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Heroique
2-Jun-2010, 11:32
When I examine my transparencies under a loupe, I notice from time to time details which escaped me when I was looking at the scene.

I recently re-read QT’s “A closer look at a large format photo” (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/qtluong/example.html) at the LF Home Page, and it occurred to me that it might be fun to share hidden details from deep, deep within our film – details that can impress us, or depress us.

I’d enjoy seeing your discoveries, and hearing your stories…

What I mean are the tiny, dramatic details that enjoy a secret life of their own – well beyond our initial awareness – until a careful (and often belated) inspection of the LF film brings them to our sudden attention, along with an unexpected response – “Well I’ll be, just look at that!” :p

Details, I might add, that “aren’t there” in the field, but suddenly assert a meaningful presence when, later, you inspect the film under a loupe, or crop or spot scans in Photoshop. Or, maybe your curious viewer discovers them. Maybe these details “aren’t there” until he or she – nose against the print, transparency, or computer screen – searches between the grass blades, and discovers something tiny that strengthens your composition, weakens it, or adds a new, enduring dimension.

What can you share?

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Here’s an example – a Devil in the details. Unhappily, this devil is all too common in my “pristine” landscapes. The closer I look at shots like this, the more often I find him lurking … in the form of trash. This high-elevation mountain creek (Cascade Mtns, Wash. state) could scarcely be more remote. Not a road for miles. Yet here’s what I found in the creek-side debris – construction plywood!

Perhaps there’s a Home Depot at the summit. :rolleyes:

Tachi 4x5
Fuji A 240mm/9
TMax-100 (in TMax rs)
Epson 4990/Epson Scan

Struan Gray
3-Jun-2010, 00:07
I only have a low resolution scan of this photo of the farmhouse we stay at in Northwest Scotland. It was one of my first LF photos (Neg. no. 005). I did a scan at max resolution on my Epson and was astonished to find that I could read the number plate on the car without effort. Then, when spotting the background, there seemed to be a large number of small white spots, only a few pixels, or a single pixel, in size. Out came the loupe, clearly to reveal that I what had been spotting out was not dust, but sheep.

Vaughn
3-Jun-2010, 02:36
You will have to take my word about this because they are too small to show up on the screen -- though I see them on the prints.

Two climbers, heading up El Capitan are somewhere in that circle. I took a previous image of this snag when it was in full sun, about 20 minutes to 30 minutes earlier. The small dots that are the climbers are further up in the second image (the one below).

cjbroadbent
3-Jun-2010, 09:01
Do you remove Electric grid poles from your landscapes?
Here is a T-pin doing it's job in a 4x5 TMX. I leave them in.

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_OR3U2BmIDuk/TAfPArQLyrI/AAAAAAAAFGk/_epMtKLPQrQ/s800/45Tpin.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_OR3U2BmIDuk/TAfPAG49DzI/AAAAAAAAFGg/EcxKIJgMRHg/s800/45LastVers.jpg

ic-racer
3-Jun-2010, 09:12
"Blowup" :)

Jay DeFehr
3-Jun-2010, 09:29
My nephew recently told me a story along these lines (no photo-sorry). He comes from a hunting family, and they all go to the woods together- men, women and children- and make a big camp, for weeks at a time. The women cook and keep the camp, while the children play and explore, and the men go out and hunt. On the last day of the hunt, they made a photograph of all the family around a long table, under a large tree, where the butchered meat was laid out. When the photos were processed, they found a surprise; on a branch of the tree, over the heads of the campers/hunters, laid a very large Mountain Lion, its predator's eyes shining from the shadows.

Heroique
3-Jun-2010, 09:53
...When the photos were processed, they found a surprise; on a branch of the tree, over the heads of the campers/hunters, laid a very large Mountain Lion, its predator's eyes shining from the shadows...

Cougars in the tree, climbers on El Capitan, sheep in distant Scottish fields – very likely, I have plenty of these deep in my LF film too! Just a matter of looking closely to find them. Very closely. Or using a stronger loupe…

Sometimes, I’ll find gigantic cities in the tiniest portion of my landscapes:

The first image is a view from the Olympic Mountains – looking East across Puget Sound, to the Emerald City below. The scar on the mountain side is the FS road I traveled to get up here. On the horizon – about 50 miles distant – are the Cascade Mountains. Way-up high on those hazy-blue ridges is where I found the plywood (from the post above).

