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Steve Goldstein
29-Nov-2018, 19:38
Color images of glaciers show that they actually contain a lot of blue. So for black-and-white I imagine I’d want at least a yellow filter to get decent contrast in the image. Can anyone share their experiences with this? Next year’s trip* will very likely be a once-in-a-lifetime thing so I’d like to improve my odds of getting some keeper images.

There aren’t glaciers anywhere near where I live so I’ve no chance to do my own testing.

*Svalbard Islands

Vaughn
30-Nov-2018, 09:35
It may not make a significant difference, hopefully someone with experience will lend a hand. This is from 40 years ago -- don't remember a lot of blue. no filter

Andrew O'Neill
30-Nov-2018, 10:14
It may not make a significant difference, hopefully someone with experience will lend a hand. This is from 40 years ago -- don't remember a lot of blue. no filter



Great example. That's why I never used anything stronger than a #8. I shot on HP5 and TMAX. TMAX blues were darker than HP5, unfiltered. I preferred HP5. What film was that, Vaughn?

Drew Wiley
30-Nov-2018, 11:21
Depends how much texture you want to bring out, and whether the sky is clear or not. If you want tiny ice crystals to sparkle, and the sky is blue, all those little micro-shadows comprising texture will also be bluish, so a red filter will accentuate the texture more than orange, orange more than yellow, etc. A med green filter is also worth carrying. Now as per the blue hue of compressed ice, along with the turquoise flavor of glacial melt ponds, it again depends whether you want to deepen or lighten these in relation to surrounding parts of the subject. Just carry a set of different filters and view through them until you have the experience to just grab the best one for the specific situation. But I really wouldn't select HP5 film for something like glaciers, which can have tremendous contrast range between shadows or dark rocks and glistening ice surfaces. TMY400 with its considerably longer straight line would be preferable. Because I am still carrying heavy loads in the mountains at a somewhat advanced age, I try to keep gear to a practical minimum, but generally always carry a 25 red filter, a 22 orange, and a Hoya X1 medium true green. I've done so many LF ice shots in both color and black and white that I doubt I could count em. Make sure your tripod has spike feet so it doesn't slip (plus traction spikes for your own boots, if you're actually onto the ice).

Vaughn
30-Nov-2018, 11:24
TMax100, 4x5. I rarely used a yellow filter with it for that reason -- I do not like dark skies unless the image really calls for it. In fact my greatest use of a yellow filter is this time of year to brighten Fall's yellow leaves under the redwoods.

Two more images -- Looking across the glacier of the previous image (4x5, silver gelatin, TMax100) -- and an example of the skies I usually go for (platinum print, 8x10 FP4+).

Doremus Scudder
30-Nov-2018, 11:24
How much blue you see in glaciers depends on the amount of reflected vs. transmitted light. Like liquid water, ice absorbs the red end of the spectrum for light passing through it. Anyway, you should be able to see the blue, so spot meter through your filters to get some idea of contrast/separation and shoot one shot without filtration and one with when in doubt. You can check out my glacier photos on my website if you're interested. FWIW, I don't remember using a lot of filtration for any of the glacier shots I've done.

Best,

Doremus

Two23
30-Nov-2018, 12:41
Living in South Dakota, I use these:
https://www.backcountry.com/kahtoola-microspikes-traction-system?skid=KHT000B-BK-M&ti=U2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHM6Y3JhbXBvbnM6MTozOmNyYW1wb25z

If needing something more aggressive, I would probably get these if no serious climbing is involved:
https://www.backcountry.com/hillsound-trail-crampon-pro?skid=HLS0004-ONECOL-XL&ti=U2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHM6Y3JhbXBvbnM6MToxOmNyYW1wb25z


As for filters, they don't weigh much. Take a selection and check the effect at the scene. My standard set is: red, orange, green, plus assorted ND.



Kent in SD

Chester McCheeserton
30-Nov-2018, 15:44
184941

Didn't use a filter, I never do, but also planned to print digitally so I could easily add contrast where needed in photoshop. The couple of times I was on glaciers was with guides and those spike things over your shoes.
I would think that maybe working quickly might be more important than fiddling with filters but that's just me. The spiked tripod feet helped. Think this was tri-x

Drew Wiley
30-Nov-2018, 15:46
Just don't try going very far on an actual glacier with those kinds of glorified tennis shoes, Kent. I won't even allow someone to hike into the Sierras with me if they wear those kinds of things. Two inches of snow and you're stuck, facing frostbite. Just this past month one of my regular hiking partners had to rescue a couple in the mountains who would have died being under-equipped like that if he didn't come along. But no glacier guide is going to let you do that anyway, at least if they take you near a crevasse zone. They typically provide loaner boots, ropes, etc. Lots of people on formal tours photograph glaciers from a safe distance anyway. Things like ice axes and crampons take training and experience anyway, or one can get hurt. These modern traction gadgets for more ordinary footwear seems like quite a convenience for incidental ice, kinda like snow-tires for people. But apparently some of them aren't very well made. Real crampons require a very stiff true mountain boot, and they are sized, though slightly adjustable. I have relatively small feet - around 8-1/2. My nephew once bought me an especially nice set of heavy-duty crampons for my birthday, but they were size 12. Guess what size his foot is! And he was planning to ice climb that weekend. So it goes.

