May 27, 1997

Point Pleasant Park (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

4"x5" film
I got up bright and early on this Wednesday, and took a bus to Point Pleasant Park, to get the morning sun shining on the Point Pleasant Battery, which faces out towards the harbour entrance, Fort McNab and York Redoubt.

Getting to the battery at shortly after 8 a.m. gave me just the light I'd hoped for, strong raking light that pulled all the cracks and fissures out of the concrete. The only drawback to this is the morning sun created a very high contrast situation, but this is where the view camera excels. The first dozen or so exposures I made were deliberately over-exposed, then under-developed in the darkroom, thereby keeping the contrast down to a reasonable level. Using an orange filter kept the sky printable, but did lead to a 1/2 second exposure at f/22.
4"x5" film
The rest of the morning's work went well, with the majority of the images being made at the Point Pleasant Battery. The image to the left was produced with the 65mm super-angulon wide-ange lens pointed almost straight down (I had to be careful not to get the tripod legs in the image). The curve of rock and metal in the foreground is the remains of the old battery, which is directly under the current battery. As I was working, a park warden came by and told me that years ago they had dumped 300 truck loads of fill in front of the fort. All of it has since been washed away!
6x12 cm film
Over the morning, I shot far more with the 6x12 roll-back than I did sheet film, but I suspect that this was because there were so many strong horizontals (being essentially landscape photos). For more than 90% of the images I used the 65mm super-wide lens, which never ceases to amaze me. When I used 35mm heavily, I almost never used wide angle lenses, so this sudden obsession with the super-wide on the view camera is really out of character. Part of me still thinks it's the "new-toy" syndrome, but again, the images are strong, and I don't feel that they look overly wide. The real test will come in the next couple of months, as I start working with the Nude again; I seldom use any lens but my 210mm for nudes so it should be interesting to see what happens.

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