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Archive 2015 · Canyon Life
  
 
Ben Horne
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Canyon Life


Congratulations to Ben Horne for winning Feature Thread of the Week with 23 votes - View Previous Winners


This is a series of 3 photos I shot on a backpacking trip this past spring. Though it's a bit of a haul to hike into this canyon, especially with the insanity I carry on my back, I find this to be one of the most peaceful places to spend a few days.

The first photo was taken on Kodak Ektar 8x10 film (color negative) because of the high contrast. This is an amazingly strong glow that has stopped me in my tracks the first time I saw it a few years ago. It was on this trip that I found a way to photograph it. It's a bit tricker than it seems.

The second photo was taken just around the corner later that afternoon. I used Velvia 50 since it's a relatively low contrast scene. It was a very windy afternoon, but you would never know based on the photo. I waited very patiently for a 12 second gap between the wind.

The final photo is of a grand glow at the end of the canyon. This too was shot on color negative film because of the high contrast between foreground and background. It was just beyond what Velvia could show.

On trips like these, I can only carry 8 sheets of film, so every shot counts.

Please let me know your honest thoughts on these photos. What works? What doesn't? How do they make you feel?




















Oct 14, 2015 at 03:43 AM
Ben Horne
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Canyon Life


If you want more of the story behind this trip, and have some time to kill, here are my video journals from this trip.
Day 1:


Day 2:


Day 3:


Day 4:




Oct 14, 2015 at 03:44 AM
ben egbert
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Canyon Life


Hello Ben, I have watched most of your videos so I know the insane effort and patience you put into your work, and the quality shows here.

The first is my favorite of the group. The intense green lower left, the intense glow center with the darker curved cliff at the right provide the perfect balance.

I prefer 3x2 or even 16x9 aspect ratios over 8x10, but I can bet the image quality of a print will blow most people away.

There is a kind of honesty in a 10+ mile one way multi day hike with only 8 shots. Not much chance to blend or even stitch.



Oct 14, 2015 at 01:50 PM
lionking
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Canyon Life


Hey Ben!
Beautiful work!
My favorites are 2nd and 1st.

Andrey



Oct 14, 2015 at 03:02 PM
Camperjim
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Canyon Life


All are great. #1 is my favorite.


Oct 14, 2015 at 03:14 PM
dswiger
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Canyon Life


Ben,
Wonderful set. I like all three, but 1 & 3 are equal to me in appeal.
I'm looking at #2 and thinking, "he chose velvia 50?"
For some reason it looks as high contrast as the others but you metered it so I believe you.
Nice work

Thanks for posting, it encourages me to stay with my film work

Dan



Oct 14, 2015 at 09:41 PM
Jeffrey
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Canyon Life


Ben, I knew this was Neon as the first image was loading. Did you camp in there? All are such soothing scenes of that environment. I prefer the third as I am always drawn to those bold vertical stains.


Oct 14, 2015 at 10:09 PM
jord217
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Canyon Life


Great set Ben. The videos were a joy to watch. I've actually photographed the same tree in number 2 but my wife and I were on the way out of the canyon and I wasn't really there at an optimal time. Another trip I suppose Hard to choose a favorite but I think it's number one for me. It's rich with just the right amount of color and texture.


Oct 14, 2015 at 10:54 PM
Bart Carrig
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Canyon Life


Ben: I thoroughly enjoyed the videos and love the images. These are a great, non-traditional, approach to this beautiful canyon. Like, Jeffrey, I knew it was probably Neon from the partial download of the first image. Neon's one of my favorite hikes in the SW, the long draw down isolated, Fence Canyon is good for the spirit. And then you land at this beautiful spot.

Well done. I can't really pick a favorite; the work is so fine.

I've got to go back to make by contribution to this great work.

(Caught up with you in the Subway a few years ago, when you had your 8x10; and admired that great effort as well.)

Bart Carrig



Oct 15, 2015 at 01:59 AM
blueshadows
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Canyon Life


#3…the glow on the trees, and the rocky foreground, and the overall balance, make it my favorite. The other photos…for me…are lacking in foreground interest/color, compared to those rocks in 3. If you crop out the nearest rock form in #2 to the right top corner, there's a nice mostly-square photo.

