At this exact location thirty years ago, I made a dramatic black & white view of a westward Guilford freight on the Boston & Maine.
Thursday, February 18, 2016, I stood in my own footprints, and recreated the drama.
Photographer Mike Gardner and I were on one of our railroad photo quests.
Pan Am Railway’s freight EDRJ (East Deerfield to Rotterdam Junction) was working upgrade along the Deerfield River toward the Hoosac Tunnel.
While I made some digital images, I also exposed several photos on Ilford HP5 using my Canon EOS3 fitted with a 20mm superwide angle lens.
Some writers have come to call this ‘analog photography’. Let’s use the word film: I made the photo on black & white film.
When I returned home, I brought the film into the darkroom and I processed it using chemicals (as you do).
I’ve detailed my secret recipe for black & white in the Tracking the Light post titled: Black & White revisited; Old Tech for a New Era part 2—Secrets Revealed! (http://wp.me/p2BVuC-4o) please click the link to see the post.
For this roll of film I made some minor adjustments to the basic formula.
The goal of my special process is to allow for a black & white negative that when scanned provides optimum tonality and contrast without the need for post processing adjustments.
This is significant for two reasons: 1) I’ve maximized the film’s tonality, thus allowing to capture the most amount of information. 2) I’ve minimized the amount of time I need to spend adjusting individual images.
With this photo, I scanned the original negative, and then scaled it in Lightroom while applying my water mark. I did not make adjustments to exposure, contrast, or similar. This is in essence and unmodified scan.
Here I’ve intentionally selected a very contrasty scene. This demonstrates the success of the process and makes for a dramatic photograph of modern railroading.
By using HP5, which is rated by Ilford at 400 ISO, I’ve intentionally selected a comparatively grainy film. This adds texture and grittiness to the image. I wonder how it will appear on your screen? On mine it is exceptionally sharp with broad tonal range.
What do you think?
Tracking the Light Posts EVERY DAY!