Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: Fay Godwin, Land - how did she do it?

  1. #1
    4x5 - no beard Patrik Roseen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Stockholm, SWEDEN
    Posts
    532

    Fay Godwin, Land - how did she do it?

    I am amazed of the photographs by Fay Godwin published in her book 'Land'.
    Trying to analyze what I see it's like the photographs include both high and low contrast areas..and my question is how did she do it?

    The ground and hills are almost black yet still include texture and details and the skies often include lots of pure whites as do the lakes and sometimes even parts of the hill sides.

    For those who have the book the following pictures could serve as a reference to what I mean: (I am looking at the reprint of 1987 - paperback SBN434303054)

    pp89 St Thomas a Becket Church Fairfield
    pp103 Pen-y-Garreg Reservoir, Wales
    PP104 The White Horse and Dragon Hill, Uffington

    Any ideas?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Location
    Baraboo, Wisconsin
    Posts
    7,694

    Re: Fay Godwin, Land - how did she do it?

    Since the photographs presumably were made in 1987 or earlier (i.e. pre-digital) she probably used the zone system or some variation of it - exposed for the dark areas, developed for the highlights.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  3. #3
    4x5 - no beard Patrik Roseen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Stockholm, SWEDEN
    Posts
    532

    Re: Fay Godwin, Land - how did she do it?

    Thanks Brian, but the use of the zone system I already assumed...it's the variation of it that makes me interested.

    There must be more to it than that...Many photos seem to be made in midday or afternoon with lots of sun (high range scenery-high contrast). Did she deliberately avoid developing for highlights, did she make as high contrast negative as possible to print on a low-contrast paper, did she use orange-filters to make the green look darker...the skies are often cloudy/overcast so there is no blue to darken. Well, actually there is a mix of cloudy and semi-cloudy photos.

    Anyone know the procedure?
    Last edited by Patrik Roseen; 24-Jun-2006 at 09:40.

  4. #4
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,093

    Re: Fay Godwin, Land - how did she do it?

    Blue filters will give some of the effect you describe, or use of blue-sensitive materials (akin to the wet plates of the mid-19th century). Greens will be darkened, and blue sky will lighten to the point where the distinction between cloud and clear is lost.

    However, it's possible, with careful metering, to get dark, but detailed ground and still preserve detail in the sky as well; I've done it many times with films like Tri-X and T-Max 400. The trick is partly in getting getting enough exposure for the ground without blocking the sky (combination of careful metering and correct development) followed by printing with just the right exposure, contrast, and possibly a little burning in the sky. Letting the sky go white is MUCH easier than holding detail while exposing enough to keep detail in the ground, IMO...
    If a contact print at arm's length is too small to see, you need a bigger camera. :D

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    4,588

    Re: Fay Godwin, Land - how did she do it?

    I've often thought of buying one of her books, but there seem to be so many and none to be seen locally. If you only could have one, is "Land" the first choice? Thanks.
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  6. #6
    4x5 - no beard Patrik Roseen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Stockholm, SWEDEN
    Posts
    532

    Re: Fay Godwin, Land - how did she do it?

    Thanks Donald for your information...have you seen the photo's I refer to yourself? Would like to hear your view of them.

    Wilhelm, there is an official web-page about Fay Godwin where some of the photo's in Land is published on line among others, see (more photos if you click the pointer to the far right):
    Fay Godwin - landmarks

    The photographs in Land was made possible after she was awarded for previous work.
    I do not know much about her other books but there are some that have received awards:
    Land (with essay by John Fowles, and introduction by Ian Jeffrey) 1985, selected for best of British book design and production award, 1985.
    Our forbidden land, which won the first Green Book of the Year Award, from Books for a Change, 1990.
    Elmet, completely new edition of book with Poet Laureate Ted Hughes, originally published as Remains of Elmet in 1979, with new poems and new pictures, selected for best of British book design and production award, 1994.


    As I said before, I really enjoy 'Land' which I find very inspiring...I have not managed to read the essay yet although trying several times...
    Last edited by Patrik Roseen; 24-Jun-2006 at 12:37.

  7. #7
    tim atherton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1998
    Posts
    3,691

    Re: Fay Godwin, Land - how did she do it?

    Edge of the Land is another good one (somewhat starker).

    And I think Landmark is the retrospective?

    Gosh though - ti's been years - I seem to to recall she was very fond of one of the Agfa fibre graded papers? (and Agfa and Ilford film I think).

    Through the 80's and 90's many of the UK photo magazines would do feature articles on her. In the couple of times I talked to her back then when she was shooting Edge of the Land, I really don't recall her doing any special "fancy" darkroom voodoo. In fact my (hazy these days...) recollection was it was all fairly straightforward.

    In part I think some of it is down to that very particular English light

    (just going to dig out Land to look at the pix you mention)
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn

    www.photo-muse.blogspot.com blog

  8. #8
    4x5 - no beard Patrik Roseen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Stockholm, SWEDEN
    Posts
    532

    Re: Fay Godwin, Land - how did she do it?

    Wow, great Tim - you actually talked to her.
    Please come back with a post when you have looked at the photos... Yes, Gosh is the word alright!
    Tim, feel free to propose some other photos in Land you find particularly interesting.

    Thanks, Patrik

  9. #9
    Andrew Moxom
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    308

    Re: Fay Godwin, Land - how did she do it?

    I'm late to the party here, but after attending a class hosted by Fay Godwin back in 1992 at the Duckspool school run by Peter Goldfield I have some useful info. At that time, Fay was using a lot of Agfapan APX 100 developed in regular Tetenal Ultrafin diluted 1:30 for her Hasselblad work and Tri-X (not sure on dev used). Techniques were kept very simple. She used a DeVere 504 with cold light head and her favorite paper was the Agfa warm-ish tone type paper maybe Record Rapid? Not 100% sure what it was called then in the UK? I believe it was known as insignia in the US. She also experimented with Ilford Multigrade FB papers.

    She would always air on caution with her exposures and expose for the shadows, and hence the dilute developer mix so highlights would not get too blown out. APX film was given a presoak for a few minutes and the blue colored water that resulted would be poured into the pre-measured ultrafin. The whole soup would turn pink! Then pour it back in and agitate for the first minute then two rotations of the tank every 30 seconds for 12 minutes. Negs would come out very good and that is something I used up until APX was discontinued.

    Printing was another story, Fay experimented with pre and post flashing a lot in her prints depending on the tonal range and effect she was after.

    The duckspool class was something I will never forget. Peter Goldfield ran a great set up there and would recommend it to anyone. I was able to get a special edition LAND book on higher quality paper... signed of course! Aswell as two very nice prints one of the Needles, and one of some lava from her trip to Hawaii.

  10. #10
    IanG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Aegean (Turkey & UK)
    Posts
    4,122

    Re: Fay Godwin, Land - how did she do it?

    Fay Godwin actually went on workshops herself in her early days of landscape photography, she certainly went on one at Paul Hill's "Photographers Place" in Derbyshire.

    The variant of the Zone system she used is similar to the techniques described in John Blakemore's book Black & White Photography. Most of the images in Land were in fact printed by Peter Cattrell, who I met during a workshop at Duckspool in the late 1980's. The following year I went on a Fay Godwin workshop at Paul Hills.

    At that time all her images were printed on Record Rapid.

    Ian

Similar Threads

  1. Faye Godwin
    By Bill_1856 in forum On Photography
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 22-Apr-2006, 15:30

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •