View Full Version : Hello from Humboldt County

18-Jan-2007, 21:00

I have been posting this month, so it is time for an introduction!

I have been photographing for about 30 years. After 12 years with the US Forest Service as a mulepacker/trail builder/fish counter/fire-fighter/outhouse cleaner, et al, I became the tech for the teaching darkroom (Art Dept) at a university...which I have been doing for the last 16 years. I have a BS degree in Natural Resources Mgt.

I primarily use a Zone VI 8x10 and make platinum/palladium prints and carbon prints. I do a lot of work under the Redwoods and try to make it to Yosemite once or twice a year.

I have attached an image of a platinum/palladium print in the next Post, having failed the first time. "Pine, Oak, Rock, YNP" taken with the above camera w/ a 300mm Fuji W f5.6 on Ilford FP4, developed in Ilford Universal PQ developer. Taken using the light reflecting off the granite walls just as the sun rose over the lower Yosemite Valley.

18-Jan-2007, 21:04
I will try to attach it again!

19-Jan-2007, 05:36
Welcome to the forum Vaughn! Great shot!

dominikus bw
19-Jan-2007, 06:13
Hi Vaughn...
Welcome to the forum where many people in here still loving slow motion in taken pictures.
Lot's of years that you've spent in photography, no wonder you show a amazing image, and I'm sure you'll share all about photography in here.

Ralph Barker
19-Jan-2007, 09:54
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Welcome, Vaughn.

(belated welcome for a belated self-introduction. ;) )

19-Jan-2007, 11:35
Howdy Ralph!

Is it safe to assume you are same Ralph moderating over on the Ilford Forum?

You get around!


Ralph Barker
19-Jan-2007, 11:45
Yes, Vaughn, I'm the Ilford Ralph's evil twin. :cool:

Get around? I am a round, but I've been dieting. :D

Eric Woodbury
19-Jan-2007, 13:34
Welcome Vaugh. I used to live up there. Do you have problems with the webbing that grows between fingers and toes?

19-Jan-2007, 14:34
Welcome Vaugh. I used to live up there. Do you have problems with the webbing that grows between fingers and toes?

No problem at all -- it helps me to swim as fast as the steelhead. Its the mold and fungus that grows in our enlarger lenses that bug me. :eek:


Ken Lee
19-Jan-2007, 14:39
Dunno if this is allowed, but I wonder if the image might look nice, cropped a bit tighter. It isn't 8x10 any more, and it's a bit more abstract. I hope this isn't rude. No offense meant. I just try to find the essence of the image. (Whether I succeed or not, is another matter).


19-Jan-2007, 15:39
Go to your room and never let me ever hear of you doing anything like that again!!!!:p

--I must be a parent!:D

An interesting crop -- it does emphasize a different aspect of the image...particularity the shape of the branches echoed by the pattern in the rock. I worked with a square format for a long time (Rolleiflex TLR) and I do like the square. I don't think your particular cropping works quite as well for me as the full-frame composition (which has a calm but at the same time dramatic, balence between the thirds). I do not get the sense of circular movement I would like to get within the square with this image. Cropping out part of the Pine just does not work for me...just as one has to be careful about where one crops a figure study.

But then I am a bit close (biased) to the image and to the how and the why it way taken and composed as it was. I do no cropping when I print -- it is part of the art of seeing I am trying to learn. I am up to further discussion if you wish.


Frank Petronio
19-Jan-2007, 16:17
I'd buy a print if you wrap it in some of that nice Humboldt produce. You know, buy locally, ship globally...

Ken Lee
19-Jan-2007, 16:48
Now that I have a look, I think you're right about the original composition. My cropping ended up in something rather shallow in comparison.

Perhaps because of the black border, and the fact that the image presents flush-left when you click on the thumbnail, I couldn't appreciate the original composition.

Thanks for your good humor about this.


19-Jan-2007, 16:50
I'd buy a print if you wrap it in some of that nice Humboldt produce. You know, buy locally, ship globally...

And then when you receive the print you can say "This print stinks, but I like it!"


19-Jan-2007, 17:10
Welcome Vaughn,

Darn I thought you are in Humboldt county, Iowa. No many LF photographers out here in the heartland.


19-Jan-2007, 17:21
QUOTE=Ken Lee "Thanks for your good humor about this."

I take my photography seriously -- I just try not to take myself too seriously.

Put it behind an 8-ply 16x20 mat with a black frame and it changes again. I do include a little of the black border all the way around the image.

The image also appeared on the front of the visitor info the Park hands out to visitors as they enter Yosemite last summer -- so it was seen by hundreds of thousands (?) of people on newsprint, about an inch and a half wide and printed at an angle. Maybe it got a few of those people into the museum gallery there to see the real thing. I got a couple copies for my mother...not exactly like appearing on the cover of the Rolling Stone, but what the hell...

