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Thread: Jotunheimen National Park.

  1. #1

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    Jotunheimen National Park.

    I'm travelling here for 2 weeks this summer. We will be camping outside in a tent the whole period, so I'm not going to bring my new 8x10 camera. Don't need that extra weight. Now I have a few questions. How do you change film when you are outside camping? I have 10 holders for 4x5, but I'm guessing I'll want to shoot more than 10 photos (I expose every image 2 times, to be certain nothing goes wrong). I have been thinking about buying one of those changing tents. But this poses a new problem. How would I know which images are going to be developed at N-2 or N+2 etc. I have been thinking about bringing extra filmboxes and marking each of them with what kind of development times those negatives needs. Would that be the best solution? Space is not a problem, I have a 130L rucksack. I've also been pondering if I should get some new filters. Right now I have a Red filter It's this one

    I'm thinking that the Red filer might be little too much, I will be a 1000m elevation for the most of the time. As far as I have understood, the light at such an elevation is much bluer than at sea level. The Red filter would then most likely absorb all my shadow details, if I am not terribly mistaken. I will mostly be shooting grand landscape, with a lot of sky. I don't expect there to be that many trees, but the foliage will most certainly be green. What filter would be good for such an appliance? For reference, I only shoot Ilford Delta 100 B&W film. Some films react differently to filters because of their contrast curve, yes?

    -Fredrick.

  2. #2
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Jotunheimen National Park.

    You carry several empty film boxes, one each labeled for N, N+, etc., for when you sort out your exposed film in the film tent. You don't need a lot of filters. The
    red will be useful, but you should probably also carry either a deep green or yellow-green. You can evaluate the effect of each when you compose on the groundglass. It takes a bit of experience to decide when to use a particular filter. But since Delta is a regular pan film, red will give more dramatic separation of
    clouds and sky, with deeper shadows, than a green. Ten holders is quite a bit of weight; so you might want to estimate just how many shots you will take in a day before opportunity to change the film.

  3. #3

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    Re: Jotunheimen National Park.

    If you are camping you need a changing tent and a good sized one for 8X10. I give a code to each negative and carry poly envelopes with attached labels. I write the film data on the poly envelopes before placing in the changing tent, then, in the tent, move the film from holder to the proper poly envelope. Finally the poly envelope goes in a light tight box (triple dark box) then the dark box in a sealable poly bag. Remember to keep the negative poly bags in order in the box so you know what the development conditions are when you unload sequentially in the darkroom. All rather complicated in the field. That's why I only use 4X5 Quickloads now for field use.

    For B&W filters I use a medium red and yellow only and occasionally a polarizer. But I'll confess that using the filters makes the determination of N+/- development more unpredictable so recently I've gone to taking 2 or 3 negatives spaced 1 or 2 stops apart for D-76 development and HDR recombination so don't worry about the N+/- complication.

    Nate Potter, Austin TX.

  4. #4
    David Lobato David Lobato's Avatar
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    Re: Jotunheimen National Park.

    I've heard and read stories of LF photographers unloading/loading film holders inside a tent, under a sleeping bag, and with maybe another drape, like a parka, on top. Though in Norway the Northern Lights may be too bright at night. There are small changing bags if you use 4x5. Then you can change film anytime of the day or night, and in places more convenient to work in.

    1000m is not so high for excess UV. But be aware yellow and red filters will darken shadows under a clear blue sky.

  5. #5

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    Re: Jotunheimen National Park.

    I've done several camping trips like yours in the Jotunheimen, some solo, some with company. There aren't many shops around the Jotunheimen, so if you really want to be in the wild you'll have to bring close to a week of food as well. Add that to the camping gear and all your photography stuff, that's gonna make for an interesting bag to carry. But not all of the jotunheimen is steep.

    I wouldn't bring a lot of extra boxes. Easiest might be to limit yourself to N and maybe choose one for high contrast. You already have to bring boxes with film too. You might want to put some tape on the edges of film boxes, so they don't get damaged in a rucksack. I would limit the amount of film holders too, all that loose stuff in your pack is gonna be annoying. I always try to do with as little equipment as I can when trekking, working out of a pack is quite cumbersome when you have to dig for stuff all the time.
    When choosing a changing tent, I would go for one where you can remove the poles (expensive) or a changing bag. The ones that fold up stay quite big and aren't usually up to the stresses of trekking.

