Roll 7

Up the hill for sunset..

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It was getting late in the day by the time I put this roll in the camera, and I had to move quickly (or as quickly as I could in such thin air) to get to the top of a hill for the sunset. This roll is mostly images I took along the way before I got set up for the sun to go down.

This roll was shot on Kodak Tri-X 400.

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Frame 1

The dramatic and alien landscape so high up on the mountain is in stark contrast to what you see at lower altitudes on the island. I like the “feel” of this photo more than anything specific about it. It feels like an establishing shot for an Indiana Jones adventure.

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Frame 2

These rocky dark hills can really work in black and white sometimes. I think the gradations in this image add a lot to the sense of depth and help draw the eye in.

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Frame 3

By this point it was getting to be late in the day and the shadows were getting long and dramatic. I was rushing up to the highest available point to photograph the sunset and would stop to catch my breath along the way. I’m glad I did because it let me see scenes like this one happening behind me.

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Frame 4

There is a pattern in the sky in this image that came out when I was adjusting it in Photoshop. I suspect it is an element left over from the lower quality scan that I had done on these negatives. I have seen it in a few other images, mostly in the sky, but not this prominent before.

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Frame 5

The clouds rolling in were a real challenge for photographing that day. On the one hand they did offer a very dynamic element to the images, but conversely they required extra patience to get the images just right. In this image I wish that I had not clipped the end of Mauna Loa off in the background.

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Frame 6

This image has a nice sense of drama to it, if only it were in color.

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Frame 7

This image is rather flat despite having the sun at a decent angle. If it were in color it might have better depth, but in black and white there doesn’t seem to be enough information to give a three dimensional impression.

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Frame 8

I think that this image almost works, but I can’t quite put my finger on what is wrong with it. It might be that it should have more sky and less foreground. Maybe it’s because the foreground is so harshly and brightly lit compared to the soft gradations of the clouds and sky.

I like the way the Tri-X 400 film handled the lighting conditions in these images. Towards the end they were very contrasty in places, but that was more to do with the angle of the sun than anything else. I will definitely use this film again.

I have decided to print out a few of the images from the first 6 rolls that were most promising. Because of the size of the files the largest I can print them is at 8×12 inch (20×30 cm), but that’s OK, it keeps the cost down. I should have them in a few days, I’m really looking forward to seeing the images in a physical form.

-Allen

Roll 6

Color makes a comeback!

This roll was taken on a hike on the slopes of Mauna Kea at over 9,000 feet (2,750 meters) above sea level. The air is thin that high up and I had to take frequent stops to catch my breath. That caused me to consider my surroundings and really appreciate where I was.

This roll was shot on Kodak Ektar 100. The bright light up high on the mountain really brings out the wonderful colors this film is capable of capturing.

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Frame 1

I love this dead tree. I photograph it every time I go by it. I haven’t gotten it just right yet, but this is the closest I’ve come so far. The branches up against the cloudy sky have a rather graphic element to them, almost like writing. I do wish that Mauna Loa would have been visible behind the tree, but you can’t have everything.

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Frame 2

I am so glad that I had this one last roll of color film with me on the hike. As I have said before, Hawai’i almost always needs to be seen in color. The hills on the side of the mountain are visually stunning in the afternoon light. In this image I like that we can see the trail going up the slope of the hill, and that the hill feels more three dimensional than in some other pictures I’ve taken. I don’t know if the rocks in the foreground are helpful however, they almost feel distracting. I think I’ll need to see it larger to really tell.

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Frame 3

Before this project I never really shot landscapes all that often or in any serious way. I am beginning to realize that there are more considerations while framing a landscape than I first thought. I never thought much about how distracting the foreground can be in an image when you want to make an object in the mid to background the center of attention.

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Frame 4

The road is a good element here, but I think the clouds don’t add as much to the composition. They overpower the landscape in a way that diminishes the grandeur of the valley.

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Frame 5

The clouds are a little better here, but overall it’s still not quite what I am looking for.

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Frame 6

The dirt road in this valley was a big influence on me while taking these photos. It is a strong and compelling element, and I think that this is the image out of all of them where it is the strongest. The clouds here also help to frame the valley without overpowering whole areas of it. This shows how just a small change in timing or composition can make a big difference.

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Frame 7

I am realizing now that one good reason not to take overly similar pictures is that it can become hard to say new and insightful things about each one. This image is also fine, but maybe not as interesting as the previous frame.

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Frame 8

The giant gash in the hillside here was very dramatic in person. I feel that it comes across reasonably well in this image, but that the scale of it is lost. This may be another example of an image that would need to be viewed very large and in person to have the full effect. Fortunately these 6×9 negatives make that a real possibility, unfortunately the cost for such large printing is still somewhat beyond my price range.

Editing this roll of film, after working on several rolls of black and white images, has really cemented for me the need to us color film. I think there are times when black and white film will be the best choice, but I think that for the most part my future film purchases will be color.

-Allen