Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ride Along Shot- Braustuberl

Greetings, volks. Welcome to Hohenfels Volks, THE place for our place! Another beautiful day left us feeling nice here in Hohenfels.

Today we’re packing up some film and going shooting in Parsberg. That means it’s time for another Ride Along shot.

Hohenfels Volks: Ivy at the Braustuberl
ISO 400, f/8, 1/50, Zeiss Ikon Ikoflex I, 75mm lens
Ivy at the Braustuberl in Parsberg

I used a mid ‘40s Zeiss Ikon Ikoflex I TLR, with Ilford’s 120 HP5+ film. This film is ISO 400, but can be pushed to 1600, giving it wide exposure latitude. The medium format 120 film combined with the camera’s 1X1 aspect ratio produces biggish 6cmX6cm negatives, which allows for nice print sizes.

I was in Parsberg picking up some film, developer, and color prints from our day trip to Bamberg with some wonderful friends. I made sure to have my camera and look for shots that might make nice prints. The combination of ivy and the rest of the scene set me thinking about how to compose a photo using the elements I desired.

The first step was to visualize what I wanted to see in the final image. I knew I wanted the “Braustuberl” sign and both lanterns. I also wanted to make the ivy a nice part of the scene. How did I want to convey the image? What parts needed detail and how much detail led to the process of putting together the final composition.

Knowing that I wanted detail in the lanterns, enough to show the shadows cast by the lantern tops, meant that they had to be placed about 3 stops down from middle gray. The leaves needed more luminance, so had to be placed about 2 stops down. Remember, when dealing with your shadows, 2 stops down will give you variations in tone, but no texture, and 3 will give you texture and an inkling of nice detail.

Metering off the ivy from about 1 foot away, gave me f/16 at 1/5 second. Metering off the walkway in the lower right for middle gray gave me f/16 at 1/125. Metering from the lanterns gave me ½ at f/16. The final shot was f/8 at 1/50 second. This moved everything up 1 stop above where I wanted it to allow for experimenting with compensating development.

Developing was done for N+1/3 in pre-depleted Tetenal Ultrafin 1+30. The times were 30 seconds of initial inversion agitation, with 4-minute stand cycles followed by 15 seconds inversion agitation. Total developing time was 20 minutes followed by the usual washing, fixing, and a German Jet dry to prevent spots. The film was hung up to dry for about 4 hours before cutting and scanned the next day.

The developing and exposure method allows the developer to deplete rapidly at the highlights, limiting the action there, while allowing more action on the shadow details. It lowers contrast and can give shadows a luminosity that makes them stand out more than just being black.

After scanning, I brought in the levels some, adjusted the curves for a tiny inverted S, and applied sharpening. It was scanned at 4800 DPI and resized to 800x800 at 300 DPI for the web, it won’t print nicely at all at that resolution, but I have the negative and the original file for that. The beauty of the scanning and editing on the computer is that it allows us to revisit our original and edit it multiple ways and times until we are satisfied with the match.

The meter I used was an old Gossen Sixtomat from the 1960s. This meter has a 30-degree field of view, so I had to get close and cup the sides to get the correct reading for the areas that were being measured. The digital camera would have made it easier with its 7-degree field in spot mode. I probably could have gotten the shot in half the time, but doing the old fashioned way was actually quite nice and reinforced what I’ve been learning.

Well, that’s it for this ride. I hope everyone has a great week and gets some photo time!

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