    There are a few areas around lake Gjende that are quite green with some trees (mostly birch) but when you get a little higher up it's mostly grey or brown with some grass or moss every now and again.

    Beware that you will want to keep coming back once you've been there.

  6. #6

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    Re: Jotunheimen National Park.

    Thank you all for your respones. I think I'll only bring five holders. three for black and white and 2 for colour.

    Quote Originally Posted by JeRuFo View Post
    I've done several camping trips like yours in the Jotunheimen, some solo, some with company. There aren't many shops around the Jotunheimen, so if you really want to be in the wild you'll have to bring close to a week of food as well. Add that to the camping gear and all your photography stuff, that's gonna make for an interesting bag to carry. But not all of the jotunheimen is steep.

    I wouldn't bring a lot of extra boxes. Easiest might be to limit yourself to N and maybe choose one for high contrast. You already have to bring boxes with film too. You might want to put some tape on the edges of film boxes, so they don't get damaged in a rucksack. I would limit the amount of film holders too, all that loose stuff in your pack is gonna be annoying. I always try to do with as little equipment as I can when trekking, working out of a pack is quite cumbersome when you have to dig for stuff all the time.
    When choosing a changing tent, I would go for one where you can remove the poles (expensive) or a changing bag. The ones that fold up stay quite big and aren't usually up to the stresses of trekking.

    There are a few areas around lake Gjende that are quite green with some trees (mostly birch) but when you get a little higher up it's mostly grey or brown with some grass or moss every now and again.

    Beware that you will want to keep coming back once you've been there.
    We drove past Lake Gjende in the late summer last year. Our cabin is at Gol, so it's not that far to drive from the cabin IMHO. I've been planning on only bringing dried food. That would keep the weight down. We will also be making a "basecamp" and stay there for a day or two before we move on. This would make my photography a lot easier. Do you have any nice places you want to share? We will be making our entry at Lake Gjende.

  7. #7

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    Re: Jotunheimen National Park.

    There are some really nice walks close to Gjendesheim. I don't know how much you like to walk.

    My girlfriend and I walked one valley over from lake Gjende. We did it in 3 days, because we were carrying food for over a week and wanted to take it slow (it was my girlfriends first trip into the wild.) You can get a lift in a small rowboat from the Hotel at Gjendesheim across the river if you ask for it. The walk to the valley is quite a nice easy walk with only a few streams to cross and not much else. It is diverse and scenic. Once you are well into the valley there is a short climb and then all of a sudden you are surrounded by glaciers. You can pitch your tent at a small lake (Leirungstjonnin)(1) with a view of a glacier across it. The next day you will have to traverse some boulder fields and climb down to the valley that leads to Gjendebu. There is quite a steep descent close to Gjendebu. Not terrible, but we did it after a full day of hiking in the wet and it was a bit slippery in places. This route is very quiet, we only saw a few people. There is quite a clear path for most of the way.

    Another favourite of mine is to walk into Memurudalen and stay near the end of the valley(2). You can then climb Surtningssue the next day, or if you don't want to make a climb that high, just climb halfway and enjoy the panoramic view of the glaciers and mountains. This is also a walk that is much much quieter than Besseggen for instance where there are always streams of people.
    Besseggen is still worth the climb though.

    If you are gonna camp at Gjendesheim, make sure you walk far enough along the shore. From the car park the tents will start after about 5 minutes and everybody stays there. If you walk a few hundred meters further there are some really nice and quiet spots close to the water too.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8

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    Re: Jotunheimen National Park.

