April 07, 1998

Laurel Models along the Penobscot River (Orono, Maine)

My second outdoor session of the year focused on the banks of the Penobscot river. Many of the images of Laurel drew directly upon the sparse quality of the shoreline - bare trees and flooded spaces. The lighting was perfect - overcast with occasional light sun peeking through.
4"x5" film
The session with Laurel was another which showed the strength of the 75mm Rodenstock lens on the view camera. The lens is vast improvement over my former pair of f/8 wide angles, the 65mm and 90mm Super Angulons, both in terms of working aperture (with the new lens being twice as bright) and in terms of coverage, permitting more extreme lens movements, with less risk of vignetting.
4"x5" film
One of the nicest pieces from the work with Laurel is the colour image below. I have switched to working on 120 transparency film for my colour work, partially because I can no longer print my own colour negs from the 6x12 back, and partially because of the more immediate gratification of being able to see the image on a light table right after processing. This particular image would have been stronger if the transparency film had been faster - it's produced on Agfa's RSX 50, which has a very narrow latitude. A higher-speed film would have had more information in the water reflection, but this can be taken care of in the prints by digitally boosting the levels in the water, thereby increasing the information. Oh the wonders of the digital age!
6x12 cm transparency
A major influence on the look of the work I produced in Maine was the fact that almost all the models were comfortable with their faces being in the images. The first image in this session is a good example of where this strengthens an image - the only way to have made this image anonymous would have been to have Laurel turn away, which would have changed the image radically.

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