Morgan Park – Arcadia, Florida – Large Format Photography

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Does that make video worth a million words? As I write this on New Year’s Day 2017, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to produce more video content. I think that video coupled with photos help folks who may want to try one of these processes. If there is something that you would like to specifically see, leave a comment below.

For this adventure, I went to Morgan Park in Arcadia, Florida. I have been to this location before and took some really neat photos while I was on a photo class field trip (Original Post: Morgan Park – Arcadia, Florida). There was one photo that I wanted to retake with the new large format camera. Also, I decided to try some new film and developer. I have been using Ilford Delta 100 film with Ilford Ilsofol 3 developer. Ilford says, this combo is dynamite. Well, it makes it really hard to wrestle in the highlight detail. Over the past few weeks, I have joined many groups on Facebook that deal with large format and film. As folks were posting photos, I noticed one combo that kept coming up and looked fabulous. Ilford FP4+ with Kodak D76 developer. This may sound strange to mix company products, however I was assured this was a winning combo. I called B&H and ordered the film. I had to order the developer from Amazon since they were the only ones who would ship it to me since it has stuff in it that can be bad for you (isn’t all tasty food like this, like ice cream?)

First, the developer comes as a powder so I had to mix a “stock” solution which once you mix it, it has to sit for 24 hours and then be strained. Not a hard process, but you have to plan ahead a little. Once I mixed up the stock solution, one pouch will allow me to process 20 sheets of film. Not to bad, that works out to be 50¢ a sheet. Then I loaded two sheets of FP4+ in my film holders and I was off to Morgan Park.

I decided to shoot some video as I went along in case anyone else would like to visit and take some photos there. I was there early, about 8:30 (that’s really early for me) and I hiked around the path. I found the spot I was looking for and I was lucky as the sun was lighting the scene as I had hoped. This was pure luck. I set up my tripod and assembled the camera off to the side, just like the original and I had some really nice side lighting. I took two sheets incase I messed up the developing, I would have a second chance.

After I took the two slides, I packed up everything and headed home. I had already done the math for the timing that the developer should stay in the drum. The first negative was already a great improvement over what I had been getting with the Delta 100. Since I had another sheet in the hopper that needed to be developed, I reduced the time my 10% more. Bingo, a great looking negative. Detail in the highlights and shadows.

As many of you know I liked shooting black and white “fused” photos. This is where I would bracket and then use Exposure Fusion to get the details in all of the area without the crazy effects of Tone Mapping. Once I found out film has this same property, I was in heaven. I expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights, meaning I reduce the amount of time the film is exposed to the developer.

All of this may sound complicated, however it’s not once you do a couple of sheets. I was told by B&H that film is making a comeback and there are more black and white film choices than there ever has been. This also gives the final photo more a hand crafted quality since you had to go through these steps to get the final result. I would recommend trying film if you haven’t already. I have also found that my composition skills are tightening up as I’m not just taking something, just to press the shutter button.

Here is the finished photo and the video is posted below of the trip. I would love to hear your comments and also, don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel as you will be notified as I post new videos.

Until next time…

Keep Your Glass Clean


Cypress Landscape – Spencer Pullen © 2016 All Rights Reserved

This large format black and white photograph was taken by Spencer Pullen at Morgan Park in Arcadia, Florida.

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