I also watch your videos and enjoy them; small suggestions are just that, and we all understand the logistics of using such a large camera for landscapes.



Oct 15, 2015 at 02:09 AM
 

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xjtian
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Canyon Life


Big fan of #3, the glow and color contrast between the green trees and orange canyon is great.

I feel like #1 and #2 are both slightly unbalanced because of how strongly they pull my eye to the lower left of the frame. In #1, the tree is such a strong visual element and and there's not quite enough glow on the right to rebalance the frame. In #2 the closest rock on the left is really heavy compositionally, I agree with blueshadows that the shot would be nice if you cropped that out.

Btw - your videos are incredible! I love how much thought and planning you put into each and every shot - as a digital shooter, your patience for each single scene is seriously impressive!



Oct 15, 2015 at 06:44 PM
Nigel Turner
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Canyon Life


Excellent series Ben and up to your normal very high standards. Pleasure to view these.

Thanks for sharing.
Nigel.



Oct 15, 2015 at 09:51 PM
sachman
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Canyon Life


Terrific set! I absolutely love #3! Just beautiful


Oct 16, 2015 at 12:36 AM
Matt Anderson
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Canyon Life


Magnificent set indeed.
And, I do enjoy your videos as well.
Voted!



Oct 16, 2015 at 12:54 AM
Alan Brock
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Canyon Life


Really enjoyed the videos from this trip. Painted a picture of a very peaceful atmosphere. Looked like a lot of fun! In all three images, I really like how the cool greens play against the warm glow of the sandstone walls. Weirdly enough, I think this is one of those rare times where the trees look better here than if they were photographed in full fall color. #2 is my favorite here, but I also like how the tree trunks in #3 are picking up that reflected light glow. Question about the focus on #2. Did you use camera movements to the left foreground and tree in focus? If so, were you able to keep the back left corner in focus too?


Oct 16, 2015 at 02:07 PM
AMaji
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Canyon Life


Ben,
Superb shots. Goes to show that the eye behind the lens matters. I love your blogs too.

Thank you for sharing.
Maji



Oct 16, 2015 at 02:29 PM
mstrickland
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Canyon Life


I agree with Alan. #2 is my favorite, followed by #3. To me, I feel like it's the strongest composition and I love the color palette. The only thing I'd change is I'd really like to see a moon rising behind the tree. My $.02. I'm also curious about the movements. Is swing not dead after all?


Oct 16, 2015 at 03:24 PM
roguecoolman
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Canyon Life


Classic Ben Horne series. I'm torn between #1 and #3. I just love the canyon walls, their patterns, the shapes and lines. The light glowing off the wall in #1 is great. My only nitpick is the cut blades of grass in the fg in #1. Other than that, great series. I like to wait till you finish your series of videos and binge watch, it's a side effect of cutting off cable tv and going all netflix/hulu :P

Jason



Oct 16, 2015 at 05:25 PM
alatoo60
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Canyon Life


Ben, my favorite composition is in #3. The wall pattern is striking, and the greenery is framing it just right, without pulling away the attention. #1 is next in my liking, although the glow you experienced did not translate into the photo. But I trust you
I really respect your devotion to a large format film photography - one must be in a top notch shape to carry all that gear for such a demanding hike.

Sasha.



Oct 16, 2015 at 07:24 PM
DSC01
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Canyon Life


Ben,
First I must say watching your process and the videos was extremely enjoyable. I will head over to your you tube channel and subscribe . I have admired your work here for many years .

Of these images #1 holds the most interest for me. I would imagine that when you say trickey you are referring to getting the glow and the detail in the right side shaded (I'll call cove ) together . I'm not sure if thats the dynamic range of the film or a technique you have developed but it is pretty amazing to see all this range and detail as a single image. The other image that hold interest fro me would be #3 the more I view it the more I am captivated by it. The wall varnish is incredible. The balance of the comp is nice as well. I would have liked to see just a little more of the right side tree if that were at all possible if you could have framed the right side edge with canyon wall however given the way it's growing and the constraint of the area that may not have been possible.
Amazing effort and you came away with some interesting images thanks for sharing all this. Regards, dean



Oct 17, 2015 at 11:29 AM
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