I have a confession to make... I still adore good old fashioned film! While I do love digital photography, I particularly enjoy the process, results and mystery of capturing the landscape on wide format film. My panoramic camera is entirely mechanical, lacks the instant preview of digital and is by all modern standards a relic of the past. Some may even say it belongs in a museum. Slow and cumbersome it teaches patience, forcing me to work slowly and methodically. Any mistakes in the field lay hidden on a roll of film, long after an amazing sunset has faded. In the digital age, where almost everything is instant there is something wonderful in the anticipation of unpacking a box of freshly processed film, holding my breath and seeing the colours pop as I lift it to the light.
Fotoman 6x17 Panoramic Camera
While I don't often take the opportunity to share my newly developed film, I thought this photograph taken from Mt McKay at Falls Creek last week would beautifully illustrate the drama of a sunset captured on film. Held up to a desk lamp and taken with an iPhone, the uneven nature of the lamp's illumination is less than flattering, yet it reveals the heart of the moment. Softened by my camera's phone, I have sharpened it slightly for display here.
Often when people see my photographs they are keen to learn how a particular image was taken or the techniques involved in putting it to paper. Some friendly souls may even challenge, 'Did it really look like that?'. In reality, the camera and eye may at times see the same sunset quite differently. The biggest secret however, isn't the equipment or technique involved but simply being in the right place at the right moment. Sometimes the right moment may take days, weeks, months or years to experience. When the moment finally comes, and it eventually will, I hope you seize the opportunity and capture it beautifully.