Friday, April 9, 2010

Unintentional Photo Effects

U.S. Route 285, Eddy County, New Mexico, 2008

This photograph was taken on Fuji Velvia 50 color transparency (slide) film, on my Rolleiflex SL-66.  At the time this image was captured, I only had Velvia in my camera, as I hadn't brought along any black-and-white negative film for the camera.  I did have a roll of 35mm Kodak Tri-X, but this composition struck me as a square, not a rectangle (either vertical or horizontal).

I finally got around a few months ago to scanning this transparency, as I envisioned it as a black-and-white print.  The strangest thing happened with the tones:  The resultant scan turned out looking almost as if the picture was taken on infrared film, particularly in the deep grays of the sky and the paleness of the shrubbery.  (Red, however -- which is the color of the "WHITE'S CITY" sign -- came out in normal tonality, not as a shimmering white, as it would appear on infrared film, through a red filter).

Of course, this oughtn't to have surprised me, given Velvia's exagerated color curves -- which, when desaturated produce exagerated tonal curves.

Still, I love the otherworldly feel of this picture, something not uncommon in New Mexico landscapes.