Michael Kenna’s style inspires me. I’ve seen his framed prints for sale in books, online and in galleries. The most amazing for me was an exhibition curated by Chris Beetles in the Huxley Gallery in 2012. Kenna’s art form is his photographic printing of interesting arrangements and patterns found in the natural landscapes. His art is all about tones. Nearly always absent are people. He nearly always works without any form of digital assistance. His analogue world is one of film, chemicals and paper. There’s a continuity that runs throughout his oevre.
I very specifically chose to use monochrome for Quarried. One particular scene may appear nondescript to your view, especially since there is nothing by which to scale it. I talked with rock climbers who called the cliff face Paradise Lost. They told me it was graded VD (think very difficult rather than STD). I thought of how much more ‘very difficult’ this Quarried chapbook was becoming. One such challenge was that there were no climbers on this face on the day I took the photograph.
Merging and developing the imagery had become like processing seismic data. I was back to preparing my workflows and going away for a while. Adobe Lightroom, Photomatix, Topaz Sharpen and DXO Silver Efex were struggling with the file sizes on a 3.5 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 with 64 GB of memory. Perhaps the AMD FirePro D500 3 GB graphics card is old but it still bench tests as fast as the latest Apple silicon that is replacing their Intel chips. But no, wait, a new benchmark shows an anomaly – Lightroom is four times faster on Apple silicon. The image of the once stylish Mac Pro is becoming increasingly tarnished by the performance of the latest laptops.
I chose f/13 to broaden the depth of field. Standing on a cliff, I had nothing in front of me so I could set the hyperfocal distance to 8 m and be confident that everything from that distance to infinity would be sharp. I was using a focal length of about 47 mm on the Fuji. In retrospect, I could have used f/8 and increased either the shutter speed (1/200 sec) or decreased the ISO (1600). But on the day, there was no wind so I was comfortable with the shutter speed. And I thought a bit of retro graininess in the image from the high ISO would add mood if not pathos.
to be continued …