Print of the Month June 2006

068 Horseshoe Lake Bent Tree

068 Horseshoe Lake Bent Tree

Horseshoe Lake Canadian Rockies

Hiking thru the Canadian Rockies is a wonderful experience. Spend a couple of days walking through these mountains and you will soon forget about any worries or problems you may have.

In an effort to prepare for a workshop I will usually arrive at the workshop destination 4 or 5 days in advance for the purpose of reacquainting myself with the area and to learn what, if anything has changed since the last time I worked in the area. Not only does this extra time and effort save me from potential embarrassment but it also allows me time to make a few extra negatives for myself.
Such was the case as I explored the area of Horseshoe Lake just South of Jasper in the Canadian Rockies.

Often I am asked how do I find the photographs I make. Actually, most of the time as was the case here I will often just stumble upon them. This will often happen if I am relaxed and the stress of running a business and traveling through airports has disappeared. I will admit I always try to help myself so you will most often find me looking with my viewing card.

This negative was made early in the morning of September 6, 2002. The light was still soft and there was no wind to create movement of the trees. Wind is always a concern with long exposures. The first element to catch my attention was the beautiful bent tree.

While looking through my viewing card I began composing the final image. I was intrigued by the bent tree and decided to place it in the center of the image. More importantly, I needed to place the bent tree directly in between the two larger trees. The pair of straight tress helped to accentuate the curve of the smaller tree. This placement created the balance with the open space and reflections in the lake on the right third of the composition. Finally, leaving the cliff in the base of the composition and letting it occupy the bottom third of the image worked well for my foreground.

I choose my 210mm lens which gave me enough foreground and kept the bent tree the size I wanted. The problem I encountered was keeping the foreground in focus as well as the trees on the other side of the lake. To accomplish this I focused the camera at the hyper-focal distance. With my view camera I can focus on the closest segment of the composition and make a note of this on a small scale on the bed of the view camera. Next, I focus on the most distant subject making a note of its distance on the same scale. In this case the trees across the lake. The distance was 12 mm. I will then focus my camera at ½ this distance. Rodenstock,

a very fine manufacture of view camera lenses makes a handy dial that will indicate the f-stop required to keep foreground and background in focus. Using my Deardorff 5 x 7 camera f-45 was indicated.

I placed the shadowed section of the pine trees on Zone III and the fog and trees in the background fell on Zone VIII. Perfect for a normal development.

With the aperture set at f-45 a ¼ second exposure was required. I made the first exposure and reinserted the dark-slide into the film holder. I turned the holder around and reset the lens shutter. In this short period of 10 – 15 seconds a good deal of the fog across the lake had lifted and was nearly gone. I made the second exposure the same as the first. But I prefer the negative with the additional fog since it adds a sense of mystery to the image.

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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