Here is the image cropped into a square, just a little differently than you did...I works a bit better for me.


19-Jan-2007, 17:37
Anyway you print it Vaughan, it works! :)

19-Jan-2007, 18:14
Hi Vaughn, welcome from Hawaii.

Andrew O'Neill
19-Jan-2007, 19:00
I like what's going on in the top left...

19-Jan-2007, 19:29
You guys are getting me all confused now!:eek:

Ken Lee
19-Jan-2007, 19:32
I like discussing this sort of thing ! Variations on a theme can be very illuminating.

Here is another variation:


Ken Lee
19-Jan-2007, 19:33
And one last one:


19-Jan-2007, 22:51
And here is one more...not too different than Ken's last one. If anyone is going to Yosemite, I'll draw them a map to this place and they take their own version of it. But it can't be in the Spring -- it is on an island on the Merced River and can't be reached during high water. It is visible from the main road -- not hard to find at all. In fact, keep an eye out to your right after entering the Park on Hwy140, just after you pass thru enterance station and the rock narrows -- you can't miss it. There is even a place to park.

The elements of the original photo are not too complex -- which probably lends itself to such multiple croppings. Paraphrasing Carleton Watkins when asked to explain why he picked a particular place to photograph from (he was testifying at a court case where his photo of a mine was used as evidence), he replied that he chose the best possible vantage point. I believe I did. But on a different day, perhaps I would have choosen a vertical along the lines of Ken's last cropping...perhaps stepping back just a little. I will return to this spot -- on the backside of these rocks has another possibilities -- a touch of wind on the day I was there (end of Feb 2005) did not allow me a photograph there -- but the light was very nice.

Ken...I do not fancy your long narrow cropping - perhaps if you took it a little farther and cropped out another third of the bottom...making it more of a 4"x10" image.

Brian Ellis
20-Jan-2007, 23:05
Since others were making so many improvements to your photograph I decided to make some of my own. I colorized it in Photoshop, then kicked the saturation way up so that it looks like Velvia only better (don't you just hate all those boring blacks and grays in the original?), replaced the rocks at the bottom with moving water (makes for a much more dynamic photo), and put some bright green leaves on the tree branches so the tree doesn't look so dead. Hope you don't mind but believe me, it looks much better with those improvements.

21-Jan-2007, 00:47
Thanks, Brian!!!!

I hate it when I run out of 8x10 Velvetta out in the field and have to fall back to the couple of B&W holders I keep in the trunk. Thank Zeus for PhotoShop! How did we ever mangle, I mean manage, our images before Digital?!

Just be sure to credit me when you put the print in your next show!

Actually I took it all in fun -- and somewhat interesting. An old photo professor of mine use to turn students' photos 180 degrees during critiques, much to the dismay of the students at first. A clever way to get the student away from the subject of the photo and looking at the compostition. I suppose it is one of the reasons why I like composing with the upside-down and reversed image on the ground glass.

Often a student will have a corner of his/her image too bright (a piece of sky, etc) -- but because they are concentrating on the center of the image they do not reconize the impact it has on the total image. So I'll cover the corner with my fingers , uncover it and cover it again...letting them see the entire image with and without it. Or I will do a little cropping like we have been doing here to show them the possibilities.

And we all are students...even masters of the craft continue to learn, or they would not be masters.


I just coated 8 sheets with platinum and palladium salts -- in a couple hours (about 1am) I'll start having fun printing some new negatives...Onwards Thru the Fog! I love this stuff!

21-Jan-2007, 16:33
Hi Vaughn,

We met a couple years ago. I was assisting a PhotoCentral workshop in the Redwoods with Geir and you took our group in for a discussion about Carbon Printing. It was a great talk and left the group with a lot of inspiration. I was one of two guys with LF at Moonstone Beach.

I still think about your beautiful prints from time to time. Thanks again.

21-Jan-2007, 21:52
[QUOTE=gregstidham;211387]Hi Vaughn,

We met a couple years ago. I was assisting a PhotoCentral workshop in the Redwoods with Geir and you took our group in for a discussion about Carbon Printing. It was a great talk and left the group with a lot of inspiration. I was one of two guys with LF at Moonstone Beach....QUOTE]

Hello Greg!

And if I remember right, not only did I get to talk about my work to a captured audience, I got treated to dinner that night. So I certainly made out like a bandit!

Geir and Kate brought another PhotoCentral workshop group up recently. The weather did not cooperate -- way too sunny! But it was a good time. I am hoping to give a carbon printing demo and workshop down at PhotoCentral sometime this year...still in the planning stages.

From your profile, you are in Toronto these days -- if you happen to run into a good friend and photographer there by the name of Elaine Ling, tell her that the tall hairy guy from Humboldt Country says hello! (I know there are a lot of us tall hairy guys running around here, but she'll know who it is!)