New Years Resolutions: Past & Present

It was only late 2009 when I first started shooting the 8×10 camera. I started by shooting controlled scenes — the ground at my feet.  Once I became familiar with the workings of this camera, my next goal was to shoot some vast, time sensitive photos. Ultimately, my goal is to capture fleeting moments of beauty, but that is difficult when it takes at least a half hour to setup the camera.

In 2010, my resolution was to shoot more “open” photos with the large format gear. This involves vast landscape shots. I pursued this goal in February of this year at Badwater in Death Valley.  I raced to setup my camera before a squall of rain swept across the valley.

Stormy Badwater (Velvia 50 8x10)

In May of this year,  I shot this photo on my Colorado Plateau trip. Although sky is not shown in this shot, I was intrigued by the depth of this scene.  I only had a few minutes of good light, and it was difficult shooting right into the sun. I shaded the lens with the dark slide from my film holder. Did I  mention that the camera was extended slightly over the edge of a 3000 foot cliff?  After this trip, I vowed to buy a lens hood.

Toroweap Sunrise: Ebony RW810 | 300mm Lens | Velvia 100 8x10

In short, I am now very familiar with the 8×10 camera, and  I am very comfortable using it in difficult conditions. Based on my Fall trip to Zion, I am now very confident in my metering skills. So what’s next?  What’s my resolution for 2011?

My goal for 2011 is to continue my quest for “open” shots, but also to push the limits of the film I’m using. I want to place more emphasis on local shots along the rugged La Jolla coastline, and experimenting with ultra-long exposures using Provia 100. Finally, when I return to Death Valley this year, my goal is to walk away with a bold, dynamic shot of the dunes. This is something that I have not been able to capture during my 2 previous visits.

Here’s to a great 2011!

4 Responses to “New Years Resolutions: Past & Present”

  1. David Patterson Says:

    Ben… judging by the impressive results you have been getting lately, I think it is safe to say that you are getting the hang of this large format stuff 🙂

    I will certainly look forward to seeing (and reading about) your local adventures, but I am especially eager to live vicariously through you when you next return to one of my favorite places… Death Valley National Park.

    Thanks for sharing so much of what you do… I always find it inspiring to witness your efforts, adventures and accomplishments. I absolutely LOVE the Stormy Badwater image in this post. I imagine feeling that you could just walk right into a large print of this scene… magnificent.

    Happy holidays to you and yours and best wishes for a creatively successful and productive 2011!

    • Ben Horne Says:

      Thanks David! Merry Christmas!

      I’m really itching to get back to Death Valley!! I just requested the days off work today. I’ll have 10 full shooting days on this trip. I now have a Panasonic 3 chip video camera, so I plan on having even more fun with the video journals. We’ll see how the weather is this time!

  2. Nicolas Belokurov Says:

    The Toroweap sunrise is my personal favorite from what I could see on your blog during the year. It’s been a great photographic year and your adventures with large format photography defintely was an inspiration for me to try to switch from FF digital to film.
    I wish you a great 2011, keep posting!

    • Ben Horne Says:

      Thanks Nicolas! I’ve had a blast with photography this year, and I’m humbled to hear that I’ve been influential in your switching back to film.

      I’m glad the Toroweap shot turned out from the trip in May. It’s a favorite of mine as well — especially since it took me several visits before I walked away with the shot I wanted. As beautiful as that view is, my nerves were always on edge when shooting there! It’s not that I’m afraid of heights — it’s just that I can’t fly very well. 🙂

      Here’s to a great 2011!

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