October 31, 2010 3 Comments
A few years ago, on a trip to photograph the Oregon coast with Per Volquartz and a small group of large format photographers, we camped for the night not far from Devil’s Punchbowl Natural Area. Being the only photographer in the group specializing exclusively in color, I got up before sunrise to photograph from the nearby park.
Being on the US West Coast, with a small mountain range to the east, I knew that conditions weren’t ideal for a sunrise photograph. However, when I arrived at the park, I found the tidal flats were empty, the tide out, with a full moon in the sky. I knew that I couldn’t ask for better circumstances.
Oregon Moonrise. Devils Punch Bowl State Natural Area, Oregon. Toyo 45AII camera, Nikkor SW 90mm f8 lens on Fuji Velvia 50.
I’ve always found the Nikkor 90mm SW to be a difficult lens to work with, the small F8 aperture makes focusing on the ground glass difficult. As a result, while the foreground is sharp, the horizon isn’t as sharp as I would like. Since this time, I’ve upgraded to a Schneider Super-Symmar XL 80mm f4.5, which is an absolutely, beautiful lens to work with.
Later during this trip, we were able to meet with noted landscape photographer Christopher Burkett, in his home/workshop in Portland.
Christopher works primarily in the 8×10 format, printing on Ilfochrome (Cibachrome) papers. Cibachrome is a beautiful paper, of which there is no equal; either traditional photographic, or ink jet papers. Sadly, few use this wonderful paper, probably because of the difficulty of mastering it, as well as the cost.
Christopher was kind enough to show us the process he uses to make his prints; from creating contrast masks, to the monster 8×10 optical enlarger and the associated Jobo print processor (about the size of a small car). Later, he showed us examples of his prints.
Truly, a memorable trip and a memorable experience.
A few links related to this article:
- Ilford Ilfochrome Paper
- Photography West Gallery
- New work from Christopher Burkett
- Per Volquartz
If you are interested in trying out Ilfochrome printing, I highly recommend Elevator Digital in Toronto, Canada.