Alan Klein
30-Nov-2018, 15:57
Just don't try going very far on an actual glacier with those kinds of glorified tennis shoes, Kent. I won't even allow someone to hike into the Sierras with me if they wear those kinds of things. Two inches of snow and you're stuck, facing frostbite. Just this past month one of my regular hiking partners had to rescue a couple in the mountains who would have died being under-equipped like that if he didn't come along. But no glacier guide is going to let you do that anyway, at least if they take you near a crevasse zone. They typically provide loaner boots, ropes, etc. Lots of people on formal tours photograph glaciers from a safe distance anyway. Things like ice axes and crampons take training and experience anyway, or one can get hurt. These modern traction gadgets for more ordinary footwear seems like quite a convenience for incidental ice, kinda like snow-tires for people. But apparently some of them aren't very well made. Real crampons require a very stiff true mountain boot, and they are sized, though slightly adjustable. I have relatively small feet - around 8-1/2. My nephew once bought me an especially nice set of heavy-duty crampons for my birthday, but they were size 12. Guess what size his foot is! And he was planning to ice climb that weekend. So it goes.

Pretty wily of him.

Two23
30-Nov-2018, 15:59
I have more serious equipment for more serious outings. I have the gear for 60 below, overkill considering it rarely gets colder than -40F here. I have hiked on several glaciers--Athabasca and a couple in Iceland. Wore crampons with toe picks for that, in case I needed to climb out of a hole. For just hiking on icy trails, frozen lakes, around waterfalls, or other less dicey places the Kathoolas are great! They are very well made, plus compact to carry, and bite the ice well. Heading out to the mountains on the western side of my state tomorrow to photo a train. Supposed to snow maybe a foot. I'm bringing the spikes AND the snowshoes. My boots are Oboz 10 inch Bridger and take crampons or snowshoes well.


Kent in SD

MartinP
30-Nov-2018, 16:45
If one wanted to darken reflections off water, unusual but you never know, would anyone have experience of the effect of a polariser on ice? The specular reflections might be limited, or are they so differently polarised that some reflections will always remain? And that's leaving aside colour photography of course.

Drew Wiley
30-Nov-2018, 17:25
I apologize if I'm in a bad mood, Kent. Glad to hear you know the limits of your gear. My snowshoes have instep "crampons" of a variety suitable for fairly steep slopes. I haven't done any serious ice travel for awhile, though my ice axe is handy if I ever need it again. There are still a few serious glaciers left in our mountains here, but not enough left to routinely carry special gear anymore. But lately I've been reprinting some 4x5 negs from back in the day. Why I get grumpy is due to the ultralight fad of travel on popular trails these days. Sooner or later someone gets the Darwin Award. I did plenty of ultralight mountain travel well before that term was ever coined, and Indians did it for millennia before me. But the difference is, I knew enough to head downhill fast into timber at the approach of a storm, while these neophytes just keep going because they're on a schedule. My friend literally had to spend an entire night shivering, standing outside in the snow in his down coat and parka so two people without even jackets could use his tent and share the sleeping bag. Otherwise they would have been dead long before morning. I know the feeling. Sometimes in the Fall I'd carry two jackets and raincoats because there was often someone way back on the trail without any, traipsing along in sneakers, shorts, and a T-shirt while some huge snow cloud was moving in fast. Five years ago it was too late for two such day hikers. Died on an afternoon walk that started out sunny and ended up snowing.

Two23
30-Nov-2018, 18:06
I apologize if I'm in a bad mood, Kent. Glad to hear you know the limits of your gear. .

No problem Drew. I get a little cranky sometimes too. :D I grew up in the woods of Missouri and still spend a good amount of time outdoors. It's one reason I moved to South Dakota. (That and the wonderful weather.:D ) I often go out in the worst winter weather at night to photo trains. Few will go with me. Sometimes my wife does, but only because she's afraid something will happen to me. I'm doing that this weekend. It's supposed to snow all day Saturday and then the temp drops to about 10 on Sunday. My kind of weather! I do know my limits, and often is the time I look at a situation and think to myself, "Nope, not doing that again!":eek:

Kent in SD

Drew Wiley
30-Nov-2018, 18:25
Martin - some mountain photographers routinely use polarizers. I never do. I prefer to tango with reflections rather than tangle with them. In other words, I relish the glare and sparkle just as it is. But I do have a couple of nice polarizers for the copystand and should probably revisit the subject outdoors some day just for fun. One problem with them is that they're especially prone to fogging up. I ran into a European photographer way back in the mtns this summer with easily 15K of top-end digital Nikon gear, but otherwise utterly wasting his time because his polarizing filters were fogged. For a bit more money you can get the Kasseman type with tight O-rings that are better sealed against humidity; mine were made by B&W.

Vaughn
30-Nov-2018, 19:07
The glaciers I visited were almost at sea level and equivilent latitude as Coos Bay, Oregon. Not at all polar. Just a lot of rain to work around...a couple days of photographing over 4 or 5 days.

Willie
30-Nov-2018, 21:21
http://michaelandpaula.com/mp/html/photographs_details.php?Iceland-2004-2006-2010-A-Sampler-26

You might check out some of the photographs of Ice from Paula Chamlee - from Iceland.
Using old Kodak Super XX film, pyro developer and contact printed on Kodak Azo or their own Lodima paper it can give you a good idea of what one type of B&W material does.

