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Varnished Souls
  
 
Ben Horne
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p.2 #1 · Varnished Souls


Karl Witt wrote:
All that for 'just a pile of rocks'

I took a quick peak at the shot and was loving it then I began to sweat while reading your narrative of the event, whew!

I'm a sucker for such great color and such bold elements dappled with greenery, they all come together well here Ben for me. A nice play to see the lines running through the bolders almost diagonal in the image then seeing the strong BG verticals. The little tufts of blue and blue green grasses stand out perfectly against the warm hues.

I hope you feel good
...Show more

Karl,

It was the 3 small tufts of grass growing on the boulder that originally caught my eye. Though I was certainly aware of the wall behind the rock, it wasn't until I composed the image on the ground glass that I saw how all the elements worked together. Needless to say, I was happy with the location. :-)



Jun 26, 2013 at 03:23 AM
Scott Kroeker
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p.2 #2 · Varnished Souls


Ben, this is a terrific photo. Worth all the efforts IMHO and I am glad to see the results of those efforts.

I have a question for you about your gear setup. I just use a crappy digital rig. My long term goal, after winning the lotto, is to upgrade to a great digital system (D800E and some primes) and eventually want to get into LF film. I see you use the Ebony brand and it was the one I decided I would love to get down the road. What are your challenges limitations with a system like that? Do you develop your own negs and on avg what is your cost per photo? If you dont mind my questions that is!



Jun 26, 2013 at 04:39 AM
codyhatch
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p.2 #3 · Varnished Souls


Ben,

Fantastic shot. I love shots like this that look normal, without garish color, and actually containing shadows rather than HDR.

The color tones and contrast look great, but what makes the shot for me are the three sprouts of vegetation in the larger, foreground rock.

Nice work



Jun 26, 2013 at 04:54 AM
Tuan Le
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p.2 #4 · Varnished Souls


Glad you won the argument against your inner self and got this shot. The colors, comp and patterns are wonderful.


Jun 26, 2013 at 05:52 AM
markcapilitan
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p.2 #5 · Varnished Souls


Wonderful Ben! The wall in the background is stunning, and you've exposed it to perfection. Not knowing the area, how would it look on the Fuji 617?


Jun 26, 2013 at 11:17 AM
Ben Horne
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p.2 #6 · Varnished Souls


Scott Kroeker wrote:
Ben, this is a terrific photo. Worth all the efforts IMHO and I am glad to see the results of those efforts.

I have a question for you about your gear setup. I just use a crappy digital rig. My long term goal, after winning the lotto, is to upgrade to a great digital system (D800E and some primes) and eventually want to get into LF film. I see you use the Ebony brand and it was the one I decided I would love to get down the road. What are your challenges limitations with a system like that? Do
...Show more


I've always been a big fan of your work. I had always assumed you were working with something along the lines of a D800E or a 5DII, but when I revisited some of your recent posts, I noticed that there wasn't any info to show what they were shot with. As in most cases with photography, it's not about the camera so much as it is the person using it and your work is absolutely gorgeous.

The same thing applies to LF. In this case, the camera is simply a light proof wooden frame with leather bellows. It's that simplicity that I enjoy about film though. If I didn't do my job to get all the settings right at the moment of exposure, the shot won't turn out and I will spend quite a bit of time and money on that mistake.

When I was searching for an 8x10, I had narrowed my search to 2 different brands, Ebony and Canham. While searching the used market, I stumbled across used RW810 on another forum. I looked into the model, snd figured it would be a nice match. It is a very simple, and relatively lightweight camera. When I bought it, I never dreamed I would be able to backpack with it, but that was a result of the lightness.

I don't do my own processing because there is a great lab only 40 minutes from my house. They will develop anything, color neg, color slide, or B&W. The total cost for each exposure is somewhere around $25. If I end up with a photo I would love to print some day, I send it for a high res drum scan at around $200 per image. That's certainly a lot of money, but I only drum scan a handful of images each year.

