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.
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.
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!