Sunday, June 14, 2020

Exploring US 377

Delta 100
I have been doing a series of day drives over the past few months.  Take the 4x5 and some black and white film and do a day drive along US 377.  This is the road that runs southwest out of Fort Worth.  It quickly gets one away from town and into some rolling hills.  There are some remnants of the prairie here as well as many ranches, farms, rivers and other tidbits of Americana.

Each morning I would leave home early, usually by 0530 so I could be out someplace for sunrise.  Being on location early is not as important in black and white photography as it is in color, but old habits die hard.

My general plan for these type of days is to select a sunrise spot, spend daybreak and the golden hour there and then just drive looking for subjects.  Side road here, Farm to Market road there.  The only commonality was being generally along US 377.  From Fort Worth to Stephenville I pass by some limestone hills, the Brazos River, the Paluxy River, and many off the beaten path places.

I am in no hurry.

In normal times I would make it to a good BBQ or Taco stand around noon.  There are not normal times......

I pack a lunch.

I drive and photograph.  I stop no places with people.  I am socially distanced.
On my first of these day drives I took Ilford Delta 100 and Fujichrome Velvia.  After finishing the Delta 100 I went with a box of Ilford HP5+, a film I have never used before.  Over the course of three or four drives I finished up the Delta and one box of HP5+. 
Delta 100

Since I do not develop my own film and I cannot "read" a negative, I send off all my black and white film to DR5 Chrome.  They process black and white negative film into a positive chrome.  I get a an image that looks great on a light table and scans well.  The images you see here the ones they processed.

As a landscape photographer I am generally looking for natural landscapes.  That led me to a spot along the Brazos River and it led me to spots along the Paluxy River too.  I also was looking for trees.  Somehow that was something of a theme with these drives.  I know a few lone trees and I found a few more.  With the ranching country in the area I can occasionally find them among a field of grass.  In particular a good live oak out alone makes an interesting subject.  You see a few of them here.

Then there are also the old bridges, churches and ranches.  I occasionally make stops in places like that as they seem to make good monochrome subjects.

Each day I was out was a little different.  I had rain, cloudy, clear, windy, and a mix of the above.  I would have my morning location and then drive and look.  And look.  I drove some roads I know and also some roads I have never been on.  A side road here or there always looping back toward US 377.  Each day was different although I did visit a couple of places twice hoping for different light.

Here are a few images from the day.

No comments: