Monday, April 13, 2015

From Film to Print: An quick overview of my process

It's been a while since I added any new film images to my galleries. While I've been enjoying the ease of shooting digitally the past few years, I still plan on keeping my large format film images coming. After all the work that goes into creating a single image, I find it tremendously rewarding to place a well exposed sheet of 8 x 10 film on the light table and explore the fine detail with my loupe. The next step to fully expressing what I envisioned when I tripped the shutter is to scan the original film. I carefully package my film and mail it to my favorite lab, West Coast Imaging, based out of California. Scan master Jeff Grandy has scanned dozens of my images to perfection, so I feel good about handing my film over to him. After I receive my film and digitized files back from the lab, I go to work bringing the raw scan back to life. Using my film as a reference, I adjust the white and dark points, the overall color balance and carefully dodge and burn selected areas. If the image still needs more work, I like to use luminosity masks. The luminosity mask actions produced by Tony Kuyper are sold through his website at an affordable price. I highly recommend them! They allow one to make targeted tonal based adjustment to the image. I enjoy using some of the actions to make contrast adjustments and isolate certain elements within the scene for more impact. My final image will sometimes match my original transparency perfectly, but that usually isn't my goal. My aim is to create an image that represents my interpretation of what I saw and felt at the time while maintaining the integrity of the scene. 

Whether you shoot film or digital, the process after image capture is the same. The medium you choose is up to you, the artist.

Steens Spring Sunrise II

This photograph was taken on the far side of the Alvord Desert below Steens Mountain. The cracked mud was only beginning to dry out after the long winter and many pools of milk chocolate colored water remained. I found this neat zigzagging channel of water one afternoon and felt it would make for a strong photograph if made under the right light. I returned the following morning while it was still dark and waited for sunrise to work its magic upon the landscape. Moments before the sun touched the eastern face of Steens Mountain, the scene was bathed in an amber glow. It was more than I could have asked for and speaks to the power of the desert and the need to protect these wild places. Alvord Desert, Oregon, 2012

Gowland Lite 8 x 10, Schneider Super Symmar 150 w/center filter, Lee .6  hard grad, 8 sec @ F45, Fuji Provia 100F

Broken Top Peak

A creek lined with summer wildflowers flows through a lush sub-alpine meadow below Broken Top. Three Sisters Wilderness, Cascade Mountains, Oregon, 2013

Gowland Light 8 x 10, Schneider Super Symmar 150 w/center filter, 1/15th sec @ F32, Fuji Provia 100F