Monday, May 23, 2011

New scans from the Bronica S2

I have had a roll of processed 120 sitting on my desk at work for well over a month now, and finally today I got to scan it.

They were images I had taken while exploring the local coastline one evening in mid-summer. I'd gone out with a series of images in mind that I wanted to capture with the 6x6 medium format, but, as per usual, I ended up having to take a whole different tact. I had hoped for a stunning sunset, but it was obviously not going to happen. So I ended up exploring the shoreline instead. And I had some interesting finds.

Quite unexpectedly, I came across an old car engine washed up on the rocks! I got very excited by the possibilities, but it was very difficult to get an angle I was happy with - firstly because of the uneven nature of the surrounding rocks, and second because of the sheer weight of the Bronica itself. But I was happy with this overall view which conveyed the juxtaposition of the man-made with the natural.

I also liked the rock formations themselves, especially the way they split the square frame into thirds - a third for the bush, a third for the rocks and a third for the sand. This created an interesting textural interplay of spiky, rocky and smooth that I kinda liked.

Towards the end of my journey along the beach I came to this natural tunnel in the cliff face, and really liked the strong lines and contrast of light and dark that I was seeing. I took quite a few shots of this, because the lighting was very tricky. I wanted detail in both the rocks and the sky to remain, so bracketed exposures based around my hand-held light meter. This was shot in colour, but I knew I was going to convert it to black and white as I was seeing the shot. Turned out OK.

And finally, a shot from the start of the roll, that wasn't taken that night on the beach. This was shot on the way back from Christchurch after Christmas. We were driving home and I saw the sky starting to go orangey/yellow. It took me about 5 minutes to find a suitable place to pull over and then another 5 minutes to set up the Bronica on a tripod to get the shot. I took two frames, and then the orange disappeared.

I have more cameras than I know what to do with now, so I don't get the Bronica S2 out all that often. Even so, I really enjoy it when I do get it out and run a roll of film through it - so it will stay as a part of my arsenal of film cameras. Even though large, heavy and unwieldy - the negatives it produces are simply gorgeous when scanned. In fact, I have entered a shot taken with the Bronica in a local camera competition. I'll let you know how it goes.

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