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  1. #1
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Heading to the Desert

    Got an upcoming trip planned to Blackrock, Nevada to fire off a rocket with Scouts. I'm wondering what black and white I should shoot. Once that's settled, I'll take advice on "what" to shoot, for example scenery or documentary...

    I'm a Kodak guy and have some 4x5 TMY-2 I can crack open in the freezer, but I want to save it for more traditional "Sierra" photography and I hear there's going to be dust and wind - and you know dust and 4x5 aren't the best friends. So maybe I won't shoot LF.

    TMY-2 is my go-to film so I am pretty much set on that. But desert might be better suited to 100 TMAX. Or maybe some slower film like Panatomic-X*.

    Other options I'm considering, 6x9 folder (also not "great" with dust), TLR.

    And of course I could fallback on 35mm. Leaning towards this because dust typically is a non-issue in 35mm. No motor drive though.

    *Not like... really - when I say Panatomic-X I mean it - from my small stockpile.

  2. #2
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Personally I'd shoot FP-4 or Acros for the scenery. But being a Kodak guy sounds like you're set. Do the documentary stuff in 35 and shoot Tmax 100. If it very bright and contrasty is shoot the Tmax 100 at 50 and pull back development times by 30%. That's always worked for me in beach shoots to get good nice moderate contrast with shadow detail and still have highlights bright but not blown out.
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
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  3. #3

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    I've shot LF in some pretty dusty sections of desert and been OK. Not in sandstorm conditions, obviously---you don't want your cameras exposed at all for that stuff! But in the usual conditions of wind gusts that occasionally kick up a dust devil, I would expect you could get away with reasonable caution: keep equipment in a box or something when not actually in use, wait for a lull before putting the holder in the camera, keep the lens cap on whenever you don't need light to get through. It might be best to minimize lens changes too.

    I actually think a folder might work out well, because of the simpicity (what's the sand going to do, clog up its autofocus?) and the quick transition from folded-up to ready-to-shoot. Keep it in a bag or a big pocket or something, maybe a gallon-size Ziploc bag if things are really bad, and find someplace good and sheltered to change film (maybe inside the car).

    Desert scenery can be tough because of contrasty light and low-contrast subjects (beige rocks, taupe rocks, ecru rocks, and tan rocks all look much the same to b&w film). I guess that militates for a film with a large dynamic range but a fairly steep curve in the mid-to-upper range, which does sound like TMX/TMY, doesn't it? Or maybe TXP.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  4. #4
    cliveh's Avatar
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    FP4.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  5. #5
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by desertratt View Post
    This kid is never going to vote against Panatomic-X. I've dwelled in the desert for many a moon.
    Then it's coming along. A couple rolls of Panatomic-X are out of the freezer...

    Picked up some TMY-2 35mm today. Decided against 100 TMAX because I haven't tested it (last time I shot it without testing I had thin shadows).

    Chris at Kaufmann's dug through the boxes looking for different batches, so I have batch 0164, 0166 and 0167 (to test for albada's boomerang curve thread if I remember to leave a few frames at the end of each roll).

    One of the dad's is a chef, so if he says barbecue lizards are on the menu, I will teach the kids how to catch lizards with a grass snare...

  6. #6

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    Have fun. BTW--that's gross.

    Edit: Sorry. I've got lizards all over everything out here. All over the sides of the house, porches, cars, yard, EVERYTHING. I've got at least a 2 lizards every square yard. Gosh I hate those things.
    Last edited by Tom1956; 06-08-2013 at 06:41 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Bring more water than you think that you will need.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  8. #8
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    FP4.
    I'm afraid my motives might be questioned if I used anything but film manufactured by my employer, Kodak.

  9. #9
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Glass View Post
    Bring more water than you think that you will need.
    Good point

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    I'm afraid my motives might be questioned if I used anything but film manufactured by my employer, Kodak.
    Ha! That explains the stash of Panatomic-X.

    s-a

    (Rocket. All I ever got was Pinewood Derby...)
    I photograph things to see what things look like photographed.
    - Garry Winogrand

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