Avondale

A trip to Avondale park last year with Vlastik where I took the opportunity to use a few of the rolls of velvia in the fridge. I thought I’d get rid of the remaining slide film as my intention was to develop it then sell the Jobo CPE I bought a couple of years ago on ebay. I think I’ve had my fill of developing anything other than black & white and the Jobo, tanks, chemicals and all the E6 paraphernalia are just taking up space in the ‘junk room’. On that, if anyone is interested in buying a CPE plus, some tanks, spools and whatever else I’ve got, drop me a line.

One thing I’ve never quite managed is metering for scenarios like being in woods where you’re in & around different lighting situations. One minute we were in bright sunshine, then overcast, then under trees. As a result, quite a lot of the 5 rolls I think I shot that day are under exposed. I’ve dragged what I could out of them in scanning & post processing but alas, there’s only so much you can do. Pity, because one of the shots I really wanted was killed stone dead by poor metering, as you can see below.

What I captured compared to what I saw on the day almost made me lock the bronica up in a cupboard when I took the slides out of the tank. I believe I even said ‘I wish I had taken my 5D with me’. Another one below. I got the forest floor metered with some accuracy but sadly lost all the background. Let’s just say I meant to do it that way; Focusing the viewers attention on the tiniest of foreground rocks and not on all that messy shrubbery in the background.

Thankfully, and not to put me off shooting velvia again, most of the shots came out pretty much as intended. If that’s my skill/technique, a triumph of post processing or the hand of God during development is for the viewer to decide. It’s not too difficult to appreciate of the ease and forgiving nature of shooting digital when you come back from a day of film shooting and and up with crap. But that, of course, is an old story so don’t go sharply exhaling in exasperation and rolling your eyes at me just yet.

It does go right now and then and the film captures things in a way you only wished you could have seen them. While waiting for the sun to come back out I shot a couple of frames of this scene. The difference between this and the next shot, taken only about 3 seconds later, is amazing. Timing, or perhaps impatience to move on was on my side.

A low ISO film, a tripod, a cable release, ND filters and a river. No prizes for guessing what happens next. Vlastik may also have some mildly amusing photos of me getting into a precarious position on some slippery rocks and perhaps even more amusing photos of me trying to return to the safety of the footpath. I heard somewhere that it’s now been made illegal to not take ‘flowing water’ photos when the opportunity presents itself. That was tacked onto the ‘HDR Swan photo 2010’ legislation in congress I believe. (Forgive the in-joke).

That was pretty much our trip. An enjoyably sedate couple of hours spent wandering about taking conflicting light meter readings, arranging leaves, pine cones and other detritus while moaning about having to go back to work on Monday. If you haven’t already been to Avondale, I very much recommend it. It’s here, not too far from Rathdrum in Co. Wicklow.

Oh and as it’s my first post of 2012, happy new year.

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