TMax 100 is supposed to act as if has a mild Yellow filter and will give you a bit darker blueish shadow areas which might help bring out depth in some of the ice you will encounter. It does need good accurate exposure and development for the finest results. You should be able to so it. Whatever you decide on why not photograph some blocks of ice and piles of bagged ice under sunlight and overcast conditions where you are, develop them and do some fine tuning before you go? Glaciers are just bigger - much bigger and the light/shadow challenges will be basically the same. You will have already seen many of them on a small scale and having some time to shoot, develop, re-shoot and fine tune a bit will go a long way towards more confidence as you visit the Real Thing. A bit of testing will help with the confidence.

Good luck. Hope you have a great trip.

Pere Casals
1-Dec-2018, 04:20
184941 Didn't use a filter, I never do, but also planned to print digitally so I could easily add contrast where needed in photoshop.

Chester, it's not the same adding contrast with a filter than adjusting it in photoshop. With BW film a color filter selectively darkens depending on the color in each spot, editing the curve for a gray image is another thing.

A color filter even may decrease contrast, for example a subject that's yellow and green may decrease contrast with a green or cyan filter...

While sometimes adding contrast with Ps may have similar effect that using a filter on the lens this is not the general case by far.

Pere Casals
1-Dec-2018, 05:01
Color images of glaciers show that they actually contain a lot of blue. So for black-and-white I imagine Iíd want at least a yellow filter to get decent contrast in the image. Can anyone share their experiences with this? Next yearís trip* will very likely be a once-in-a-lifetime thing so Iíd like to improve my odds of getting some keeper images.

There arenít glaciers anywhere near where I live so Iíve no chance to do my own testing.

*Svalbard Islands



A very good friend was there in 2015, he was making the land rescue for balloons, he also flied a couple of times. There are polar bears there, not a hazard with "usual" precautions, it was this expedition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZxyV-w-zvc

Let me make an strong recommendation, also take a good deal of velvia and provia with you, if not sheets at least MF or 35mm, beyond what you do in BW. Highest peak is 1700m so not much UV messing.

Depending on the season you won't see any blue ice, only white on the blue. When sunny the challenge will be dealing with the high dynamic range of the scenes. A Pol filter can be very useful there, for sky and reflections.

Drew Wiley
1-Dec-2018, 11:13
Velvia for glaciers, Pere? .... you gotta be kidding. In mist or falling snow it might be appropriate, but anything resembling open sun and you've got a major problem with its very limited capacity for contrast. And UV can be intense even at lower altitudes where the air is especially clear. Ever hear of rapid sunburn on a pristine beach? ... For a long time I gave up on TMax100 for such shots. It handles the contrast wonderfully, especially by taking advantage of how pyro stain holds the highlights. But the edge effect is pretty disappointing compared to TMY400, so the actual enlargements don't look as sharp. But I learned that Perceptol when used at a higher dilution (1:3 from stock) significantly enhances edge effect as well as has an unusual compensating quality. I'd used Perceptol 1:1 long ago, and it didn't differ much from D76. But at greater dilution it becomes a wholly different animal, and I have been using this with real success for quite a variety of mountain images on TMX, including very high contrast scenes with shiny surfaces and brilliant sparkling specular highlights. The grain is still very fine, but with distinctly better definition. But I still prefer PMK for TMY400 (it looks a tad gritty in dilute Perceptol). Either version of TMax can almost equal the range of good ole gritty Super-XX, but are otherwise actually far more versatile films.

Pere Casals
1-Dec-2018, 12:15
Velvia for glaciers, Pere? ....

Yes, of course, I've digitally processed dozens of Velvia shots of a certain artist portraying Laponia in winter.

Velvia is amazing for high mountain photography, glaciers, etc.

185009


Flickr has some Velvia shots in the Svalbard island that our OP is to visit, look:

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5454/8754807748_1d7f6abb6a_b.jpg

https://www.flickr.com/photos/95882862@N06/8754807748

You can find many snowy, mountain and glacier velvia shots in flickr:

185001
185002
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4536/37817436675_4e396f63d0_c.jpg
https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3041/2601947574_743ea5e789_b.jpg

Single problem... a monitor is not able to portray all beauty Velvia captures !!!!

Velvia almost is never easy to shot, and some shots require a drum or an X as we may need to underexpose many areas to not burn the highlights, also we may need to wait for the good illumination, but velvia rocks for frozen water, delivering a unique look.

Drew Wiley
1-Dec-2018, 17:08
Ah, Pere, do what you like. The repro range of Velvia doesn't leave much of anything in the shadows. That fact is blatantly apparent in enlargements. I frequently had one or two holders of Velvia with me; but E100G was far more versatile, and Provia acceptable. And when you try dig too deep into the shadows of Velvia you end up with that horrible blue crossover. Now I use Ektar, which has more latitude than any chrome film and doesn't go bland like most color neg films, though it has idiosyncrasies of its own. In this area a "Flicker" is a species of woodpecker.

Pere Casals
2-Dec-2018, 02:22
Ah, Pere, do what you like.

Drew, it's not what I like, Velvia is the (unsurpased) gold standard for mountain/glacier color photography. Just google Khumbu Glacier Velvia.

https://www.google.es/search?q=Khumbu+Glacier+Velvia&rlz=1C1AOHY_esES708ES708&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjdi4in5YDfAhVpRBUIHTe5BPYQ_AUIDigB&biw=1745&bih=903

mmerig
2-Dec-2018, 06:26
Drew, it's not what I like, Velvia is the (unsurpased) gold standard for mountain/glacier color photography. Just google Khumbu Glacier Velvia.

https://www.google.es/search?q=Khumbu+Glacier+Velvia&rlz=1C1AOHY_esES708ES708&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjdi4in5YDfAhVpRBUIHTe5BPYQ_AUIDigB&biw=1745&bih=903

I get the same links if I use "Khumbu Glacier Provia", and nothing about Velvia in the few links I looked at.

