I left home early one morning, an hour before sunrise to photograph a place called Paxton Swamp. On arrival there was a heavy mist, which I love and no wind, perfect conditions for me.I proceeded to photograph the swamp for an hour or so and then the mist start to lift. I packed up my camera gear and started to proceed back to the car.
On arriving at the car I just happened to look up the hill to the right of where I was to see this clearing mist amongst the Eucalyptus forest, and seen this image. I quickly put the camera pack back on my back and had to climb over a barbed wire fence onto private property, hoping no one was going to come, but at that hour in the morning it was very unlikely.
Setting up the camera as quickly as I could (for those who have worked with large format equipment know that this is a slow process), before the light was gone and the mist had cleared, I managed to expose a sheet before this happened.
In the middle of the image there is a flowering Wattle tree which I think slightly adds to the colour palette. After packing the camera back up and climbing back over the barbed wire fence, it was a drive back home.
Next day I got my film processed and to my joy I got the exposure perfect (because of the cost of film I only ever made one exposure of each image). Sometimes there were failures, but I always was happy to get 50% right or more – any less than that and I was disappointed because I looked at it as not only a waste of money but also a waste of film, and I lost the photo, so my discipline with large format was very high.
The reason I like this image is for me the fact that it has the three ingredients a photograph always should contain: light, composition, and atmosphere.
Out of my library of images I don’t really have a favourite image – I either like an image or I don’t. I do like this image and would probably hang it at an exhibition, but I am not sure about hanging it on my own wall.
What do you think are the TWO most impactful features that make your image a good photograph? Don’t be shy!
Atmosphere and light.
If you would be able to make this photo once again, what would be the ONE thing you would like to do better or different?
Nothing. I like it just the way it is.
Geoff Woods shared this photograph in the FRAMES Facebook Group.
Geoff Woods, Gateshead, N.S.W. Australia
Equipment and settings
Linhof Super Technika 4×5, Schneider 135mm F32
1/8th of a second exposure
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