Monday, October 14, 2019

First Foot (Bring Yer Wellies)

Well, there I was again with time on my hands all early of an incredibly windy, atmospherically-void Summer's morn and a desperation to get out with a camera. 
So what did I do?
Yep - I plopped m'laddo at his work and drove off post-haste to somewhere I'd vowed to try and photograph before - the footings of the Tay Rail Bridge.

Remnants Of Original Rail Bridge

If you are really interested as to why there are two lots of footings, the disaster is writ long and well explained here:

it is well worth reading, if only to find out that its echoes mean that (all bar a few circumstances) bridges are better designed these days.

So there I was - the tide was relatively low, and I was itching to go. 
Drove over the water, parked up, got set . . the excitement was mounting - Oh yes:

Hasselblad SWC/M ✔
Film ✔
Light Meter ✔
Wellies ✔
Notebook ✔
Trekking Pole (for assisting climb over seaweed and sewage slick rocks) ✔
Tripod ✔
Handwash Gel (for any ghastliness picked up on hands etc) ✔
Hasselblad QR plate 

Note to self - always make sure your Hasselblad QR platform is actually attached to your Arca Ballhead BEFORE you go somewhere . . .

I only went and forgot to pack the QR plate didn't I - if you've got an Arca ballhead, you'll know that it only operates with Arca style QR plates . . mine is attached to a very old Hasselblad QR system - it was a lot cheaper than buying a few plates, believe you me.
Anyway, forgot it - it was a moment of looking at the tripod, looking at the Gitzo carry case, looking at the tripod, looking at the case et al . . .

Och well I thought to myself - we'll have to be as handheld/tripod with no attachment point as we can be  . . and that wasn't too easy as it was blowing a gale.
Still I did manage to extract something, albeit not exactly at the apertures I was requiring . . but them's the breaks.
Please excuse the over-exposedness of these - since my two heavily underexposed films earlier on in the season I've been a bit paranoid about such things and have rather over-compensated just to be sure
It is a bad move though - some of those really dense negs are torture to print through - I must achieve a better balance methinks.

Film #66/59

FP4 EI 50 (! just in case)

1./ 1/2 f16 ZIV shadows tripod rest
2./ 1/2 f16 ZIV shadows tripod rest
3./ 1/8 f8 Z III Pear tripod rest
4./ 1/8 f8 Z III tripod rest
5./ 1/4 f11 Z III tripod rest
6./ 1/15 f8 Z III hand-held
7./ 1/15 f11 Z III hand-held
8./ 1/30 f11 Z III hand-held
9./ 1 sec f22 Z III tripod rest
10./ 1/30 f16 Z III hand-held
11./ 1/30 f8 Z III hand-held
12./ 1/125 f11 Z III hand-held

All difficult - wind buffeting no tripod plate so rested!
Mostly cable release, though some it was just easier with a finger!

PHD new 22 C - usual to 15 mins, stand to 17.
Great (if a little overexposed) results.

Where it says "tripod rest" it means I've just rested the Hasselblad on top of the Arca head without actually attaching it and tried not to move the camera - all things considered it was better than expected.
"Hand-held" means just that; no tripod was used.

'New' Rail Bridge Footings Seen From Slipway

Recent Graffitti On 'New' Bridge

Footings Of Both Bridges At Low Tide

Remnants Of Original Rail Bridge

And whilst that all looks lovely and relatively clean, what it hasn't got across was the hefty wind which was pushing me everywhere, nor the omnipresent slick layer of sewage strewn around the place - not that it stinks, but it certainly does make you go Gargh!

Anyway, that's the results - I actually intend to go back with the 5x4" as I feel that will do it justice - certainly being able to manipulate the verticals and the wider spread of everything should (hopefully) work. I've actually wondered about a 6x9 or 6x12 back for the Wista - that might well be the way to go for stuff like this - not that I am an architectural photographer or anything, but I do enjoy photographing large man-made structures - it's fun and usually a challenge.

The prints by the way were very quick and nasty jobbies on Ilford MGRC - I didn't have much time, but wanted to get something down before the urge passed me completely.

So that's it. If you are tempted to photograph it yourself, be my guest, just don't blame me if you come down with Hep-C or Dehli Belly - you really don't know what's in the water these days.

Take care and watch out for that sewage-slick roc . . . . !
See, I told you - now how are you going to explain to your Mum why you've got a massive shite-splat down the back of your shirt . . . ?