Pere Casals
2-Dec-2018, 07:13
I get the same links if I use "Khumbu Glacier Provia", and nothing about Velvia in the few links I looked at.

Yes, better searching in flickr himalaya, or paine with velvia or provia

Or reviewing prominent altitude photograpers of the kodachrome and velvia eras

Today most is done digital, but to me the slides are unchallenged...

Velvia ( vs provia) shifts the yellows to orange, in special the 50, nice when sun is low

Drew Wiley
2-Dec-2018, 16:34
Don't mean to be impolite, Pere, but I've provided camera gear & film for some of the most difficult climbs ever done in the Khumbu, Andes, high Arctic etc. Film era of course. Since the sponsors of those expeditions were counting on chromes capable of use in ad campaigns afterwards, Velvia would be a big no-no. Repro usage is not like Flikr or a home slide show. It's hard enough just to get climbers to change out cold batteries at reasonable intervals. Extreme climbers hung out at my house quite a bit, and I heard plenty of camera and sponsor horror stories. My nephew lived with me around the time he did the most difficult climb in Paine ever, and with the extreme temps for twenty days on that wall, he was lucky any of the shots was suitable for a feature article and magazine cover. If it had been Velvia it would have been hopeless. Making big prints is even more demanding. One well known climber was always blaming this or that lab when all of a sudden big patches of raw black showed up in his enlarged shots. They were there all along, but just weren't as annoying in tiny little Natl Geo pages as viewed big. He never learned; but then, he never set foot in a darkroom. A light box was his main tool. Scanners couldn't do it either. It just wasn't there. I'd shoot Velvia from time to time cause I know how to precisely use a spotmeter, but it's really a straightjacket of a film with no wiggle room. At one time I did articles and shots for a well-known architectural glossy magazine. Even under those controlled lighting situations with 4X5 film, the editors rejected Velvia shots. Just too hard to work with.

Steve Goldstein
2-Dec-2018, 18:11
As the original poster, I'm somewhat amused at how my question relating to photographing glaciers in black-and-white (it's even in the title!) has turned into a flame war about color film...

Drew Wiley
2-Dec-2018, 19:06
No flame war, Steve. It's the same problem, just exaggerated when it comes to color versus b&w film. It's all about controlling the contrast. I've been doing this kind of photography more than 50 years. Some places one can never get to again; and even if you could, lighting is rarely the same. Yes, we still have our memories; but I like to embody those memories into prints capable of communicating the exquisiteness of the light with others, whether the medium is monochrome or color. If people like to share scenes on the web via Flickr or whatever, that's fine. But one certainly doesn't need to lug around a view camera and spend a lot of money and time on film to do that sort of thing. But if serious printmaking is involved, you want versatile shots with sufficient information in the scale for your intended purpose. It's darn easy to blow out either the highlights or shadows in sunlit ice scenes. Not every black and white film does it well; and in color, one has to be even more circumspect. Of course, we can't win em all. Last Sept the sun came out in the middle of the night, the moon wasn't up yet, and myriads of little stars were perfectly reflected on a huge slab of granite almost mirror-like from glacial polish. Wonderful to see, but no digital camera can pick up that kind of barely visible spectacle without turning it into undifferentiated pixel gravel; and any kind of long exposure would have simply created star trails on rock. So for me at least, the experience itself is more important than any shot; but if I'm going to take the trouble to haul anything from 70 to 90 pounds through the mountains for days on end, I want the shots to count (no more 90-pounders for me as this age, however!). Enjoy your trip!

Greg Y
2-Dec-2018, 20:01
Steve, Landscape, and particularly mountains are my chief photographic subject. I always use a yellow or orange filter. FP4+, Tri-X or TMY-2, depending on the format, & the light & if i'm photographing from a helicopter or from the ground]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4795/40866518391_947dd87391_z.jpg[/url]unnamed-7 (https://flic.kr/p/25geA9F) by [/url], on Flickr
[url=https://flic.kr/p/235DVQ7]https://farm1.staticflickr.com/783/39434072290_b805929b79_z.jpg (https://www.flickr.com/photos/156629749@N02/)1A907CDB-A189-414A-A14B-A97A45A3EE33 (https://flic.kr/p/235DVQ7) by /url], on Flickr][img]https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4623/25693843257_111b01af31_z.jpg (https://www.flickr.com/photos/156629749@N02/)AD0D9844-DB80-468D-AD3A-E97E80E31EEA (https://flic.kr/p/F9tErx) by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/156629749@N0

Pere Casals
3-Dec-2018, 02:27
I've provided camera gear & film for some of the most difficult climbs ever done in the Khumbu, Andes, high Arctic etc. Film era of course.

Drew, an alpinist had to use what he was able to control in order document the adventure, but altitude photographers were using mainly Kodachrome and later Velvia/Provia to make books. Do you really need a list of altitude books make with velvia ?

Now I've one in my hands by Galen Rowell, (a californian), he was killed (2002) in an airplane accident.

Wikipedia says:

"His main media choice was color slide film, beginning with Kodachrome in the 1970s and 1980s and Fuji Velvia following its introduction in 1990.

