Print of the Month December 2006

115 Fountain Grass

115 Fountain Grass

Fountain Grass

While working on a commercial assignment in Columbus Ohio I was forced to take a break since the weather was not cooperating and the light was not optimum for photographing the exterior of one of the buildings I was assigned to photograph. I learned long ago a prerequisite for quality architectural photography is patience.

While doing my initial scouting work I recalled seeing The Innis Botanical gardens only a short drive from the expressway. Being that it was only a few minutes from my commercial location shoot I decided that I would check out the gardens.

For this particular commercial assignment I was using my digital camera. But always traveling with my 5 x 7 view camera and supply of loaded film backs I am prepared if I am fortunate enough to find such a location as this.

The garden group has done a spectacular job of maintaining the gardens. It was peaceful and I enjoyed walking around and quickly found the pressure of a commercial photo shoot and uncooperative weather draining from my mind. Viewing several flowers and plants with my viewing card I found several compositions to work with.

Walking back to my Jeep to gather my 5 x 7 gear I was already contemplating the composition and exposure. It was then I realized that while it was not a windy day there was a nice cool and somewhat steady breeze. This was going to cause a problem for the delicate plant and I knew I was going to need a small aperture and consequently a long shutter speed maintain appropriate depth of field. If I used a slow or long shutter speed I would need the plant to be perfectly still to make the photograph.

I began to set up my tripod and mount the view camera. Watching the plant gently moving in the breeze I was not confident that this photograph was going to work. But knowing that if I was lucky I might get a moment with the calmness required.

I mounted the 300mm lens and began to compose the image on the ground glass. The camera was only 3 ½ feet from the plant so my bellows extension was considerable. I would need to compensate my exposure for this extension, but first I needed to finish the job at hand and focus the camera. I found the near and far points and centered the focusing distance. Measuring a 14 mm spread my depth of field chart indicated a minimum of f-64. Working backwards I could now learn the correct shutter speed would be one second.

About the Print of the Month

The Print of the Month is a new print offered at an early-edition discount. Normal pricing must apply once the print is offered by a gallery.

The Print of the Month is a silver gelatin print, each one created by hand using traditional darkroom methods.

Prints are limited to 50 per edition.

Typically the Print of the Month is made from a T-Max 100 negative, which is processed in D-76 mixed 1:1.

Each fine art print is made by hand using Ilford-based double weight paper.

The prints are double fixed and selenium toned for longevity.  They are then washed in a vertical print washer to completely eliminate any residue.  Prints are carefully allowed to dry for two days.  Next, each print is mounted on museum quality archival mat boards with acid-free mounting tissue.  Although each print takes a considerable amount of time and meticulous effort, this archival printing and mounting process is the only way to ensure print permanence and collectability. Give it proper care and your print will last hundreds of years without fading.

My signature and the print number are visible on the mat, below the print.

The Print of the Month offers a 50% savings off the normal investment.

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