LF01-0091

Stephen Batey

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As I've been searching through to find earlier photos I've posted, I decided to post this one. The enigmatic title is the reference number in my filing system (the 91st negative in the first binder of 5x4 negatives) and I've used it because when I first posted this on another forum I was criticised for using the name of the place where it was taken when it looked nothing like said place - in fact, the eponymous rocks that gave the place its name were not visible. That was the point at which I gave up on names that conveyed anything much.

The location is a place in Yorkshire; it was taken in January of a year I can't recall, and it probably exemplifies all I hate about modern photography. It's strictly a one-off; I'd never perpetrate anything like this again.

LF01-0091.jpg
 

mono

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I don´t know where it is, but I love this place!
And the image, of course!!
 

Keith Haithwaite

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Having seen this image on ipernity I'm intigued to know what changed your mind about it Stephen.
 
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Stephen Batey

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Yes, it was taken at Brimham Rocks.

The effect was neither frost on the branches nor a darkroom effect - although solarisation would probably be the way to produce it. In simple terms, I took the curve in Photoshop and rather than having a straight line running from bottom left to top right I made a bell curve - effectively reversing the tones in the highlights.

The problem I now have with it is twofold:

a) it does not represent what was there (which doesn't matter very much as a faithful copy isn't what I look for) but it does so in a way that is almost an effect for the effect's sake. Rather like HDR which I hate, as being at attempt to give a mediocre photograph impact.

b) it does not even have the merit of being intended before the event, as some HDR is. I simply looked at the standard scan and found it too flat, and adjusted the sliders. OK, I did know what effect a bell curve would have, but it was an afterthought to the exposure, and very clearly NOT what I originally intended.

There is a place for taking an early negative and producing a very different print from it, as our abilities, tastes and aesthetic sense can evolve. Ansel Adams did this with some of his early negatives, and made very different prints later from them. But this one is nothing more than an attempt to add impact, a clash of cymbals or a bang on a drum to attract attention. And that is no way to produce a satisfying image that will stand the test of time. In this case, I've moved on and this image has failed to keep up with me.

In terms of the original, the only thing that the curve has done is to darken the sky, as the foreground and trees are largely unaffected. Cropping about a third off the top and making a normal print would change very little except the proportions, and still maintain the drama in the lower part.

In spite of all that, several people have liked it as it stands, but it's just "not me" - not my style.
 

KenS

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Registered User
Keith...
Somewhat reminiscent of the effect we get with Kodak's 35mm HIE (of which I still have about 30-odd rolls 'hiding' in the bottom of the freezer.

Ken
 
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