Rowell conceived a technical approach of extending the dynamic range to be captured on film. He developed a set of graduated neutral density filters and had them produced by Singh-Ray, a filter manufacturer.[7] They were sold under his name and became a standard for dealing with high contrast scenes." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galen_Rowell

I may show many examples of high mountain photographers with color work made with slides... to me that was the main tool of choice for that subject.



I always use a yellow or orange filter.

I guess this was mainly to darken sky, was it not ?

mmerig
3-Dec-2018, 09:31
Okay, back to snow and glacial ice --

One aspect not mentioned yet is whether the surface is frozen or has some water among the ice crystals when melting. This could make a difference, especially with surfaces close to the camera where the detail is more obvious. UV light bounces around in the tiny shadows among the ice/snow crystals, and a yellow, orange or red filter cuts the UV and makes the contrast higher among the snow crystals. Bradford Washburn, who did many early ascents in Canada and Alaska, photographed those mountains, and later made many images from an airplane, often used an orange filter. It also darkens the sky, of course. During the summer at Spitzbergen, I imagine that most of the glacial ice will be mostly covered with snow, but the long arctic days may keep the surface in a melting state if the sun is out.

In snow scenes, I have tried no filter, yellow (wratten #8) orange, and red. The choice is a matter of taste; orange works well for me. It is easy to underexposed the shadows when metering snow scenes. I don't have a spot meter, so use a gray card or the sunny-sixteen rule. I usually use FP4, and it is very forgiving on highlight exposure.

It's good to know what to expect before-hand, but why not bring a few different filters on your trip, and try them all on the more-important scenes you want to capture?

Drew Wiley
3-Dec-2018, 18:05
Bingo. Prior to moving to Bishop, Galen Rowell lived right next door to a backpacking pal of mine uphill from me. And I knew who printed his shots. I've seen original slides. He went interesting places, but otherwise was just a snapshooter or machine-gunner with a 35mm camera, technically quite limited and otherwise an artistic zero. Lots of those shots were miserable to try to reproduce. I don't know why any serious large format photographer would emulate that kind of dime-a-dozen style. Since he passed away, his son heavily doctored or colorized some of his shots in Photoshop, and made them look awfully fake. SUV car ads liked them and paid his bills. But per the previous thread concerning filters, about all I can add is that you can't always precisely predict what kind of snow conditions you'll encounter. Eskimos have over twenty different nouns for snow. Rather than going nuts trying to decide whether to take a yellow, orange, or red, I'd carry one of each... Bradford Washburn was a marvelous mountain photographer, but the one I most admire is Vittoria Sella.

Greg Y
3-Dec-2018, 19:32
"I guess this was mainly to darken sky, was it not ?" (use of yellow or orange filter). Well....yes, but primarily to increase contrast. Alpine climbing, ski touring, heli-skiing, any kind of flying (not specifically for photographic purposes), means you're photographing images as they are at the moment you are there, rather than waiting for ideal conditions. Usually i end up with negatives that will print on Grade 2 or VC filtration equivalent.
Since Drew mentioned, both Bradford Washburn & Vittorio Sella are really at the very pinnacle of mountain photographers, and it is well worth looking at their work & finding out something about the conditions they worked in.

Drew Wiley
3-Dec-2018, 19:43
No. It's about enhancing texture in snow or ice, not just about sky contrast. Shadows, whether big or as tiny as a snow crystal, are blue under a blue sky, and analogously affected by filters. But back to Sella .. I suspect he still holds the altitude record for a large format camera, maybe around 22,000 ft on Chogolisa (Bride Peak) near K2 in the Karakorum. When I was about 40, one of Europe's most accomplished Himalayan climbers thought he could get me as high as Camp 2 on Dhaulhigiri to set a new record, but it just wouldn't be the same. Nobody is going to upstage the way Sella did it. I got married instead the next year. No regrets.

Greg Y
3-Dec-2018, 20:21
. Nobody is going to upstage the way Sella did it. .
Vittorio Sella did the first winter ascent of the Matterhorn in 1882 & the first winter traverse of Mon Blanc. He was the photographer of the great adventures of the Duke of Abruzzi. Among other amazing feats, they sailed from Europe to America, then up the west coast and did the first ascent of Mount Saint Elias 18008í (5489 m). Sella processed his negatives in a dark tent.
His photographs which are not often shown outside Europe are stunning to see in person.
Also Ruwenzori, made an attempt on K2 reaching 6200m, made an expedition to the North Pole, failing, but getting further than anyone previously had.

Drew Wiley
4-Dec-2018, 11:45
One of my favorite pictures of Sella himself was him sitting at the foot of the Matterhorn conspicuously scowling. He was in his 70's just about to do another traverse of the Matterhorn when a key member of their climbing party slipped and broke a leg, and had to call off the climb. There's a famous panorama of the Baltoro Glacier he took with his big plate camera with a string of climbers in the middle-distance giving a sense of scale. Decades after it was published, someone was archiving his original negatives and discovered that there were no climbers in the original shot at all - rather, the same ones appeared in a completely different shot in the Alps. He had dubbed them in double-negative style! And once the true scale of the scene was determined, they would have had to each been about 18 feet tall to reach that particular visual proportion. Thank goodness Photoshop wasn't around yet! But the Duke of Abruzzi wouldn't go anywhere not in style. Even on the arduous expedition to Mt St Elias, the crew and dogsleds had to haul heavy brass beds for endless miles across difficult glaciers to the base camp. Doubt REI still sells those.

