Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ornamental Shrubbery

Berries
I took this photo with my '51 Graflex Speed Graphic camera. I was walking around with it hand-held, which I don't do very much because it is heavy and my eyes aren't always good enough to use the range finder effectively. So usually, I tripod up and focus on the ground glass. This day though, was bright and the sun was just starting to get a little angular, so the shadows were good, but there was still enough light to see the overlapping images in the range finder. I shot this at f/8 x 1/200 sec on Kodak CSG x-ray film rated at iso 80. I developed the film in Adox Adonal (Rodinal) 1+100 for 4.5 min in a Patterson tank with a MOD 54 film holder. I scanned the negative at 2400 dpi with an Epson V600, taking two passes and stitching the two scans in Photoshop.

WHAT!!?? 2400 dpi?? Yes, I had the scanner set that way because I had been scanning some 6x6 photos from an engagement shoot I did earlier in the week. I didn't notice until I saw how long the first scan was taking and by then, I thought what the heck, just let it go at 2400. When you scan a 4x5 negative at 2400 dpi, you get about 115 megapixels. That is a huge image and really unnecessary unless you are doing billboard work. But I had it anyway and didn't feel like tossing it and re-scanning (note to self: next time toss it and re-scan it). The problem with such an enormous image comes when you go to load it up in Photoshop to do some dust spotting with the healing tool. At 2400 dpi every single microscopic spec of dust is visible (note my screen resolution is only 1366x768) and with a 15px brush, that takes a LOOOOOONG time to go over and click each speck and hair. Save yourself some trouble and scan at 800 or 1200 dpi for normal sized prints.

The very cool thing about these berries is that they are now just sort of yellowish green, but once "winter" comes to San Diego and things get really dry, they turn bright yellow and they pop open along the seams. Inside is sort of a shiny, creamy white with three bright red seeds inside. It is really beautiful. I will try to get some photos this year and post them here to follow this up.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the photo. I think it came out well.