Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Rim

The rim of the Guadalupe Escarpment looking south. On a long weekend I visited the Guadalupe Mountains or the Guads as we sometimes call them. The range reaches it most dramatic heights in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, but if one goes north into New Mexico the range is not as high but still has a dramatic drop off on the west.

Here is a view from my campsite along the rim. This is looking south up Dog Canyon toward Texas and the national park.

This is really a dramatic and steep drop although I do not think this image really conveys that. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, but here I think it actually falls short.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Three Boulders

Three boulders on the edge of the Llano Estacado.

Driving across eastern New Mexico one will come across the western escarpment of the flat topped Llano Estacado. There the flat suddenly drops off 200-300' to the plains below.

Just the sort of place to make an image and when I saw these three I knew it was a great place to stop to capture the open country and the dramatic edge.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Caprock Canyons

I was out at Caprock Canyons State Park in the Texas panhandle on a cloudy, rainy day. What great conditions for black and white!

Actually this whole summer has been a black and white event for me with my b+w to color film ratio about 8:1. It has allowed me to do much more daytime photography where my color work is always around the edge of the day. That makes it ideal for the long days of summer.

I am looking forward to fall and some fall color, which will tilt me back toward color and then winter may see me shift again to more black and white.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


West of Amarillo is a location I stop at whenever I pass by-the old elevator at Landergin. Nothing much but an old grain elevator and abandoned gas station. Still...then draw me in. There is something about the old elevator being the only thing over 8' tall on the plains.

The clouds were moving and I thought a great image would be a long exposure with the clouds in motion around the old silos of the elevator.

I did a test image with the DSLR to check the effect and then set up the 4x5 for a 30 second image. Waited for the right moment to catch the leading edge of a cloud.

Looking at the chrome I the light table, I got the exposures right but found I lost one because the film shifted in the holder. Note to self, tap and set the film before doing this again!

Luckily, I got the second one. I cut the corners a little with too much rise, but a little cropping and I got the image I was looking for.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

On the High Plains

The Texas panhandle is the southern reaches of the High Plains. It can be rolling or totally flat. Neither tend to draw photographers but there is a certain something about the flatlands that really interests me.

The farms, the grain elevators, the small towns, and the endless sky. It is even better when the sky is stormy and over cast.

While driving to Amarillo I passed by this field and turned around so I could stop and photograph it.

The green grass, the flat, the remains of a fence line and the thick clouds. I thought it was something. Out came the 4x5 and the 75mm wide angle lens. I photographed this in color for the green and in b+w for the stormy quality. Here is the scene.

Check out my Wilderness Photographer Blog linked to the right for the snapshot that I was looking at.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Open Range-Tarrant County

The open range of Tarrant County. Not too far outside the city limits but still in Tarrant County one can find ranches, creeks, and a landscape much like a hundred years ago.

I have been driving the roads west of town a lot this summer and have made several stops at this location on the side of the road.

I like the open range view.

Here is the setup one clear morning-actually the same morning we missed the eclipse.

To see what the best image of this area looked like check out my WildernessPhotographer travels blog linked to the right.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Too Late

A few weeks ago there was a lunar eclipse. I had marked the time as being right around sunrise and I decided to meet several friends with the hope of photographing it.

We had a suitable location planned with a great clear western view where we hoped the eclipsed moon would be close to the horizon.

That Saturday dawned mostly clear and we thought we were in for a treat. We arrived at our location early enough but only saw the moon sinking into a cloud on the horizon.

Drat. We missed it.

Well never one to let that spoil a morning we stayed until sunrise and managed to make a few images of the dawn. Here is one with rolling hills and grasslands. It was not the preplanned image but still turned out to be a nice little morning. So I guess being too late sometimes aint so bad.

Monday, July 5, 2010

In Holiday Spirit

Spent a fantastic holiday weekend photographing. Hurricane Alex chased several days of rain our way and along with it some great clouds. Spent two of the three day weekend out with the big camera.

Here is another image of the wonderful Rock Church with flag flying proudly for the holiday.

What a great day drive and a perfect day to do it.

When I have clouds like this, I sure wish I had a 47XL. As it was, the 75mm was about the only lens I used this weekend.

Big camera, big sky, big wide lens.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rock Church and Live Oak

The classic view of the Old Rock Church.

Live oak for framing. Puffy clouds. Empty field. Yep, all the basics.

I was working in B+W with Efke 25 and had it processed in dr5 as a positive.

The came out fantastic. Did duplicate shots and had one set done in dr5 and the other done as a negative.

The negatives are nice but the positives are WOW!

I'll be doing a lot more dr5 with black and white.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Rock Church

Another church in the countryside, the Old Rock Church.

One of my favorite places to photograph. In the archives of this blog you can probably find four or five other images of it. As you can see, I never really tire of photographing this building.

Can you blame me?

I was working in b+w and with Efke 25 film. To learn the film I was making two of every image and getting half processed as a traditional negative and half done as a positive with the dr5 process.

The negatives turned out great! Still waiting on the positives to come back from mail order. Not sure if my longer term goal in b+w will be to go all positives or negatives. Either way it has given me renewed interest in film since my color work was limited to the edge of the day and b+w allows me to do film more throughout the day.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Old Church

An old church southwest of Fort Worth.

Texas has a great many old churches to photograph and this is one we happened upon one day on a drive.

