Wednesday, March 22, 2006
These were taken with 300mm and 500mm Nikkor lenses. The softness was a feature of the lenses combined with the moisture laden air over the wetland which is exagerated by compression of the tele, all of which produces an effect not unlike painting. I remember reading a comment by Ernst Haas about shooting hand held with a 400mm telephoto, that his images were not sharp mattered little if he got the effect he was after. He would shoot running game in Africa with slow shutter speeds to give he effect of motion. Unlike Haas I used a tripod, with harmonically dampened legs and a counter weight attached to the post. This was to minimize vibration. I also locked up the mirror ten seconds before the exposure, using the self timer. So the softness was all optical and atmospheric not due to camera movement.
So what do you do when a bare light bulb fools your through the lens metering system resulting in sever under exposure? Make the best of it. A year or two later I started carrying my Gossen Luna Pro with a spot attachment so I could avoid this sort of problem. Using a hand held meter is fine as long as you know your lens and your camera very well. Otherwise you will be in for some surprises. 35 years later, shooting digital, the recorded image displays for one second after each exposure. No need to guess what is going on.
Dave Hastings, a colleague and friend from my first job out of college . Hastings was an artist, musician, theologian, philosopher. He was studying design at Art Center in LA along with working as a studio musician (guitar) for the Armed Forces Radio and TV Station (AFRTS) before he came to Seattle and worked at the residential drug rehab center where I was doing my two years of alternate service. On the staff of the "Center" we had two very fine guitarists Dave and Rick but we lost Rick to the Army. We also had a world class percussionist who was going on for a Phd in music at the UW and had also worked in the AFRTS as well as performed with a major symphony in LA. Dave and Kathy Kushe (artist) were part of the crowd along with my neighbor Steve who was Dave's best friend. Dave attended Denver Seminary where he was mentored by Vernon Grounds. Dave helped plant a new church in Lake Stevens Washington and served as the pastor for over a quarter of a century.