The availability of film is a bit of an issue at the moment. I've stocked up with Velvia 50 since it's very tough to get right now (it has been discontinued, then somewhat reintroduced), and I have a modest supply of Kodak Ektar 100 and Kodak Portra 160, but I certainly could stand to buy some more boxes. On my most recent trip, I made only 5 exposures, so a box of 10 or 20 sheets of film does last quite a while.

The biggest limitations of LF have to do with wind (even a slight breeze can shake the bellows of the camera), and the inability to set up the camera in dark conditions. Typically I can find a break in the wind to make my exposures, but a morning shot would require me setting up the camera the day before. Overall, I find the process very rewarding, but it did take several years for me to really get the hang of it. I also own a D800 that I use for doing a lot of video work these days, but I'm much more comfortable with the 8x10. It's kind of funny how that works.



Jun 26, 2013 at 02:09 PM
John Richter
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p.2 #7 · Varnished Souls


I'm not sure why but the rock wall for the back drop gives it a majestic feeling for me. Nice color and details. Very cool.

JBR



Jun 27, 2013 at 04:22 AM
JimFox
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p.2 #8 · Varnished Souls


Hey Ben,

Very nice work on this one, I like it.

Jim



Jun 27, 2013 at 04:39 AM
 

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plateaulight
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p.2 #9 · Varnished Souls


Ben,

There is just something about film and capturing reds of the SW that most digital cams fail to do. It is just such a shame that the analogue prints are so week on red.
I have hiked Neon but my hat is off to you for doing it at such a warm time and getting excellent tone.

Robert Park



Jun 28, 2013 at 01:56 AM
ckcarr
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p.2 #10 · Varnished Souls


It's beautiful Ben.
The juxtaposition of the desert varnish and the boulder striations is really interesting.

How many times I just walk past sights like that and don't see what you see. I'd love to do a camera like that but it's too late for me...




Jun 28, 2013 at 01:59 AM
dalongfellow
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p.2 #11 · Varnished Souls


Ben--always enjoy your posts because the work you put up is consistently exceptional. Interesting hearing about the process: not only the original hike to get the shot but also your comments on the camera, film processing, etc. Thanks for posting this and please keep them coming.

Dave



Jun 28, 2013 at 02:07 AM
Ben Horne
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p.2 #12 · Varnished Souls


ckcarr wrote:
It's beautiful Ben.
The juxtaposition of the desert varnish and the boulder striations is really interesting.

How many times I just walk past sights like that and don't see what you see. I'd love to do a camera like that but it's too late for me...




I think the same thing when viewing many of the excellent photos on this forum that it is a scene that I probably wouldn't have thought to shoot, and might have simply passed by it. It makes me question my own role as a photographer sometimes when people "see" things I didn't see. When I saw this in person though, it was as though it shouted out at me "Hey! Over here! Look at me!" I knew instantly it would make for a good subject.



Jun 29, 2013 at 03:32 AM
ckcarr
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p.2 #13 · Varnished Souls


I think I get jaded...

Anyway, you would not want to be lugging that gear around here right now...
It's like the song... "Hot Hot Hot!"



Jun 29, 2013 at 03:36 AM
ray0123
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p.2 #14 · Varnished Souls


Great story and photo too


Jun 29, 2013 at 04:53 AM
Scott Kroeker
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p.2 #15 · Varnished Souls


Ben Horne wrote:
I've always been a big fan of your work. I had always assumed you were working with something along the lines of a D800E or a 5DII, but when I revisited some of your recent posts, I noticed that there wasn't any info to show what they were shot with. As in most cases with photography, it's not about the camera so much as it is the person using it and your work is absolutely gorgeous.

The same thing applies to LF. In this case, the camera is simply a light proof wooden frame with leather bellows. It's that simplicity
...Show more

Thanks so much Ben! Sounds like a lot of the types of landscape I like to shoot a LF system would work well as I often shoot long exposures. Knowing my luck, by the time I am ready to get in LF photography film wil no longer be available!!



Jul 03, 2013 at 01:18 AM
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