It's small and not famous, but it was one I liked and return to revisit. I made the image in B+W and I am still waiting for processing-ok I am sending them off this week.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Chalk Mountain Country

Spent the day driving around the farm roads and old churches southwest of Cowtown.

Down beyond Glen Rose is the Chalk Mountain country where the rugged limestone hills give the area some nice up and down.

As a photographer I frequent the area and I follow the winding roads through the farms and ranches, past small streams and rivers. A place that I often see road bikers pedaling, bikers, on their hogs, and even saw a Ferrari club out here once.

A great place to drive.

And to chase images.

Here is one. Probably nothing more than a rather typical field but the solitary distant tree and the light begged to be photographed. So I did. Here is the set up. Along the fence. Long lens. B+W.

Still waiting on processing on the negatives as I still aint ready to make that jump yet.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A New Beginning

I did something this month I thought was almost unthinkable a few months back......I learned to load a traditional film holder.

I have used nothing but Fuji Quickloads since I started in large format photography. A Quickload holder and a couple boxes of Velvia Quickloads were all I needed or ever wanted. When I heard earlier this year of the demise of Quickloads, I was numb from loss. After going through sadness and anger I gave fate a chance. A friend loaned me a conventional holder and I got a 10 sheet box of Acros to practice with. I loaded up two sheets and went out and shot them. Then two more. Then two more. Until finally the box was gone. It takes a while to even use a box of 10 sheets when you only have one holder. After using them all, I had thee sheets processed. I was not sure what to expect and was quite pleased when they were all decent. Hey- I did it and did not ruin the film!

It was not so bad after all.

So I went and bought a few holders of my own. On top of that I decided to try something else new too. I have enough Velvia Quickloads in the fridge to last me many months so I decided to use B+W film in the conventional holders. Why not start something new with this new skill?

I ordered 100 sheets of Efke 25 and am ready to start down a new path in large format. It is exciting and very much a new beginning to be out chasing the B+W landscape (on top of still chasing the grand landscape in color).

The image here is from one of those days with just one holder. I was out at the Great Falls of the Clear Fork of the Trinity and made a total of two images (with one holder, thats all you get!). This is the set up for one of them.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Snow at Grand Canyon

Snowfall as seen from Hopi Point at the south rim of the Grand Canyon.

This was a fantastic sunset from what I think is the best sunset viewpoint in the park. Hopi offers up views both east and west. I went here for hopes of seeing the full moon rise over the length of the canyon. The weather you see here blocked that moonrise, but I think seeing it snowing on the north rim while I was in the sunshine was a good trade!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mittens View

The Mittens and the famous "Ansel rocks" in Monument Valley.

The snow in the valley was a treat and made the photography even nicer than the normal amazing views.

BTW- the famous rocks are right next to the parking lot. I was standing in it to take this image. So if you go-you will not miss them!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Red Rocks in Monument Valley

Another view of the area around Artist Point in Monument Valley.

The big view is what the camera is looking at, but the rocks right there are neat and worthy of an image.

Ok, I did not actually use the 4x5 for them but I did burn a few pixels.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Same Place- Next Day

I got snowed on again at Monument Valley. This time I made my directly to Artist Point.


The snow lingered. There were low hanging clouds. The red rock country was in full winter wonderland.

Wow, indeed!

I had three cameras working. I wanted this on sheet film and as many pixels as I could get. I also even went into movie mode with the LX-3 although I am really a still image kinda guy. Looking back at them now, the sheet film wins, although I must say a couple of stitched panoramas do look quite nice.

Here is that morning view. BTW, I was the only one here.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Monument Valley Red Rock

I spent a wonderful week out in Arizona in late February visiting Monument Valley, the slot canyons near Page, and the Grand Canyon. You will be seeing some images from these in a series of posts on this blog and my WildernessPhotographer blog too.

If you look at this image you might think it was summer and you probably cannot tell that it had snowed the night before, but it had. Then it all melted off.

I had been out in the morning but between the wind and the fact that the best light seemed to be way off kept me using the DSLR and I waited for better conditions for the 4x5. After all, I want each sheet of Quickload film to count.

The view here is Artist Point. This was that better conditions I was looking for! The view. The conditions. The light. It was just what I was looking for, so I sat up the Arca-Swiss and set about making a few images in the late afternoon light.

This was my first visit to Monument Valley and I was impressed. From John Ford movies to the many views photographers have made made it really a great place and the weather I got here over 2 days made it a special location.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Long Goodbye

The Long Goodbye.

Word is trickling out that Fuji will discontinue Quickload production this April. The BJP reported the story recently and I have been in photography shock over it.

Why? How? Who?

Fujichrome Quickloads are the only films I use.

I have zero interest in hand loading holders. I can only imagine how long and how much of a pain and what a losing the battle against dust that it will be when I am out in Big Bend.


So, I sit with about 300 sheets in the fridge and I'll have to make each one of them count. No iffy scenes or light. Only the best.

And when it's gone? Who knows.........

And so it is the long goodbye.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rail Cars

An old tanker car.

Something about old things that just beg to be photographed. Maybe it's nostalgic. Maybe it's the wondering of life in a bygone era.

This old car sure looks like it saw many a day on the rails. No idea how long it was in service, now it sits on a side track near the old depot in Grapevine, Texas.

It seemed a natural for monochrome, so I even took the digital as a mono to see what it could do and what it might look at.

Digital by LX-3. Film image was Astia 100 and I did convert it to mono also.