 platinum prints and a few LF images (also platinum prints).

Here is a local image -- two 4x5 negatives. Tree and Jackie, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park (two 4x5 contact prints scanned then roughly worked on in PS to match printed image -- I have enlarged each neg to 7x19 for the final print). The two images are not quite lined up right in PS.

Drew Wiley
11-Jul-2016, 08:27
My own "redwoods format" is whatever camera I feel like carrying that day. What is of far more importance is carrying a film that will handle the often extreme
contrast range. However, my favorite format is 8x10 just because it's so fun to shoot, and I like a big neg in the darkroom. Having lenses with a large image circle that can handle a fair amount of rise is helpful, though I mostly use 360 and 450 in the woods, just like everywhere else, and rarely wide-angle lenses. One never knows what to expect in terms of lighting unless they are familiar with the area and seasonal fog pattern. When the light is diffuse, it also makes for nice color shots. This past weekend I was mostly working with a 300 tele on 6x7 with fast shutter speeds. The wind was downright howling, so it wasn't a good bellows day anyway. Playing cat and mouse with distant scenes suddenly opening up and rapidly disappearing in the fog. Also got some lovely intricate redwood and fir details from a moderate distance. Surprisingly, all the negs came out sharp under the loupe, so I guess I timed the wind gusts correctly.

11-Jul-2016, 10:55
I've been thinking -- the 6x17 would be a lot of fun in the redwoods. The Arcata Community Forest is nice, second growth, but lots of trails (for mountain bikes, too). There are great old-growth redwoods north and south of Arcata (about 50 miles in both directions). Enjoy!!!

11-Jul-2016, 14:38
Thanks for all the great advice!

Ron (Netherlands)
19-Jul-2016, 15:14
Don't forget your Sky Scraper Camera........http://www.piercevaubel.com/cam/ekc/skyimp2.htm