Kilcunda Trestle Bridge

Mick Fagan
Posts: 57
Joined: 24 Sep 2015, 21:20
Location: Melbourne

Kilcunda Trestle Bridge

Postby Mick Fagan » 11 Mar 2017, 15:19

This picture has been a long time coming, about 40 years. I have never photographed this trestle bridge in a manner that I liked, until this time.

I have tried with 35mm with various focal lengths, a 6x6 TLR with one focal length, then finally, this, with a 65mm super wide angle on 4x5”. For some reason, it jells with me.

I nearly didn’t get what I was after, did all the right things, visited in summer with great sunny weather, and came back the next morning, when the tide was right for the amount of water under the trestles. But, as often happens on the ocean, a foggy cloudy morning, exactly when I wanted the light and shadows.

Finally a glimmer of sunlight at the exact same time as I heard people coming round the bend, took the shot there and then. Five minutes later the light was stronger and more even, but with a bus load of people crawling all over the place, I considered myself lucky.

I did have another shot with a 150mm lens, but even with being further back, the angle just wasn’t right. Previously I had been in the same place (angle wise) with the same camera with a 90mm. Even though I was further back, it didn’t do anything for me.

I am now coming to terms with what I can and cannot do with the 65mm, taken me a bit of time. At first I was thinking I had bought a lens I couldn’t like, until I got the centre filter that is, from then on, it has been all go.

FP4+, Shen Hao 4x5” Fujinon 65 SWD, centre filter.

Mick.

4x5_FP4_Fujinon_65mm_Centre_Filter_Shen_Hao_Kilcunda_Bridge_004_Web.jpg

Barry Kirsten
Posts: 155
Joined: 27 Feb 2015, 11:13
Location: N-E Victoria

Re: Kilcunda Trestle Bridge

Postby Barry Kirsten » 11 Mar 2017, 18:38

Ahh, Mick, I recall Ansel Adams quoting Louis Pasteur... "Chance favours the prepared mind". How often have we all for various reasons missed the shot we had in mind because thing weren't just right. But you nailed this one through perseverance. And coming to terms with the problems of wide lenses. Personally, and I don't mean this critically, I wouldn't have hassled about the centre filter, as I don't mind a bit of fall-off at the corners, but that's personal. A nice image.

Mick Fagan
Posts: 57
Joined: 24 Sep 2015, 21:20
Location: Melbourne

Re: Kilcunda Trestle Bridge

Postby Mick Fagan » 11 Mar 2017, 19:55

Thanks Barry.

With regard to centre filters, I have, over the past 30 years or more, been sitting on the fence a bit. I run an 18mm Sigma lens on my Nikon bodies, it has approximately 1 stop fall off in general, and another ¼ of a stop very deep on all four corners. It is livable, but has been a bit of a pain when doing full frame right to the edge prints, especially in colour.

I borrowed a ¾ stop centre filter (72mm) which someone I was shooting alongside had in his bag, and ran quite a few frames off with the 18mm Sigma. If anything, these were even harder to print evenly as the extremes of the corners were a problem; really put me off centre filters.

After picking up this beautiful lens, mainly because I had seen what Marc had done with his Nikon 65mm lens, I thought I had bought another dud. Fortunately right after I had bought the lens and after having shot and successfully printed a few sheets, some with holding back the corners, some letting them go, I found my Heliopan 67mm centre filter locally; Sydney.

Then doing a test shoot, I knew immediately just by looking on the ground glass, that I had made a good investment. Chalk and cheese, more so when there is a constant detail running from corner to corner diagonally. I haven't used the 65 without the centre filter since. I do know though, there will be some circumstances where having fall of is a good thing.

This by the way, is a straight scan, apart from cleaning up a few dust spots, I just made the contrast to a level I will approximately do the print to.

Developed this film in my SP445 tank, which is now my preference for sheet film. Something of a change after using the Jobo rotary processing for the last 30 years, very happy with the immediacy of this tank and how well it works. Very even developing.

Funnily enough, I prefer the Jobo for 35mm processing, still use it for that.

Mick.

User avatar
Maris
Posts: 435
Joined: 27 Jul 2012, 16:02
Location: Noosa

Re: Kilcunda Trestle Bridge

Postby Maris » 13 Mar 2017, 08:16

Excellent composition with a difficult lens. A 65mm lens on 4x5 can too often deliver a small subject in the middle and nine-tenths periphery. Here it's just perfect. Framing out the left hand pylon lets the bridge "leap" into space. And nicking those sedges into the bottom right hand corner is a clever visual easter egg. Bravo!

Mick Fagan
Posts: 57
Joined: 24 Sep 2015, 21:20
Location: Melbourne

Re: Kilcunda Trestle Bridge

Postby Mick Fagan » 13 Mar 2017, 13:14

Thank you Maris. I did ponder the left hand pylon, in the end I left it out, which also left me with a bit more end of bridge space on the extreme right.

I agree about using a 65mm on 4x5", it does require the correct subject, usually with correct framing; something that is a little hard to find and/or execute. Took me a while to get my head around using it, these days I am more inclined to know what will work with it; I already know what doesn't work with it. :o

Funnily enough, this lens, in combination with a centre filter; works brilliantly when photographing motor cars. Doesn't seem to work with trucks or biggish stuff, but is sublime with small hatches and the like. The best angle seems to be around bumper bar height and in one corner between 800mm to 1.5m away, depending upon the length of the vehicle.

Holden station wagons don't seem to work that great, but the small to medium car is beautiful with this filter and lens combination.

Mick.


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