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Saturday, April 27

From Lightroom to Darkroom

It's just as well I'm almost finished my darkroom as I'm getting spoiled by Adobe Lightroom. It will be a bit of a culture shock going back to under-the-enlarger manipulations after the near infinite control of the software.

Life would be easier for me as a film photographer if I took a different type of photograph. Street and walkabout photography is much easier to print than landscapes. I footered about on the computer with these scans and it would be difficult to reproduce some of the effects in the darkroom.

These were all taken with a 28-105 Nikkor on an F90x - quite a good combination for this sort of car-based photography. I didn't venture far from the motor and two of the photographs were actually shot from the driver's seat. I'm definitely getting lazier!

Speaking of cars, I'm gutted that my old Mazda MX5 Gleneagles looks to be on its way to the great Stelvio Pass in the sky. It's been off the road for about two years. I had a minor prang in it which coincided with me leaving my job. I didn't need a car on a daily basis so just left it in the drive.

A few months ago I thought about putting it back on the road but it failed its MOT because of some rust in the sills just ahead of the rear wheel arches. If you know Mk1 MX5s then you'll know that this is a common failing on these cars.

I put it in to a garage to have the bodywork all sorted out but got back the bad news that the rear of the car inboard of the wings is quite rotten and would require extensive welding. It's not economically viable to have all that work done so that looks like curtains for the Mazda. It's a real shame since these cars are bullet proof mechanically and mine is no exception. 

The Gleneagles was a limited edition of a few hundred. There can't be that many still roadworthy as the weak bodywork always seems to kill them off. If only Mazda had put as much effort into designing and building the bodywork as they put into honing the driving characteristics.

Anyway, back to the photography. The pics on this page were easy to produce in Lightroom but all but the shot of the ploughed field covered in fleece are likely to require a fair bit of time under the enlarger to get right. My favourite is the first one. I went back to check out this view when the snow had cleared and there isn't a pic there at all now.

The last pic is a shot of a WWII pill box sitting alone and neglected on a hill. There are usually sheep milling around but they were enjoying a feed round the back at the time. The sheep help to make the photo but I got fed up waiting for them to make an appearance. It was also blowing a gale and quite cold so I packed it in and headed for home.

I'll probably go back again for another try but will take my old Tamron SP 300mm f5.6 lens with me. The closer you get to the scene, the closer you become to the pill box's elevation. I think the pic would be better from further back where the land rises a little. The compression effect of the telephoto would also help to tie tree and the pill box together.

The pill box makes an appearance in the pic immediately below as well. I liked the progression from large shed to pill box to telecoms aerial - all a bit incongruous. It's funny the things that catch your eye when driving in the countryside.


Mike said...

Hi Bruce, I too like the first photograph. It would be very interesting to see the Lightroom results compared to what you produce in the darkroom.

Thanks for posting,


morris1800 said...

Hello Bruce I understand your thinking Lightroom vs Darkroom to achieve pretty much the same result the quick easy way or the slow hard way ! I produced a print (darkroom) with some care and effort of my daughters little boy . She was very pleased with it but said " is this something you have done on the computer or is it a real photograph"? I replied it was real. She liked that answer but I felt a little deflated that putting effort into producing a print I need to stick a label on it " not digitally produced " . 95% of my darkroom work is now Lith printing producing prints, a process so infinately analogue with the added bonus I get to splash around in a little darkroom often producing prints I hadn't visualised beforehand...and some are keepers!