Friday, January 16, 2009

Where the ice meets the sea

Click here to view at 1000 pixels wide.

Top of my wish list would be the Utterly Impossible: wind back the clock and make digital photography available in the mid-1990s! A lot of my most exciting work was done waaaay back when. In the summer of 1997 I was using a couple of Pentax SLRs, plus an Olympus OM10, a selection of lenses ... and one trucked around a great bag of film stocks. Different stocks for various lighting conditions and kinds of jobs. I shot a lot on transparency, and those shots are now virtually inaccessible. (They need to be scanned ... first, they need to be broken out of storage! The magnitude of that job defies imagination.) The best I can do with some of my earlier work is scan the prints -- and this is what you have, above. A fairly high-rez scan of an old print: a glacier "calving" (meaning, shedding bergs into the sea) somewhere on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, August, 1997. The day was bright, with a brilliant blue sky; it was so cold (to me, as an Australian abroad) you felt the bones of your face freeze. In fact, the wind chill was probably something like ten degrees Fahrenheit. Well under freezing, but not "cold" as an Alaskan understands it. The camera was definitely one of the Pentax K-1000s. The film stock would have been 100ASA Kodak. Shutter speed -- not that fast; you see the water and falling ice blur a little. I recall the exposure for these shots being a bear: the sunglare off the ice meant you didn't trust the light meter for an instant, and figured it out yourself. Many years later the print was scanned at 600dpi and enhanced a little to improve the quality, which is starting to fade with age. Photo by Mel, 1997.

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