Alan Klein
4-Dec-2018, 17:23
I enjoyed looking at Galen Rowell's work. I thought it was very good. He used 35mm because he liked to travel light since he enjoyed mountain climbing and hiking difficult places. He wanted to move fast to catch the dawn magic hour. His column in Outdoor Photographer magazine was also very prescient. He was somewhat of a visionary. His and his wife's death at such an early age was a great loss to family and friends as well as photography in general.

Chester McCheeserton
4-Dec-2018, 19:25
I agree with Alan on that. When I was first learning about landscape photography I bought his book Mountain Light, he sometimes used a tripod, and was pretty committed to nailing pictures that no one else was getting. I definitely learned things from reading his tips, although he wasn't using large format and I would not suggest that anyone today use Velvia for glaciers. I agree, the work on the website looks way too digital now, over edited, But some of those pictures like the rainbow hitting the monastery, and those weird clouds he got were really good.

The Bisson brothers also took some really amazing glacier pictures.
Frank Gohlke and Emmet Gowin both photographed Mt St Helens in the 1980s with some ice too.
And check out Florian Maier Aichen, he's got some pretty insane mountain snow pictures shot with 8x10.

With the exception of Ansel Adams' Monolith Face of Half Dome shot I can't think of many pictures I like where the use of a filter played an important role.

and Greg, nice work.

Drew Wiley
4-Dec-2018, 20:51
Visionary????????????? You gotta be kidding, Alan. Someone who throws away five hundred shots just to find one that looks good on an outdoor commercial or whatever is no visionary. His career timing was lucky. It was at the tail end of when outdoor sports still shots were in demand for SUV etc ad campaigns. Now in the era of GoPro helmet cameras, drones, and mini video capture, someone has to jump off a cliff in a malfunctioning bat suit and splatter at the bottom to bag a commercial. But that's all it was. His sense of light and color was cheesy and unrefined. His airs of being a notable photographer was put on. Nobody around here took him seriously unless it was to ask advice about expedition logistics, and he hated that kind of annoyance. He was just another local rock bum who had enough sense to abandon the usual macabre climber article lingo and try to reach a wider audience. We all know his story and his self-marketing exaggerations. He wasn't like that in person. All that braggadocio was just part of his marketing personna, and he knew he was very much a little league player with a camera. Therefore he was a lot more humble in person. My interactions with him were minimal. I didn't find anything interesting in his work. Ever see any of those images significantly enlarged and put in a frame? Rather unrefined and fake-looking, to say the least. They looked better in cheap small R prints back when he couldn't afford anything else. What he actually was, was a connoisseur of travel in exotic or remote places. And he was a strong climber, even if not a superstar of that risky sport. But like even John Muir and Clarence King long before him, some of his climbing stories contain a heavy sauce of BS for sake of a readership. He filled a niche in the kind of journalistic fare NG provides, which I enjoy for its own sake. And several of us on this forum know of about serious contradictions to his alleged environmental concerns. NG likes to toot its own horn a lot, so that doesn't surprise me. He got a foot in that door with an article about climbing the face of Half Dome using chocks instead of pitons. Long before, Warren Harding cut off the iron legs of an old stove and crammed them into cracks to suspend ropes; and climbers had done it with blocks of wood for generations. But it sounded trendy and was less damaging to the rock, so the story flew. But it was really the business skill and personal wealth of his second wife that got him off the ground, career-wise. Like others of this type, his workshops were basically sales hype for whoever funded him. When it involved Fuji film, he told everyone to shoot as much Fuji film as possible - the more rolls a day, the better. When they came out with digital, he told students that's what you have to have. Snake oil. I don't think anyone on this forum would conduct a workshop that way. But that's about all he knew. Machine-gunner, and hope to get lucky. His "Mountain Light" photographs are some of the most amateurish and routine mtn shots as I've ever seen in an actual printed book. But whatever. By now people should understand that I don't appreciate gilding the lily, especially when the gilding itself is cheap spray paint.

Greg Y
4-Dec-2018, 21:15
Thank you For the compliment Chester. I donít think itís possible to compare Galen Rowellís work with any number of black & white mountain photographers. Today climbing is very high profile and very publicized in magazines, movies and social media. Galen Rowell was very much in the forefront of that. If you are climber, alpinist, mountain guide who began climbing in the Ď70s there are other ( Black and white photographers) who documented their climbs and produced stunning & much less commercial work. Glen Denny and particularly Tom Frost come to mind ( in 35mm).
In color, Yoshikazu Shirakawa produced magnificent mountain images with a Linhkf 4x5 and Pentax 67.

Chester McCheeserton
4-Dec-2018, 21:31
His sense of light and color was cheesy and unrefined.

nothing wrong with a little cheese in photography....

Chester McCheeserton
4-Dec-2018, 21:32
and wow some of Glen Denny's stuff is really nice

