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how the images are made...


slot canyon image

Take the picture...

The images on this website were taken with various cameras: a Wisner 4x5 field camera, a Nikon FM2 35-mm camera, a Canon 5D, and most recently a Nikon D7200, the last two being digital. Various lens have been employed over the years, but the 35-mm systems have had zoom lenses to provide compositional flexitilbity. My only filters have been an 81A warming filter and a polarizing filter. I have been using digital cameras exclusively since 2006. While the original capture files from digitial cameras can be somewhat dull, they offer significant flexibility to process the image later on.

Rescue the light and move beyond...

The computer darkroom is a necessary part of my work. In the early days, extreme processing was controversial but it's widely accepted now as part of the photographer's artistic toolkit. My early efforts with digital enhancement were aimed at restoring the original vision of the scene. But the "original vision" concept is very limiting. While important for creating a foundation for the photograph, I no longer expect to know everything about how the final image will look the moment I click the shutter. Each image has more to teach me if I can find a way to listen to it. Adobe Photoshop, software for processing digital images, is essentially the listening device that provides the necessary two-way communication. With it, the image can tell me what it wants and I can act on what it needs. It's often a slow process to find the the proper combination of brightness, contrast, color, and saturation, but if I pay attention, the image lets me know what I need to do. Far from being a mechanical, repetive process, digital development is every bit as creative as actually being in the field taking pictures. It's a different situation, but it requires the same level of focus and attention. I've added some detailed tutorials to this site that describe the techniques I employ.

Print the image...

The options for printing images continue to multiply. I use an Epson Ultrachrome printer as it works well with my personal style for digitally developing images. Seeing the actual print informs my understanding of what it needs. A photo-quality printer connected to the computer allows me to proof images nearly as fast as I can adjust the data in Photoshop. The printer is an essential component for the developing process. The Epson Ultrachome inks have excellent longevity ratings and the prints look great, both color and black and white.