Homage

Image of Candlestick Butte at Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Homage, Canyonlands National Park.


This image is the result of photographing in the rain. 176mm zoom lens. Developed: +.15 exp, -35 contrast, +25 dehaze, normal sharpening, converted to B&W.

It brought to mind many 19th Century photographers who produced magnificent works of art with little knowledge of other photo works to draw upon. Many lugged 8 X 10, 16 X 20, and even 20 X2 4 inch view cameras utilizing wet glass plates to arrive at a negative. Timothy O’Sullivan, Carlton Watkins and Roger Fenton being notable.

Lack of sharpness and treating the photograph as an extension of painting led to the Pictorialism movement in photography. This was later supplanted by Modernism, characterized by sharply focused images and a concentration on the objects photographed instead of allegory. Leaders in Modernism were Paul Strand and Alfred Stieglitz, both of whom influenced later the masters: Edward Weston, Ansel Adams and Minor White.


I  worked 4 versions of the image in LR for nearly 3 hours. But I kept coming back to this simpler version. The rain contributes a wonderful softness and the dark tones add mystery to an ethereal scene. The sense of depth is enhanced by the indistinct details in the background. It has tonal qualities of old platinum prints. Ultimately the image spoke to my love of the medium and my debt to those who built the foundation of what photography is today.

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