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Thread: Hi from San Diego

  1. #1
    Wally Wally's Avatar
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    Hi from San Diego

    Hi, all.

    I've been lurking for about four months, treating myself to the archive of really useful information (ground glass vs. film holders and the use of depth gauges, coverage of Tessars vs. Plasmats, useful ancillary gear for my kit, etc).

    I've posted asking about inkjet inks, replied to six or seven other posts, even contributed a landscape shot (what happened to the color when I went from tiff to jpeg I still don't understand).

    After all this time, I only today noticed, under the "For Sale" section, the "Introductions" forum! The first thing I noticed was all the new people from the SoCal area.

    So, here goes my story.

    I've been shooting 35mm since sophomore summer school photography class, and one day (40 years later) my wife says to me "Make me a _big_ print of that seascape". Well, I hadn't realized the limitations of the format till then. I figured "Maybe this new digital stuff is the way to go". After investing in an 8MP DSLR and using it for a week or two I found that I actually preferred the 35mm film's look (I shot mostly slide film and occasionally black'n'white), and the digital seemed kinda washed out and not as sharp. So I decided to dip my toe into 4x5.

    I picked up a Calumet C400 and a 135mm Optar, bought a used copy of Steve's book and discovered the joys of LF. I thought I'd gone to heaven when I put my first transparencies on the light table!

    Since then it has taken over almost all my other after-work activities (Well, I _am_ married, after all, so I have certain responsibilities to my sweet wife)!

    I got familiar with movements, and was amazed at this ability to tilt the plane of focus. I'd always figured that it was simply through brute force stopping the lens down to a pinpoint that gave those LF images the incredible DOF, having never heard of diffraction limits.

    Well, I graduated to an Omega D45M, gave the C400 to a friend so she could 'see what this LF stuff is about', and have gotten a good kit of lenses. I chased magic bullets for a while (I bought a laser rangefinder under the belief that it, combined with a Rodenstock DOF calculator, would help with my focusing problems just to name one).

    Lessons I wish I'd learned sooner:

    1: I'd be better off with a wooden field camera - this monorail beast keeps me from getting very far from my car.

    2: Get set up well before the sunset, but resist the temptation to shoot until the good light comes out to play.

    3: Don't use very much rise/fall on the wide angles or you'll be wishing you'd blown the $300. for that center filter.

    4: Quit spending money on equipment once the basic setup is together - spend the money on film.

    5 (related to 4): Get out there, get set up, take my time, and take pictures.

    I used to have several hobbies, but this one has usurped the others. I'd worry, but I'm having too much fun!


    // Wally

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Re: Hi from San Diego

    Welcome, Wally, from the 405/101 interchange. I can really relate to lessons #1 & 5!

  3. #3

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    Re: Hi from San Diego

    Welcome from Fresno! It sounds like it is about time to try out that camera in Kings Canyon, Sequoia & Yosemite
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.

  4. #4
    Wally Wally's Avatar
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    Re: Hi from San Diego

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    Welcome from Fresno! It sounds like it is about time to try out that camera in Kings Canyon, Sequoia & Yosemite
    My first trip out is going to be a drive up the coast through Big Sur this July. I did that trip in 2006 with my 35mm, and am itching to go back with what my wife calls 'the big camera'.

  5. #5

    Re: Hi from San Diego

    Welcome to LF Forum. When I manage to get away from work, you might find me in the Little Italy area. There are some interesting opportunities for night images in downtown San Diego. My favorite time is about 30 minutes after sunset, which on ISO 100 transparency film should be about four minutes (urban); though I tend to use E100VS for those shots.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat Photography

  6. #6
    Wally Wally's Avatar
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    Re: Hi from San Diego

    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Moat View Post
    Welcome to LF Forum. When I manage to get away from work, you might find me in the Little Italy area. There are some interesting opportunities for night images in downtown San Diego. My favorite time is about 30 minutes after sunset, which on ISO 100 transparency film should be about four minutes (urban); though I tend to use E100VS for those shots.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat Photography
    I've been loving Provia's 200 seconds' worth of no reciprocity failure, but that doesn't quite get me to 4 minutes. Or is that 4 minutes _after_ factoring in reciprocity failure for E100VS?

  7. #7

    Re: Hi from San Diego

    At about ten minutes exposure, I add 1/3 stop. There is a slight blue shift in colours beyond one minute exposure, though in practice I simply use a weaker blue filter. Beyond ten minutes, I don't use any filter. I really find E100VS to be an amazing film for night imaging. The only thing I have found that worked better was E200, though that is not available in 4x5 sizes.

    Fuji Velvia 100 and Velvia 100F seem to get a magenta cast during four to six minute exposures, and seem to need an extra 1/3 to 2/3 stops exposure. I have not tried Provia 100F for night imaging. I do have some Provia 400X, which works great in rollfilm and 35mm sizes for push processing, though that is a different type of imaging usage than large format. I have not tried Velvia 50 for long night exposures, so I do not know how that compares.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat Photography

  8. #8

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    Re: Hi from San Diego

    In Big Sur, look for Pfeiffer Beach. Feels remote and is just stunning. Point Lobos, just south of Carmel, was made famous by the Westons (there is a Weston Beach there) and others like Morley Baer. More rugged beautiful stuff than you can photograph in a week, and very accessible.
    John

  9. #9

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    Re: Hi from San Diego

    Consider Lime Kiln State Park as well---you'll need reservations if you want a campsite though!
    It is Ollallieberry season at Coastways if you get up between Santa Cruz and Halfmoon Bay---yummy!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.

  10. #10
    Wally Wally's Avatar
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    Re: Hi from San Diego

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    Consider Lime Kiln State Park as well---you'll need reservations if you want a campsite though!
    It is Ollallieberry season at Coastways if you get up between Santa Cruz and Halfmoon Bay---yummy!
    Sadly, it looks as though Limekiln state park is scheuled for closure due to California's budget deficit. I guess I'd better hurry.

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