In Development: Adventures in Film, Volume Ten

My next roll of film picks up from the exact same spot that my prior roll ended. The last shot of that roll of Ektar was shot at 1/60s at f/5.6, which put the shadows in the canyon in zone 4 (one stop underexposed) and the clouds in the sky in zone 8+ (at least three stops overexposed). That four-stop differential between the shadows and highlights was within the exposure latitude of Ektar, so I knew I could get away with exposing in a way that would give me details in the shadows.

When I took a shot a few moments later with Velvia, though, I knew that the brightness range of the scene would be too much for it to handle. If I exposed the scene the same way as I did with Ektar, I’d likely end up with a sky that would be way too bright and washed out and shadows that would have just enough texture to make out some details but not enough to have those details add anything to the scene. So I reduced the exposure by two stops and shot at 1/125s at f/8. This put the shadows in the canyon in zone 2 (which would render them as nearly pure black) and the majority of the brighter parts of the rocks and the blue of the sky in zone 6. This would render these portions of the image as slightly brighter than average but not bright enough to reduce the saturation and “wash out” the most important areas of the scene.

Most of the rest of the roll was taken on the rest of the absolutely stunning Observation Point hike in Zion National Park. I had forgotten to reload my backpack with more film before starting the hike, so I had to be a little stingy with the film shots. I did plenty of shooting with my digital camera, though, and some day I’ll get around to posting those too… 🙂

The last two shots were taken in Bryce Canyon National Park on the same day. It was my last day in Zion, and after getting back from the hike and enjoying a rejuvenating lunch I set off to Bryce Canyon to catch the sunset. It was a long day of hiking and driving, but the effort was rewarded with a dramatic sunset. I finished off the roll of Velvia and grabbed a few digital shots while soaking up the final rays of a very special day…

All shots were taken with a Mamiya 7 II and the 43mm f/4.5 and 80mm f/4 lenses. The film was Velvia 50, and it was developed and scanned by Richard Photo Lab. I ended up re-scanning the entire roll myself, though, and the scans you see here are my own using an Epson V850 and Silverfast. I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that I’m going to have to scan all the negatives myself for important landscape shots, but that’s a topic for another day… For now, just enjoy the shots! 🙂


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