Drew Wiley
5-Dec-2018, 18:53
It amazes me how Shirakawa sometimes used the same gimmicks (like half-tinted magenta/orange filters) and made it truly effective, creatively, while someone else comes along and makes every shot look corny. Shirakawa was truly one of the great ones, regardless. But if you want an unvarnished 4x5 Technika color equivalent, it would be Shirahata - no gimmicks, though I find his use of a polarizer a bit heavy. The effort and suffering these guys put in during high altitude expeditions all through the Himalyas and Karakorum, plus the Alps and American West, was amazing. Both of them worshipped Vittoria Sella. Locally we were honored to have people like Richard Kaufmann, who not only took very tasteful SL66 color shots of the High Sierra long before the high-jijnx of the ski poster crowd, but was a master at printing them in very difficult processes like color carbro and then dye transfer. He even took charge of his own printing plates. Ed Cooper was a well known rock bum in both Yosemite and the North Cascades who worked in 8x10 black and white; he's apparently still alive. A more accomplished climber (at least locally) than Galen was Claude Fidler, who carried a Gowland 4x5 up all kinds of climbs in both the High Sierra and remote parts of the Great Basin, published three books of color photography which honor a realistic interpretation of color, at least within the restraints of chrome film (actual "mountain light" instead of a faked postcardy stereotypes). In my neighborhood, Joseph Holmes is an accomplished color printer who has spent many summers in the High Sierra. I could mention numerous others who specialized in tasteful 4x5 color and were also highly competent in a color darkroom. The list of accomplished black and white printers of such fare would be even larger. I have no problem with
amateurs equipped with nothing more than a cell phone for a camera or some kind of miniature digital camera; they hike in the mtns with me frequently, as well as some serious MF film shooters. I just don't like how certain people
try to sell a hamburger at fillet mignon prices. I understand that one has to make a living, so things can turn out that way. But I also wish people would spend some time appreciating the amazing subtle beauty or true natural light
before they instantly pounce on marketable postcardy goo-gaw strategies. If I've offended anyone with these kinds of posts, I'm willing to delete them.

Alan Klein
6-Dec-2018, 09:55
I agree with Alan on that. When I was first learning about landscape photography I bought his book Mountain Light, he sometimes used a tripod, and was pretty committed to nailing pictures that no one else was getting. I definitely learned things from reading his tips, although he wasn't using large format and I would not suggest that anyone today use Velvia for glaciers. I agree, the work on the website looks way too digital now, over edited, But some of those pictures like the rainbow hitting the monastery, and those weird clouds he got were really good.

The Bisson brothers also took some really amazing glacier pictures.
Frank Gohlke and Emmet Gowin both photographed Mt St Helens in the 1980s with some ice too.
And check out Florian Maier Aichen, he's got some pretty insane mountain snow pictures shot with 8x10.

With the exception of Ansel Adams' Monolith Face of Half Dome shot I can't think of many pictures I like where the use of a filter played an important role.

and Greg, nice work.
My shot of Hubbard Glacier taken with Velvia. I have to go into my attic to see closer shots I did.
https://farm7.staticflickr.com/6198/6060527164_5dea60f237_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/aexMzE)
Hubbard Glacier (https://flic.kr/p/aexMzE) by Alan Klein (https://www.flickr.com/photos/alanklein2000/), on Flickr

Alan Klein
6-Dec-2018, 10:04
Drew, No you don't have to delete any of your posts. You're entitled to your opinions. Sure they're controversial. I suppose like Rowell's photos. :)

Drew Wiley
6-Dec-2018, 12:50
Thanks, Alan.

Greg Y
6-Dec-2018, 13:17
On a historical note, Byron Harmon is a significant photographer of the Canadian Rockies. He worked on a big Smithsonian trip. Wonderful Black & White work like this photo on Mt Resplendent
185207

Drew Wiley
6-Dec-2018, 14:54
Hmmm... interesting. Harmon reminds me a little of Fiske down here, who was a glass plate practitioner midway between Carleton Watkins and Ansel Adams in Yosemite history. Not long ago, that same person who lived next door to Galen was making a bid on a Fiske plate negative, and wanted to know if I could enlarge it. Since I can handle up to 12X12, it would have been no problem. Of course, it was originally meant to be contact printed.

Steve Sherman
19-Dec-2018, 09:52
Color images of glaciers show that they actually contain a lot of blue. So for black-and-white I imagine Iíd want at least a yellow filter to get decent contrast in the image. Can anyone share their experiences with this? Next yearís trip* will very likely be a once-in-a-lifetime thing so Iíd like to improve my odds of getting some keeper images.

There arenít glaciers anywhere near where I live so Iíve no chance to do my own testing.

*Svalbard Islands

Remember one basic principle, Multi-Contrast papers can great much more micro contrast (contrast within similar tonalities) than expanding negative contrast through plus negative development. Design a negative rich in exposure and compressed highlight density.

Drew Wiley
19-Dec-2018, 11:13
Here we go again. I can get far far better microtonality by selecting in advance a long-scale film (like TMY, TMX, or previously, the even longer Bergger 200), precisely placing deep shadows on the steep toe, then slightly overdeveloping to expand midtone and highlights, then if necessary (not often necessary), adding a subtle unsharp mask. Generally I factor in the pyro developer stain too. Modern premium VC papers make the entire task easier, and have other desirable virtues. But this worked well even back when I only kept on hand Grade 3 papers. Pyro stain does rein in highlights to some extent. But compression not only smashes microtonality, but often penalizes edge effect (depending on the specific film - I use various films depending on format and intended degree of enlargement). That being said, speaking in the context of large format sheet film, when out shapshooting instead, with a Nikon or 6x9 "Texas Leica" tucked under my parka on a rainy day, I might very well follow Steve's kind of advice posted above, but not with TMax films - they need to be carefully spotmetered in most cases anyway, so I might as well skate on the edge in terms of shadow placement and generous development : smaller negs need more magnification, so warrant a little higher density to begin with. There will always be a frame or two on a given roll out of synch, contrast-wise, which need to be printed differently. However, sheet film exposures can be individually targeted for degree of contrast during development.... But since the main theme of this thread is "glaciers", and gosh knows I've done a lot of those kinds of shots under all kinds of lighting and snow conditions, using various developers and large format films, about the only way I could sum this up, is that, once again, one shoe does not fit all. Each specific scene deserves its own thoughtful strategy. In this respect, I'd rather carry the most versatile film, capable of recording detail on a very long straight line, than go around smashing textural content onto films with an excessive toe, and necessarily overexposing that toe for sake of sufficient shadow detail, then being forced to compensate-develop to keep the highlights manageable.

