I have been looking forward to printing this negative for some time. The print is on warmtone fibre based paper (hence the gentle curl at the edges).
I began with my usual procedure of making test strips at grade 2.5, but soon went down the grades as I felt that the negative demanded an open and gentle tonality. The grade I used in the end was 1.4. There is a very extensive tonal range, and the print does not lack contrast, even at this low grade. I think I achieved the kind of open tonality I was after.
The print size is a little larger than I would normally print at for 35mm. It was made using my Zeiss C Sonnar 50mm lens, and the bright, strongly backlit scene allowed for a favourable aperture and shutter speed combination (favourable, that is, to securing the necessary sharpness for a good enlargement).
This week I'm pleased to present #TreePhotoGallery, Part 2.
In Part 1, I gathered together a fine selection of tree photographs by photographers on Twitter. The quantity and quality of submissions following my original call for work was so high that I promised a Part 2 - a promise I happily now keep.
I hope you enjoy the work.
Tom's delicate piece cocks a snoot at the notion that central placement is to be avoided. The tonality is stunning: it allows the tree to be 'just' emergent; the viewer continues to do a double-take as the tree shimmers like a grey mirage. There is a tonal lesson too: the range is constrained in the middle values - but just look at its effect! Leading lines are at work from the bottom and the sides.
Matias' image works on so many levels. What a fine juxtaposition of the vulnerable tiny growth in the foreground and the expansive water and forest behind. A successful landscape image so often stands or falls on the foreground-to-background relationship. Matias' image is a great example of how to get it right.
I enjoy the pale tonality and somewhat humanoid-like posturing of Analoguephoto's trees. It's shot on Orwocolour, a film with an interesting history and idiosyncratic colour palette. I haven't tried it, but from what I've seen I imagine it isn't a film for all occasions. It's an excellent choice here.
Great photos take great subjects and add photographic magic. That's exactly the case with Adi's image. Not only is the tree itself brimming with visual interest, but Adi's treatment adds fine tonality and careful composition. The square format can be quite a challenge, but here it reinforces the tree's stocky, powerful form.
Some photographs have the power to awaken senses other than just your vision. Tim's monochromatic piece does that for me: I sense a whiff of the early morning fresh air; or the cool rush of the day's end. The sun is carefully positioned, its light breaking through the branches just above the horizon. Like Tom's image above the tonality is subtle, and gives away more as the eye delves deeper and gets accustomed to the lower darkness.
A clever use of freelensing by Lina conveys the impression of wavering branches and fragile flowers in this poetic black and white photograph. It has something of a dream-like quality, a moment glimpsed but somehow not quite fixed, as a photograph should. Transience is key.
I see so many infrared images in which the effect itself is dominant. They seem to say first and foremost: 'look how infrared transforms our visual world'. Sandeep's image uses the infrared effect, for sure, but it does more photographically, because the effect is in the service of the photo, not the other way around. With their leaves transformed, the trees mirror the lamp posts, leading our eye down the Southbank promenade. The partly ghostly people on the left add a lovely visual punctuation mark.
Lucy's image is one which reminds me why I enjoy shooting film so much. It's hard to put into words, but the medium, with its bluish cast and gritty grain, add a gravitas to the struggle of the stalwart, gnarly tree. It's an image of survival: of steadfast resistance in the face of nature's unforgiving side.
A fine image to end a fine collection.
Here's a quick link to #TreePhotoGallery, Part 1 in case you missed it.
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If you read my prior post you'll know this gallery has come about thanks to a whimsical call for photographers to confess with me an obsession for trees. Credit must be given to @EMULSIVEfilm and @AukjeKastelijn who were party to the original conversation. They do, however, take no responsibility for the gallery that follows, and the editorial choices and omissions are mine.
The response to the call has been quite amazing. Some very fine work has been shared, unfortunately more than I am able to include here. I clearly did, however, feel it was a pity not to give at least some of the work a home, hence this gallery. I have set aside more images for a 'Part 2', so watch this space.
I hope you enjoy the gallery.
An ethereal atmosphere dominates Dustin's black and white image. The play of light and shadow has an intangible quality, as if we could be looking at multiple exposures.
A colourful sky pervades Ribnar's image, but it is the play of scale that intrigues me. How big are the two dominant trees? The tower in the middle? The tiny trees at the bottom of the frame? A great use of composition and scale.
Matt's image has a strong graphic structure punctuated by the delicate, back-lit emerging leaves. A contrast of the old and immutable trunks, and the young, delicate regrowth.
In this near monochromatic image by Monika, trees take on the disguise of fallen snow. There is a palpable sense of the weight of the snow and the resistance put up by the unyielding trees. The strong diagonal from top left to bottom right visually reinforces this exchange of forces.
I particularly enjoy the crisp, shape-defining light in this neatly composed piece by Barnaby. The details are fine and the tonality expansive.
You can find more of Barnaby's work over at his website. Click his image above for the link or go to barnabynutt.com.
Emulsive's submission seemingly hails from another planet. It was born through experimentation, specifically pre-heating the film before development, that resulted in the strong colour cast. The treatment somehow suits the character of the tree, its shape and demeanour.
The choice of film and development have undoubtedly played a role in Nick's fine image. There's a relationship between colour palette, format and subject matter that sings to my eye. I also admire the careful framing - it can be really hard to manage the closer elements in such shots from afar.
There is a poetic simplicity to Philip's image, an emptiness, and yet a dialogue. The two trees stand separate (and are compositionally in danger of becoming unrelated), and yet they feed-off each other, two central characters in some undisclosed drama. The tonal key is just right, and clouds both lend interest to the sky and bridge the central divide.
Thank you for looking, and I hope you enjoyed the work as much as I did. Please do look out for the second instalment, coming soon.