September 11, 2013

"test of time" 11 of 30 - Bodie and shutterbug, 1965

photo by Donald Kinney

I've been to and fallen in love with Bodie, California, before...
And I've written about the ghostly history of Bodie -- click here.

My aunt and uncle introduced me to the old frozen-in-time town at age 10, and at 14 I convinced my parents that the 12 mile dusty washboard road would be worth the rough adventure. And of course, a few years later, with a driver's license and a $100 VW-Bug I was able to visit this remote gold and silver mining outpost at 8375 feet, east if Yosemite, on my own.

At the time I was shooting extra long rolls (220) (2-1/4"x3-3/4") in a roll-film holder that slid into the back of my 4x5 Calumet View Camera. This was a problem if different exposures on the roll needed special development times. Sometimes rolls could be cut in half and developed differently.

This is the camera I would take with me for one semester at Brooks Institute of Photography in 1968. I used both 150mm and 210mm Symmar lenses on the Calumet. Single sheets of 4x5 negative film (SuperX) made full use of the view camera's capabilities. With a multitude of adjustments, the camera is about as "old school" as it gets. Not an expensive camera, but the lens is.

At Brooks Institute of Photography the Zone System was not used in favor of their own "Scene Brightness Ratio" scheme for balancing the dynamic ranges of film and scene. For a ratio, an incident reading was taken pointing at the subject, and then another reading taken from the subject pointed directly at the lens. That ratio is used in conjunction with film/developer variables to determine exact development times per the desired and planned result.

CLICK for 40 photos on what I call my "big site";
CLICK for "Photographing Marin County"; my Marin County exhibit.

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