Daniel Casper Lohenstein
5-Jan-2019, 07:40
I would try Rollei Ortho 25 with yellow green filter XO in Rodinal 1+100 10min first 30 seconds, then every 30 seconds 5 seconds agitation.

Ansel Adams mentioned in "Natural light photography" that mountain photographs (and glaciers and snow) often lack atmosheric depth - orthochromatic materials enlighten blue values and add depth, whereas a yellow green filter darkens the sky so that clouds will be visible.

Rollei Ortho 25 is super sharp, a development in R09 / Rodinal 1+100 enforces sharpness and enhances shadows. The highlights would be quite crispy and brilliant, so it would be better not to expose too much.

I love Rollei Ortho 25 because there is a webshop here in Europe selling this material for 20 USD / 50 sheets 4x5 ... (arsimago)

Here's a photographer in Switzerland: https://www.flickr.com/photos/miloniro/24073654961/in/photolist-gBP4RD-22CvEmZ-gDPfwK-23ssYQh-VbVvTU-bQjjbM-DKnXp8-oDjLmx-4nudXA-obFBhn-aimApL-ZY4ncg-d8FTTu-22gdDEq-cfeyZs-B7nBpp-pyDKNU-7MYvHG-D97W3r-Sxb87A-pxMfGk-4oDhBP-S7oYL9-CFiLUz-o9JUSi-24Nc73A-bTCEMv-PGhvxJ-uyd6VZ-9r1oKV-nNuBvh-arwwD5-6xo6AU-og6D8c-22X6YXQ-Rk9nqB-GhYt2s-8SzX6q-GGU4v8-HmzZDi-H1dBwj-4CyDNd-GhPDbo-QfdaoJ-nSqdgf-phbzGu

Regards

Drew Wiley
11-Jan-2019, 16:57
An ortho film is an ortho film, period. With a pan film you've already got an ortho film too, if you use the correct filter, or a blue-sensitive film, or a red-sensitive, or anything in between. If you like Ortho film, that's great. But using a 25 version for sake of extremely fine grain wouldn't seem to be an ordinary priority in large format work, esp since it might require long exposures in potentially windy conditions. Been there, done that. And believe me, AA often had a lot of trouble getting texture on ice. Pyro makes it quite a bit easier. If you want a kind of compromise film for a more naturalistic look of foliage in the mountains, it would be an orthopanchromatic film, which has reduced red sensitivity, but still some. Sadly, both Efke 25 orthopan and Fuji ACROS orthopan have been discontinued, though it's still possible to acquire roll film of the latter. I still have some sheet film hoarded in the freezer.

mmerig
12-Jan-2019, 07:29
An ortho film is an ortho film, period. With a pan film you've already got an ortho film too, if you use the correct filter, or a blue-sensitive film, or a red-sensitive, or anything in between. If you like Ortho film, that's great. But using a 25 version for sake of extremely fine grain wouldn't seem to be an ordinary priority in large format work, esp since it might require long exposures in potentially windy conditions. Been there, done that. And believe me, AA often had a lot of trouble getting texture on ice. Pyro makes it quite a bit easier. If you want a kind of compromise film for a more naturalistic look of foliage in the mountains, it would be an orthopanchromatic film, which has reduced red sensitivity, but still some. Sadly, both Efke 25 orthopan and Fuji ACROS orthopan have been discontinued, though it's still possible to acquire roll film of the latter. I still have some sheet film hoarded in the freezer.

Ilford makes an ortho film, available in sheets. It's sensitivity drops rapidly at around 400 nm and 550 nm, so roughly, sensitive between violet and green.

I have several pairs of images with snow in them, taken with Ilford Ortho Plus (ISO 80) and FP4 Plus, using a yellow filter with the FP4. I would not use an Ortho film to bring out depth in snow -- as already mentioned in other threads, if you cut the blue and ultraviolet light lurking in the small shadows in ice's texture with an orange or yellow filter, using pan film, there will be more depth or micro-contrast. An ortho film tends to lessen the shadow intensity because it's mainly sensitive to the cooler colors, so depth will be less. Maybe the ice will look "creamier" or something with ortho, and if that's what's desired, then ortho would be better.

Ortho means right, as in angles, or correct, and it was a marketing term for improved emulsions compared to wet plate and some of the early dry plates. When the emulsions improved further, they had to use another term for "correct", and went to panchromatic. Ortho-panchromatic is something in between. This is off the top of my head, I think there are some threads on this at LFPF or APUG, or in published books. The history and gradual improvements in emulsions is complicated.

Drew Wiley
12-Jan-2019, 17:16
I suspect that the point of offering orthopan is to attenuate long wavelength light scatter just enough the allow mfg of a sharper grain structure, while still allowing most of the filter control of a true pan film - up to a 25 red, but no deeper than that. That's why ACROS legitimately claimed the finest grain in a med speed film (yet still with excellent edge acutance), and why a lot of people seem upset that it's discontinued. I recently talked to a young guy who purchased 60 boxes of the last run of 4x5.