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Thread: Your Best Photograph

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004

    Your Best Photograph

    I'd like to hear from all of you about the best photo you ever took (one that sticks out in your mind)! When was in taken, in what setting, with what equipment/film and what was the subject? What were your feeling at the time the image was made and when it was printed? What ever happend to that photograph? Would you have done anything differently? Thanks.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Newbury, Vermont

    Your Best Photograph

    Stovepipe Wells dunes - January 1993 just after a brief rainstorm (yes - does this in Death Valley!) had to run almost three miles over loose sand, with a full pack, to get to where I knew I had to be. Completely out of breath, I quickly set up my homemade 5X7 and mounted a 90mm Grandagon - did the camera adjustments - took some quick spot readings through an orange filter and put this on the camera - again checked the focus - then stopped to f/32 and took just one image before the light was gone! Part of what makes this particular image special is that the rare rainstorm had left the dunes with an interesting pockmarked texture, overlying the more usual ripple marks. Even though my timing for this one image was perfect, I would have preferred arriving just a little bit earlier!

  3. #3
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    USA, North Carolina

    Your Best Photograph

    My current favorite is a photograph of a rock face in Joshua Tree National Park. I was in the park for a week in January. I saw the rock face early on, but the light was wrong. I noted when I should come back, and moved on. It rained the next couple of days and I actually forgot about it. On my last day in the park, I got excellent weather and for some reason found that face again. The sun was awesome, the clouds were great. I couldn't believe it was going to work out so well; I went into "flow" and don't remember much about the actual making of the photograph. I knew at the time it would be a keeper though, so I burned a couple of sheets of Tri-X just in case.

    What happened to that photograph? Why, I sell it! I worked up one for my portfolio, and immediately decided it needed to be big. Had it printed on canvas at 125 x 100 cm, stretched over stretcher bars, and framed with a floater frame. It spend four days on my wall before a guy bought it. My wife demanded another, which should be up in a couple of days. We'll see what happens to it...

    That size works well for the image because it shows off the different textures of the rough rocks and the smooth sky and clouds. People also like the strong graphical elements of the cracks in the rocks.

    Would I have done anything differently? No, really, I'm happy with it as it stands.

    Bruce Watson

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Orange, CA

    Your Best Photograph

    Patriarch Grove in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in California (in the White Mountains at over 10,000 feet in elevation), back in 1999. It was a brooding, stormy day with big, beautiful storm clouds in the sky, and I had the Mamiya 7 (this was before I even got into LF) set up facing a large bristlecone with that dark foreboding sky in the background. The storm clouds continued to gather and I debated whether to remain due to the lightning danger, when all of a sudden the clouds broke momentarily behind me, shining a dazzling beam of light onto the bristlecone, making it glow brilliantly against the dark sky. I managed to snap off two shots before I experienced some mishap with the camera (forget now what it was); by the time I corrected the problem, the light had vanished, never to return. The rain started to pour down in torrents.

    Of the two exposures, one was hopelessly overexposed; the other was somewhat underexposed but still quite usable. So far, that shot has been arguably my own humble version of St. Ansel's Moonrise: a totally unplanned photograph that I have yet to match, even after six years of shooting. But I'm still trying!

  5. #5

    Your Best Photograph

    I havent taken it yet........ :-)

  6. #6

    Your Best Photograph

    Tough one. Quite a few I really like.

    Here's one.

    Sony DSC-F828. Can't wait to reshoot it on 4x5, hopefully this winter!

  7. #7

    Your Best Photograph

    A few years ago I did a closeup of my wife's face in 8x10 on my Gowland. It was a horizontal framing, covering just from her eyebrows to her bottom lip top to bottom. I'd guess it was done at about 1.2:1 magnification. I had her sit down, rest her chin on the back of a chair in front of her, and then lit off a 1/2 second exposure with a 210 Sironar-N on TMY. I used a sliding glass door as my light source to her left, and a piece of tin foil to fill in on her right side.

    She's not an eager subject, so this might be the only 8x10 I ever get of her, but the focus was perfect and the print I can make from the negative is quite good. The fill was just enough to keep some detail in her unlit side, so the light on the face, combined with the tight crop, adds drama.

    I work a lot in small format right now due to time constraints, but to me there is nothing like LF macro work and contact printing to truly reveal human faces. The skin really looks like skin, and the eyes are incredibly liquid.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    SF Bay Area

    Your Best Photograph

    After fifty years of recording images on film I have a few favorites. But I must agree with Jorge, I have yet to make my best photograph; perhaps tomorrow. The fun is in the search.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Rondo, Missouri

    Your Best Photograph

    Stanton, Arizona; 1982. Before they dozed it over and turned it into a mobile home park, it was a genuine ghost town. The kind that hadn't been found by the tourists because it was several miles off of any main road (or secondary or tertiary road for that matter). I shot it on 35mm and it's got as good a tonal quality as anything I've ever done. Maybe tomorrow when I haven't worked all day (earning more overtime pay for darkroom gear), I'll try to figure out how to post it.
    Michael W. Graves
    Michael's Pub

    If it ain't broke....don't fix it!

  10. #10

    Your Best Photograph

    mine was after two days of photographing in the Arizona mountains during the very beginning of last spring. I had shot through all of my film, and only had my pocket sized digital "snapshot" 4mpx camera, set on self timer and balanced on a tree branch. I guess I was pretty delerious at that point, because I was shooting myself jumping nude into icy snow melt creek water. Never got the shot I wanted, but the last shot of the whole trip ended up being the best image I've made. Just a lot of random things came together to make it kinda poetic looking:

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