And in the crop, center-left, is my favorite Seattle bar.

Tachi 4x5
Fuji A 240mm/9
Fuji Tungsten-64 QuickLoad (w/ 85b filter)
Epson 4990/Epson Scan

Louie Powell
3-Jun-2010, 11:50
There are two perspectives on every issue. Example:

George Tice is known for his evocative urban landscapers of New Jersey.

Tice jokes about the hours he spends spotting out cigarette butts.

Jeffrey Sipress
3-Jun-2010, 14:54
I love good detail as much as the next guy, but what does it have to do with the silly notion of a big man up in the sky?

Andrew O'Neill
3-Jun-2010, 15:18
Blow Up. Great movie. That's exactly what I was thinking about.

Heroique
3-Jun-2010, 16:13
I love good detail as much as the next guy, but what does it have to do with the silly notion of a big man up in the sky?

You mean this big guy up in the sky? ;)

(Sea stack, Olympic Peninsula, Wash. state)

Tachi 4x5
Schneider 110mm/5.6 XL
Polaroid Type-55
(w/ 2-stop GND filter)
Epson 4990/Epson Scan

Joe O'Hara
3-Jun-2010, 18:16
I only have a low resolution scan of this photo of the farmhouse we stay at in Northwest Scotland. It was one of my first LF photos (Neg. no. 005). I did a scan at max resolution on my Epson and was astonished to find that I could read the number plate on the car without effort. Then, when spotting the background, there seemed to be a large number of small white spots, only a few pixels, or a single pixel, in size. Out came the loupe, clearly to reveal that I what had been spotting out was not dust, but sheep.

That is just as well. Sheep should always be spotted out.

Struan Gray
4-Jun-2010, 01:11
Sheep should always be spotted out.

That's a tricky one. The clearances may still rankle, and some of the more medieval aspects of crofter's rights certainly do, but sheep farming has been the highland heritage for many generations now. I don't know anyone who finds much attraction in going back to raising black cattle off the grid.

Which relates to Christopher's question about telegraph poles. Scotland, particularly the part of the Northwest I haunt, is going through a massive experimental ecology project at present, as birch forests are planted and grazing restricted to try and regenerate breeding habitats for birds and rare mammals. Deer fences are going up everywhere, and their support poles catch the fading light perfectly at sunset - our local mountains look like they're wearing lace undies, or cobwebs, if you prefer. One reason I lug 4x5 around those hills is that 6x6 doesn't quite capture enough detail to show what the mind sees.

Ulrich Drolshagen
4-Jun-2010, 16:12
I only have a low resolution scan of this photo of the farmhouse we stay at in Northwest Scotland.
Ah, Achnahaird farm. We've had a nice week there last July.

Ulrich

Struan Gray
5-Jun-2010, 05:29
Ah, Achnahaird farm. We've had a nice week there last July.

Either a) we just missed you, or b) we ignored you :-)

We'll be in Cul Mor again soon - Coigach gets under your skin.

Ulrich Drolshagen
5-Jun-2010, 05:42
Either a) we just missed you, or b) we ignored you :-)

I've thought about it. It's a pity I didn't know by then but I think at least your family did live next door (may be you haven't been there for some days?). We were the couple with the border collie. In fact I am sure I had a little chat with your wife. She rescued our drying clothes from the rain while we had our little walk onto Sgurr an Fhiedhleir.
So greetings to your wife from me.

Ulrich

Struan Gray
5-Jun-2010, 06:02
Greetings conveyed :-)

I was away for a while, visiting my parents. I feel a little less guilty for not having spotted a fellow LF-er.

Ulrich Drolshagen
5-Jun-2010, 06:32
Greetings conveyed :-)

I was away for a while, visiting my parents. I feel a little less guilty for not having spotted a fellow LF-er.

Funny coincidence in a triangle of thousand miles. It's really a pity we missed each other this near. But may be some day we take the time for our walk around Stac Pollaidh which we didn't have the time last year. If this happens I'll make sure to get in touch beforehand :)

Ulrich