Making Mistakes Along the Way

We’ve been having crazy hot weather in San Diego the last few days.  Daytime Temperatures have reached 108F with high humidity to go with it.  Not weather that makes me want to go out with my 4×5 camera.

Yesterday, we got a break in the temperatures although the humidity was still high.  So in the late afternoon I grabbed my camera bag and trekked over to Blue Sky Reserve and the Oak Grove.  I’ve been working on a project to photograph this damaged oak grove for a year or so (see my gallery).  It was virtually wiped out during the Witch Creek fire in 2007.  What was left in the grove were old oaks severely scarred or completely destroyed.  The grove has been left to recover which will be a slow process over many decades.  It’s a very difficult subject to photograph, very chaotic.  Rather than fight it, I’m embracing the chaos in my images.

This image was one of two.  It was overexposed but I managed to recover it in scanning and in post processing. The second image was completely underexposed and unusable.  I misread my Pentax spotmeter mistaking the reading for 1/15 of a second instead of what should have been the correct exposure of 15 seconds.  I seem to be having trouble with exposures in large format.  It’s a skill I still need to seriously work on to get better.  Anyway, here is the single image I managed.  It’s taken with my Tachihara 4×5, on a 90mm  Rodenstock Grandagon-N f/6.8.  Exposure was at f/32 for 4 seconds on Delta 100 film.

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