    Thank you for the recommendation! As we will make our entry at Lake Gjende, this is perfect. My friend is not a photographer, he's just an outdoors person. I'm really looking forward to going. Will probably go gack in the autumn if I can. Now I'm pondering if I should bring my 8x10 and only shoot Black and White now. The summer isn't that great for colours and colour film is expensive, I don't want to waste it... There is however the weight issue. My calumet XM weighs 5-6lbs. But the Kodak I have bought weighs 15 lbs. The lens is a Copal 3, and that weighs a lot - even the holders are heavy. Probably the same weight for 2 8x10 as there is for 8 4x5 holders. However, I won't be carrying more than a tent, summer sleeping bag, dried food and casseroles. It's also easier to print 8x10 for me, since I can contact print them. If I want to enlarge either 4x5 or 8x10 it costs me €53 for 8 hours.

    Could you maybe tell me a little more about how hard the walk is? I used to be in pretty good shape, I wanted to become a special forces soldier when I was 3 years younger. I did a lot of walking with a heavy backpack. However, due to my AD/HD I can't even get into the army. I'm not that bothered about in longer anyway. I don't think I could do that for a living. My shape has unfortunately taken a toll for the worse these last 6-7 months. I got a depression this winter (it's all fine now. I just have a bad time dealing with the dark winter here in Norway) and haven't really been doing anything physical these 6-7 months. I've started walking a little in the mountain where I live now. I live on top of a small mountain here in Norway, so my shape is getting better every week.

    So how hard do you think it would be to carry a 8x10, a Copal 3 lens and two 8x10 holders in Jotunheimen? I don't want to come up there and then it's too heavy to carry - limiting our walking distance to only 3-4 km each day. We will probably aim for 8-10km each day. We will see.

    -Fredrick.

  9. #9

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    Re: Jotunheimen National Park.

    The southern walk isn't particularly hard. We chose it as a first walk for our 3 week holiday because of our questionable fitness and for my girlfriend to get used to walking with a big rucksack. There are some sharp reasonably short climbs and descents, but it's mostly quite flat. I think walking about 10km per day is reasonable with a big pack for somebody without any training. After a few days you'll probably get more used to it and you'll be able to push a little farther. I always plan an extra day, so we don't have to push ourselves if we don't feel like it and can camp an extra night if we see a nice spot. If you're really going for photography I'd plan on stopping quite early near the glaciers at the end of the valley that day. That's probably the most spectacular place of that walk. The walk from there to Gjendebu (or the other way around ofcourse, but then you have the hardest part first) is also very nice and varied. We did that in bad weather and that gave us some spectacular views.

    I think the weight of a pack is very personal. I don't want my pack to go over 30 kg, then it gets too heavy even for walking on flat ground. But I'm tall and skinny, so your mileage may vary. I'd take the 4x5, it's a little quicker in it's use and rather take an extra lens over the bigger negative. But if you're only bringing one lens, it's not impossible, especially on this walk. If you have all your stuff together, why not put it all in a bag and take a walk for a few hours and try it out. As you know the weather can be quite freaky in Norway. When it's 15 degrees it's fine to walk with a big pack, but in 30 degree weather it gets less fun.

    I didn't mention the more famous walks in the Jotunheimen, but you can find those on any website. These were just some of my favourite slightly more off-grid Jotunheimen walks.

    Very near the top of Surtningssui is a very small cabin that has wooden bench seats that two people can sleep on. I slept in the old one, which was very drafty and leaking, with a friend , but it's been totally rebuild and is nice and solid now. The views from the top are quite spectacular even though I've only seen it for 10 minutes in my two climbs up there. If you want to spend the night you can leave your tent in the valley and climb up with just food and sleeping stuff and spent a good evening and morning shooting. It's quite a long climb up there though, but definetely worth it.

  10. #10
    ROL's Avatar
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    Re: Jotunheimen National Park.

    I've loaded and unloaded film holders in my (down) sleeping bag successfully many times. You do not need to carry the extra weight of a changing bag or tent. Change film at night, under a tree, or in the tent or bivouac bag if the moon is out. I like that most bags these days tend to have one black face. A full length zipper will allow you to arrange the bag so that you can have ersatz arm sleeves to work with.

    I would not advise the use of red filters unless your vision is overly dramatic, gritty, and harsh. Stick with yellow or possibly green (i.e, to lighten foliage) filters when using standard panchromatic films, if your aim is to shoot "natural" scapes, inclusive of rich mid tones. Reading up on the use of filters in film photography is basic to your understanding of which filters to use, if any, and why.

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